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Were Israel-Iran relations better in the 80s? What changed?

Were Israel-Iran relations better in the 80s? What changed?

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If you look at the Iran-Contra affair (mostly around 1985), you'll see that the middleman in the arms for money/hostages deal were Israeli companies.

Were Israeli-Iran relations better at that point? I assume the Israeli government knew about that deal. Was it just because, at the time of the Iran-Iraq War, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"? At the same time, Hizbollah already was active in Lebanon, so that bit of irritation existed already.

What changed? Palestinians are mostly Sunni, are they not? So not an obvious faction for Iran to support. And both countries are far from each other. What motivated the escalating enmity, besides Iran's nuclear ambitions?

According to Ronen Bergman, in his book The Secret War With Iran, there were four factors motivating Israel's Operation Seashell, in which hundreds of tons of Israeli weapons were airlifted or shipped to Iran during the Iran-Iraq war:

  • Israel had sustained significant losses due to the 1979 revolution in Iran. Since weapons were the Iranian rulers means of holding on to power, it was hoped that supplying weapons would earn a certain improvement in relations, despite Iran's ideological opposition.
  • Intensifying the Iran-Iraq war could weaken both sides, which was a desirable objective for the Israelis.
  • Israel deeply feared the prospect of a victorious Saddam Hussein.
  • A simple desire to profit, on the part of the defense industry.

(I've decided to add this as a partial answer, rather than edit the question).

One significant event was the 1994 Amia Bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentinia, which killed 80+, in a Jewish community center. Iran is alleged to have been involved, via Hizbollah. Hizbollah-linked organizations and operatives are alleged to have either claimed responsibility or been praised for this terrorist act.

This bombing followed the earlier 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy killing 30, again with substantial claims of Iranian involvement via its Hizbollah proxies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMIA_bombing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_attack_on_Israeli_embassy_in_Buenos_Aires

Talk:Iran–Israel relations

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This seems fleshed-out enough as to not warrant it being considered a stub. I implore you to contemplate removing this designation from the article. eszett talk 08:02, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Europe saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust and that Iran served as an escape route for Iraqi Jews fleeing to Israel after the 1948 war for Israeli independence. In fact, Iran was one of the first Muslim countries to establish diplomatic and trade relations with the state of Israel.

Common Sunni Arab enemies made Persians and Jews close friends for the next three decades. Iran's Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi depended on Israel for a steady stream of arms and intelligence. Israel depended on Iran as part of its "periphery policy" of security alliances with non-Arabs on the Middle Eastern periphery along with Turkey, Ethiopia and Lebanese Christians.

Persian Iran sat out all three Arab-Israeli wars and even during the Arab oil boycott of the 1970s, continued supplying Israel with oil. The 100,000 Jews in Iran helped sustain robust Iranian-Israeli trade.

Even after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's Islamic Revolution severed these ties and sent most Iranian Jews fleeing, overlapping interests allowed these arch-enemies to do business. Mutual animosity toward Iraq - and Israel's desire to preserve influence with Tehran moderates - led Israel to supply weapons to the Islamic Republic well into the 1980s, including service as middleman in the Reagan administration's arms-for-hostages deal.

Flickers of an Iranian-Israeli rapprochement continued even during the heightened tensions of the 1990s, despite Iran's support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, Palestinian militants and the bombings of the Israeli embassy and Jewish cultural center in Argentina.

By the time of my visit to Iran, during the first year of Mohammad Khatami's reformist presidency, Israeli officials were exploring ways to repay shah-era oil debts to Iran. Israeli exports to Iran, mostly agricultural equipment through European third parties, were said to exceed $300 million. SkyEarth

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. Pupsterlove02 talk • contribs 10:06, 7 May 2021 (UTC)

Published in Review of Economics and Political Science. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode

The wave of mass protests that spread across the Arab countries consecutively in 2011 have rapidly developed into full scale revolutionary upheavals that toppled regimes, overthrew rulers and resulted in substantial change in the Middle East region.

Amid this turbulent environment, Israel stood skeptic to the wind of change from the onset of the revolutionary phase, nevertheless, wary of the impact these consecutive waves might have on Israel national security. The Middle East post the Arab Spring has undergone several profound changes rapid developments and prolonged instability in the region has brought about the actions of outside actors, which subsequently had severe repercussions on regional security.

Iran’s growing activism in the Middle East, in the aftermath of the Arab revolutionary waves (the Arab Spring), has sent shock waves in the Gulf region. However, concerns about Iran are not confined only to its declared entrenchment strategy, more importantly it is centered on its mounting nuclear activities. Israel is concerned about the presence of a nuclear force in the region that is capable of developing and eventually possessing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that would jeopardize Israel national security and threaten the state of Israel. The only viable force in the region, that has demonstrated prowess of developing further its nuclear power depending on national capabilities and possessing the required technology, is Iran.

The paper examines the development of the Iranian-Israeli relations in a turbulent Middle East, focusing on nuclear weapons as a means of deterrence, and considering Iran’s entrenchment through proxies in the region and its implications on Israel security amid a status of Arab vulnerability. The main argument is that while Israel’s security entails deterring Iran from possessing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, nevertheless Israel’s security is further consolidated and preserved through Iran’s prevailing influence in the Middle East region post the Arab Spring as it maintains a status of Arab vulnerability and backwardness, which, in turn, serves Israel’s national security.

To understand the oscillating relationship between the two rivals, the paper first begins with an examination of the Iranian-Israeli relations before the Iranian revolution, and tackles the development of Israel – Iran relationship in the post-Iranian revolutionary phase. The paper then provides a conceptual approach to understanding deterrence and balance of power. Then, the paper delineates the Iranian-Israeli nuclear competency, highlighting Israeli concerns regarding Iranian nuclear capabilities. The paper then examines Israel preferred policy option to curb Iran’s nuclear power, highlighting the Israeli approach after the rise of Donald Trump to power and the significant developments after repealing the nuclear deal. The paper ends with an examination of the repercussions of Iran’s prevailing influence in the Middle East region post the Arab Spring and tackles the regional dynamics that further consolidated Israel’s national security.

2 – Support

Such an enormous build-up of large quantities of sophisticated hardware in such a short space of time obviously needed skilled personnel to help train the Iranians on how to operate and maintain their new weapon systems. Indeed, one recurring theme in press reports from the 1970s concerned Iran’s reported inability to absorb such advanced hardware in such short notice. “Some estimates are that 150,000 Americans will be in Iran by 1980 performing defence-related roles,” complained U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers. “Are we sacrificing our training needs and consequently our preparedness by making these sales?” (Peter J. Ognibene, “Should We Be No. 1 in Arms Sales?”, Syndicated column, July 10, 1977). The U.S. General Accounting Office also concluded that Washington “extensive sale” of military equipment and know-how “could adversely affect the readiness status of United States forces.” (Jack Anderson and Les Whitten, “U.S. Fears Shah Plans Oil Takeover”, Syndicated column, July 31, 1975).

Bumpers’ prediction, made in 1977, demonstrably shows how the Shah’s manic military build-up required tens-of-thousands of U.S. contractors and military advisors to sustain. The estimates for the total number of U.S. military personal “including advisors, mechanics and maintenance personnel” at the end of 1973 was a mere 1,200 (“U.S. Helping Iran Military Program”, UPI, July 4, 1973). At 52,000 American citizens in the country circa 1977, Iran was home to the largest American expatriate community in the world. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee estimated that “it is unlikely that Iran could go to war in the next five to 10 years […] without U.S. support on a day-to-day basis.” (Ognibene, 1977).

It was not uncommon in the mid to late 1970s to have large amounts of hardware and munitions simply “piling up on Iranian docks and fields”. As a result of this “Iranian air crews simply can’t be trained fast enough to operate all the aircraft that the eager Shah has thrust upon them,” wrote journalist Jack Anderson at the time. “They were just learning to fly the F-4s when the Shah began buying F-5Es. Before the F-5E crews are broken in the still more advanced F-14s will begin arriving. […] The Shah has bitten off more than he can digest,” a source told Anderson while another admitted that, “[w]e are projecting a massive snafu.” (Jack Anderson, “U.S. Will Cure Iran’s Military Headache”, Syndicated column, September 25, 1975).

It was also estimated in 1976 that if the U.S. immediately stopped selling arms to Iran “although the Shah is considering buying 250 to 300 more U.S.-fighter planes, plus much other equipment — it would be five years or more before Iran could have the necessary expertise to operate the weapons systems she already has.” (Tom Wicker, “President and Shah”, The New York Times, August 9, 1976).

The Grumman Corporation released a promotional video in 1977 showcasing its projects in Iran, including the modern 1970s suburban homes built for its contractors in Iran and the durable F-14s Iran was beginning to operate. It points out that most of the students in the program had little more than a “high school education” (see after 10′ in the video above). One instructor shown in the video points out that they were there to ultimately “work ourselves out of a job” (see after 12󈧡” in the video above).

Around the same time reporter James Yuenger visited Iran, including the massive Khatami Air Base outside of Isfahan, and made similar observations to those by Anderson. “Without another decade of extensive on-the-spot training by thousands of American personnel ranging from computer analysts to grease monkeys, the shah of Iran cannot hope to make use of all the billions of dollars worth of sophisticated U.S. weapons he has purchased and is hoping to purchase,” Yuenger wrote. He also cited a systems programmer who went so far as to say that the U.S. “was trying to run space-age programs in a medieval society.” (James Yeunger, “Costly war machine needs Yanks to crank it”, Chicago Tribune, January 9, 1978).

In late 1977 one of Iran’s F-14s stalled and went into a flat-spin. Fearing that they could not pull out of it on time the pilot and his backseat radar intercept officer ejected leaving the plane to crash. One anonymous observer confided to Yuenger that “[a]fter they bailed out the goddamnest thing happened: That aircraft pulled out of the stall and levelled out by itself. The avionics in there are so good that there’s no way they should have ejected.” [Emphasis in original]. “So the plane flew along for a while,” he continued. “And then, of course, because the pilot had bailed out, it crashed. And there went 25 million bucks down the tube. Stupid!” (Yeunger, 1978).

The year beforehand the Shah himself went to see a test firing of an AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missile fired from six miles away. Instead of hitting its designated target, it made a “ninety degree” turn and headed toward the pavilion where the Shah and his accompanying generals were surveying the test hitting the ground and exploding nearby, the shock-waves almost collapsing the pavilion structure. Unfazed the Shah ordered an immediate resumption of tests, which were all a success (Andrew Scott Cooper, “The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran”, August 2, 2016, p.30).

Tehran also employed U.S.-civilians to teach its military helicopter tactics. Delk M. Oden, a retired U.S. Army Major General, the then president of Bell Helicopter International put together a 1,500-man civilian task force “to help create the Iran Sky Cavalry brigade, a strike force using helicopter gunships and assault helicopters modeled after the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division that fought in Vietnam’s highlands.” The contract to provide those helicopters, however, was made directly between Bell Helicopter and Tehran. Iran bought 489 Bell helicopters in 1973 “but the aviator task force did not come under U.S. government control because no weapons were involved.” (“Iran’s Army Trained by Ex-Army Aviators”, The Associated Press, February 11, 1975).

Aside from U.S. helicopter pilots one industrial recruiting firm put an ad in “The Washington Post” in 1977 seeking to recruit 20 former U.S. Navy F-14 pilots to train Iranian pilots. Ted Raymoud, the president of the recruiting firm, General Devices Inc., received several phone calls from reporters inquiring about what it was about. “They probably thought we were trying to start a war,” he said, going on to stress that, “[t]hese are no mercenaries. They’re strictly to teach, to instruct.” (“Wanted: Some pilots for Iran”, The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 11, 1977). Any qualified American F-14 pilot who signed up, would have received a $50,000 salary (worth over $200,000 today) plus free accommodation and other benefits. Raymond explained how difficult it was to find qualified personnel as well as convince them to move to Iran for the duration of the program. Living in Iran “is okay as long as you can acquire a taste for the local food – rice, lamb, yogurt. But if you want to buy a jar of peanut butter, it’ll cost you $5,” he noted.

Iranians love Israelis A message of hope on ‘International Quds day’

Today marks Quds day, a day initiated by the founder of Islamic republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, after the Islamic revolution in 1979 to unite Muslims by opposing the state of Israel. Every year on this day masses of people, led by all political fractions from reformists and moderates to the hardliners, gather in the streets of Tehran to call for the annihilation of the Jewish state.

Iran is a state sponsor of Hezbollah ($75 million a year), Islamic Jihad ($70 million a year) and Hamas ($50 million a year), three groups violently aiming for the destruction of Israel. However, a large section of the Iranian people do not support this anti-Semitic behavior. Iranian activists started a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #NoHateToday to condemn the annual day of hate and send a message of love and support to the Jewish people and friendship between Iran and Israel. A message we have witnessed earlier during the tensions over Iran’s nuclear program in 2011 with the Facebook pages Iran loves Israel (32.632 likes) and Israel loves Iran (120.912 likes).

Dear friends around the world. Please join us on #NoHateDay and write about love. Listen to us. We want peace ✌️ 🇮🇱 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/LwxRBGyxC1

The day will come that we will tie Iran’s true flag with Israel’s flag and achieve peace in the Middle East, when love will win.#NoHateDay pic.twitter.com/jBaOqXQsA9

— Salman Sima (@SalmanSima) June 23, 2017

The actions of these brave activists echo the better days in Israel-Iran relations during the Shah era. Days in which Israel and Iran worked together extensively. Thousands of Israelis lived in Iran during the Shah era where they worked side by side to help modernize the country and build advanced irrigation systems for Iranians. A few years ago Israeli filmmaker Dan Shadur, who spent the first years of his life growing up in Tehran, made the documentary Before the Revolution about this golden era in Israel-Iran relations.

But Israel and Iran were not only states that once had good relations Jews and Persians have a deep history of unity. Jews have been present in Iran for about 2,700 years and the community is considered to be one of the world’s largest and longest-established Jewish communities. During the Holocaust an Iranian diplomat serving in Paris, Abdol Hossein Sardari, risked his life to help Iranian Jews escape the Nazis. It is estimated that he saved thousands of lives and he has been named the ‘Schindler of Iran.’

While it is no surprise anti-Semitic sentiment is widespread throughout the Middle East, according to the Anti Defamation League, Iran ranks as the least anti-Semitic country in the region with an anti-Semitic sentiment of 56 percent. Taking into account that the government in the past 38 years has been propagating nothing but hate towards Jews and ‘Zionists,’ we can conclude the ayatollahs have certainly not been as successful as they would have liked. In comparison, neighboring countries sentiment lies around the 80 to 90 percent mark in anti-Semitism. While the Jews in most Middle Eastern countries have been expelled in the past decades, in Iran a community of twelve thousand Jews still exists today.

The Twitter hashtag proposed by these young Iranians #NoHateDay sends the message that peace and friendship is hopeful. We should support this message and welcome its intentions. The Iranian people are our friends, not our enemies. The real enemy is the Islamic Republic regime in Tehran who needs hatred and anti-Semitism to call for unity inside its regime.

Iran & Israel are natural allies and partners. A free democratic Iran will have no better friend than Israel in the region.#NoHateDay pic.twitter.com/LCKIYRvxUh
— AmirHossein Etemadi (@amiretemadi) June 23, 2017

The Iranians who are loudly making their voices heard, and sometimes even taking great risks in doing so, deserve our continuous support. I certainly hope that, one day, when the ayatollahs and their apparati are layed to rest we will be able to take a direct flight from the beach sides of Tel Aviv to the mountains of Tehran to visit our friends in Iran. The current Islamic regime must be viewed as a hiatus between a much longer bond between two nations that reaches far into the past Jews and Persians.

Were Israel-Iran relations better in the 80s? What changed? - History

Young explains what he perceives as the differences between race relations in the South and those in the North. According to Young, northern whites were more reluctant to accept change because they had yet to confront their own racism. Ultimately, Young believes that race relations were slower to change in the North than in the South because the North was segregated geographically, whereas the South was primarily segregated legally. Because southern whites had lived with African Americans in their midst for generations, Young believes that southern whites had a greater sense of guilt about their racism and racial discrimination. As a result, Young argues that many southern whites were quick to support the civil rights movement&#x2014support which he believes was essential to the success of the civil rights movement. His views, here, offer an interesting perspective on southern white reactions to changing race relations during the 1950s and 1960s and offers a counterpoint to views that emphasize white racial hostility and visceral opposition to desegregation.

About this Excerpt

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Andrew Young, January 31, 1974. Interview A-0080. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Daughter, mother and matriarch reflect on race, history and hope

We all know Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Frederick Douglass. But who are the other great black voices of the past?

For 18 years, the African American Cultural Society has hosted the Youth Black History Reality Show, giving local children and teens a chance to research the answer to that question and present their findings to a live audience. This year, it will be online only, but Program Chairperson Jeanette Wheeler hopes that can give the show an even broader audience.

Wheeler, a former teacher and administrator in Connecticut, is the matriarch of the show and the AACS, and she visited the Palm Coast Observer office on Feb. 15 to talk about black history and race relations.

She brought along friends from two younger generations for their perspectives: LaToya Taite-Headspeth, 42, is the registrar at Imagine School Town Center and her daughter Samira Taite-Headspeth, 16, is a student at Flagler Palm Coast High School.

Black history program

What: 18th-annual program celebrating black history, organized by the African American Cultural Society

When: 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21

Where: Online at aacspalmcoast.org. Also available on YouTube and Facebook.

Scholarships: Each year, the program features scholarship awards. To donate, mail a check to AACS, P.O. Box 350607, Palm Coast, Florida 32135, or donate online at aacspalmcoast.org.

What has the Youth Black History Reality Show accomplished in the past 18 years?

Jeanette: It has accomplished an opening. It has accomplished conversations. It has stimulated minds of the young people as well as people in the community about their black heritage. And along with that, with the young people, it has helped them to develop confidence, social skills.

LaToya: In the education system, you learn about Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks &mdash like, the same five people every year. Our history didn&rsquot start at slavery, but that&rsquos where the history books take you over and over again. The Reality Show allows our children to develop a sense of pride, so they can say, &ldquoWow, I am worthy, I am enough.&rdquo

It does a whole lot more than just putting them on the stage, but they also do develop a stage presence.

Samira: In the beginning, I liked watching it because my brother was in it. He was Barack Obama, and I thought it was so cool: "My brother&rsquos the president!"

I feel like it brings young black kids together. Being part of the program requires you to do research, and even though it&rsquos not the biggest audience in the world, you feed off the energy. It requires you to learn.

Why is it important for the community to know that there are many black inventors, writers and scientists throughout history?

LaToya: Representation matters. If all the community as a whole is learning &mdash at school, in the media, on TV shows &mdash about black people is slavery, there&rsquos this narrow view. It&rsquos important that the positive influences and contributions of all people are known to all people.

Jeanette: It makes for better relationships when you realize that each person has the same worth that you have. It goes back to what Dr. King said, what he dreamed for his little children: that people can look at them and judge them by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.

"Our history didn&rsquot start at slavery, but that&rsquos where the history books take you over and over again. The Reality Show allows our children to develop a sense of pride, so they can say, 'Wow, I am worthy, I am enough.'"


Samira: This program helps you see how educated and sophisticated we were &mdash we are. It helps young people to get reading and be a part of it. My friends genuinely talk about the roles we&rsquove played.

In your lifetime, how have race relations changed?

Jeanette: Other races are beginning to look at black people as being human, that they&rsquore capable of doing different kids of jobs.

Now when people in power use, the N word, they end up paying a price for it. That&rsquos one thing we can appreciate. We still have a long ways to go, but we are moving in the right direction.

How can we improve race relations?

Jeanette: It&rsquos got to start with individuals. You&rsquove got to have a heart and think of people as being human, just like members of your family.

Another thing: If you are in a privileged person that you can hire or donate to some of the organizations that are making improvements &mdash get involved. The AACS would welcome people from another race, especially those who feel they have special ways of helping the girls and boys in the organization.

Samira: Posting and promoting positive things on social media &mdash I think we should use these platforms for change.

There are some people who are never going to change. You can&rsquot do anything about it but spread positivity and love.

LaToya: I think there has been growth and improvement. We don&rsquot have to pretend that we are the same. What makes everyone beautiful is your differences. Let&rsquos embrace and have conversations.

How would it help students to see more black teachers and administrators in schools?

LaToya: You see it, you can be it. That would make such a positive impact.

Jeanette: I grew up in the segregated south: Georgia. In the integrated world, when there is a black teacher who walks in, I would say the average black kid gives a sigh of relief: &ldquoThere&rsquos going to be somebody who&rsquos going to be a little on my side. Maybe I&rsquoll feel free to share some of my experiences.&rdquo

As a teacher who also taught in the integrated society in Connecticut, I had a lot of black students who were reluctant to talk about their families, the things they were going through. We had culture days where you would have to prepare meals of your culture. I would have to go and talk with some of the students of color to let them know, &ldquoIt&rsquos OK to talk about collard greens. It&rsquos OK to talk about fried chicken, fried fish. Other people eat that too.&rdquo They thought that was just in the black culture.

Samira: Going into class, I&rsquove seen a lot of this happen with the black boys. A lot act out, but the teachers don&rsquot know what to do, so they just say, &ldquoGet out of my class.&rdquo And they stereotype every black boy like, &ldquoThis one&rsquos probably angry too,&rdquo but he&rsquos not doing anything.

LaToya: If you have educators representing who&rsquos being educated, if that looks as diverse as the student body, there will be a whole lot more learning taking place.

What did the election of Vice President Kamala Harris mean to you?

Samira: It meant a lot to me. But no one was talking about it. People were tweeting about her outfit. My history teacher went on about how it&rsquos unfair for Trump to be impeached.

Jeanette: It meant that we are growing, that attitudes are beginning to change slowly, that my young daughters can now say, &ldquoHey, I can do that too. Maybe I don&rsquot want her position, but I might want to be a big CEO someplace,&rdquo so it gives courage to most of us that the doors are slowly opening.

But one of the things most of us people of color have seen is that the opposition [on Jan. 6, for example, in the raid on the U.S. Capitol] is because of these doors opening to people of color. Might as well say it: members of the Ku Klux Klan &mdash that&rsquos what they all are. They just have different names now.

Defeating racism may feel, at times, like a hopeless cause. What keeps you moving?

LaToya: It&rsquos tiring, but there&rsquos always hope. It&rsquos never too late to change, as long as you have breath in your body. Be that individual. Don&rsquot wait on somebody else. The change you want to see in the world &mdash it should start with you.

Jeanette: Slaves had hope. Harrite Tubman and the Underground Railroad &mdash they knew they would have been killed had they been captured, but they had hope they would get out of that situation. That&rsquos one of the strongest values of people of color. This is what we teach our children, when they come home crying when they have been called certain names. We say, &ldquoNo baby. That&rsquos not really you that they&rsquore talking about.&rdquo Hope is always there.

Samira: There&rsquos always going to be people who are against it. But I really do hope that one day it&rsquos going to change. I feel it&rsquos going to get better.

The Author: Brian McMillan

Brian McMillan has been editor of the Palm Coast Observer since it began in 2010. He was named the Journalist of the Year for weekly newspapers in North America by the Local Media Association in 2012. He lives in Palm Coast with his wife and five children. Email.


As the preceding sections document, the literature has progressed from the original DV of coups and the original IV of military professionalism. Yet, while empirical and theoretical treatments of civil-military relations have progressed, the normative focus underlying the field has remained remarkably constant: How can civilians exercise better control over the military? This normative impulse begs the prior question of how civilians do exercise control over the military. Although political science has not produced the definitive answer, it has assisted the effort by cataloguing and evaluating different control mechanisms.

Civilian control techniques can be grouped into two broad categories: (a) those that affect the ability of the military to subvert control and (b) those that affect the disposition of the military to be insubordinate (Finer 1962, Welch 1976).

The options under the first category are inherently limited. Most countries employ some sort of constitutional and administrative restraints that legally bind the military in a subservient position (Damrosch 1995). These measures, however, only restrain the military insofar as the military abides by the measures. They are legal frameworks for civilian control, but they are not really mechanisms that affect the ability of the military to subvert. In an effort to force potentially reluctant militaries to respect the legal framework, the civilian government can choose to deploy the military far from the centers of political power, as in the ancient Roman practice of garrisoning troops on the periphery of the empire. Alternatively, or in tandem, the civilian government can keep the army divided and weak relative to the civilian government. Societies that do not face grave external threats may choose to keep the regular army small in size or rely on a mobilized citizenry for defense this was the preferred option of the United States until the twentieth century. This approach is risky, however, for (depending on geography and/or technology) it may make the country vulnerable to outside threats.

Countries that face an external threat, or regimes that feel the need for large forces to preserve power, may deploy sizable armed forces but keep them divided, perhaps by setting various branches against each other or using secret police and other parallel chains of command to keep the military in check (Frazer 1994, Belkin 1998). In fact, the use of countervailing institutions such as border guards, secret police, paramilitary forces, militias, presidential guards, and so on is one of the most common forms of control, used both by autocracies (the Ottoman Empire) and democracies (Switzerland and the United States). Of course, even this effort may erode the ability of the military to execute its primary function of defending the society against external threats (Biddle & Zirkle 1996).

Welch (1976) suggests that, by developing a high degree of specialization in the army, a country may reduce the military's capacity to intervene without affecting its capacity to defend the republic. A large and highly specialized military might find it difficult to pull off a coup simply due to coordination problems. Thus, modern armed forces might be optimized for battlefield performance—each specialist performing his or her role in synchrony with the others—and yet be unable to execute a domestic power grab because all the parts would not know how to coordinate in this novel operation. Welch is correct only if the specialized military does not decide to devote training time to such power grabs. As Welch himself notes, increased functional specialization only increases the complexity of a coup plot. There is nothing inherently limiting about size or role specification that would frustrate a determined military.

Since most efforts to reduce the ability of the military to subvert civilian government simultaneously weaken it vis-à-vis external threats, theorists have emphasized instead efforts to reduce the military's disposition to intervene. Any military strong enough to defend civilian society is also strong enough to destroy it. It is therefore essential that the military choose not to exploit its advantage, voluntarily submitting to civilian control. Finer (1962), noting that civilian control of the military is not “natural,” argues that, given the political strengths of the military, the real puzzle is how civilians are able at all to exercise control—and the key to the puzzle, Finer says, is military disposition.

Under this category, the most prominent mechanism is the principle itself, which is variously called the “cult of obedience,” the “norm of civilian control,” or simply “professionalism” (Welch 1976, Smith 1951, Huntington 1957). Hendrickson (1988) concludes that no amount of institutional tinkering can ensure civilian control the real basis of civilian control is the ethic that governs the relationship between civilians and the military. This is what organizational theorists call nonhierarchical control (Bouchard 1991).

The necessity of focusing on the military's disposition to intervene turns the civil-military problem into what can be understood as a form of the classic principal-agent relationship, with civilian principals seeking ways to ensure that the military agents are choosing to act appropriately even though they have the ability to shirk (Feaver 1998a). To develop this norm of obedience, civilians can employ two basic techniques, which follow the traditional principal-agent pattern: efforts to minimize either the adverse selection problem or the moral hazard problem. In civil-military terms, this translates to (a) adjusting the ascriptive characteristics of the military so that it will be populated by people inclined to obey, and (b) adjusting the incentives of the military so that, regardless of their nature, the members will prefer to obey.

Virtually all societies have used accession policy to influence ascriptive features of the military. For instance, European countries restricted military service, and especially officer commissions, to privileged castes such as the aristocracy or particular religious groups (e.g. Catholics in France). Americans adopted the mirror opposite approach, expanding military service through the militia in order to have the military reflect as much as possible the republican virtues of citizen-soldiers. 6 Different mixes of selected service, short-term universal service, and merit-based commissions are likewise effective in reducing the military's disposition to subvert civilian control by changing the character of the people that make up the military. The sociological school of civil-military relations embraces this tool and operationalizes it in terms of integrating the military with society (Larson 1974, Moskos & Wood 1988, Moskos & Butler 1996). A variant of this approach is prominent in communist and fascist countries, which have used party membership and political commissars to shape the attitudinal structure of the senior officer corps, if not the lower ranks (Kolkowicz 1966, Herspring & Volgyes 1978, Colton 1979, Herspring 1996).

There are limits to the accession tool, however. As Huntington (1957) argues, tinkering with ascriptive characteristics, an element of what he calls “subjective control,” can politicize the military such that it becomes an arena for the political struggle of the various civilian groups represented or not represented in the accession policy. Without using the term, Vagts (1937) goes into more detail on these “subjective” measures of civilian control and shows how they can politicize the military in unhealthy ways.

One way to gain some of the benefits of restrictive accession policy without the negative side effects of subjective control is through training. Thus, every recruit, regardless of social origin, is molded by careful training to adopt the characteristics desired by society—in this case, every recruit is indoctrinated with the ideal of civilian control. This approach is implicit in Huntington's (1957) emphasis on professionalism. Training is also the long pole in the civilian control tent of Janowitz (1960) and the sociological school.

Yet, there is considerable difficulty in operationalizing civilian control of the military by changing the ethic of the military. Arguably, training officers in liberal arts colleges as a complement to the official military academies constitutes an important, albeit subtle, form of civilian control. Officers so trained are likely to bring to their jobs a wider world view, certainly more “civilian” in perspective than their purely military peers. However, as opposition to ROTC programs in the United States shows, it is possible to view these programs not as instruments of civilian control but as evidence of creeping militarism in civilian society: enshrining military influence and opportunities for propaganda within the walls of the liberal (civilian) bastion (Ekirch 1956, Sherry 1995). A strong ROTC program can either be an indication of subtle civilian control over the composition of the military or weak capitulation of civilian society to an all-pervasive military value structure.

If the civilians cannot completely change the nature of the military, they can seek to adjust the military's incentives to encourage proper subordination. Some versions of this are particularly base. For instance, the Romans essentially bribed the capitol garrison to keep it out of politics. Political loyalty is similarly bought among many developing world armed forces, where substantial corruption opportunities give them a stake in the survival of the civilian regime. Guarantees of wages and benefits function much like these bribes—guarantees that, if broken, are a likely trigger for coup attempts. Bribes are very problematic as a tool of civilian control (Brooks 1998). At some level they are inherently corrupting of the military institution, and the loyalty they buy may be allegiance to the bribe, not to the civilian institution doing the bribing.

A more noble version of incentive adjustments forms the heart of traditional civil-military relations theory: a social contract between civilians and the military enshrined in a “proper” division of labor. By this division of labor, the civilians structure a set of incentives for the military that rewards subordination with autonomy. Some division of labor is inevitable indeed, the very term civil-military relations assumes that there is something called civilian and that it is different from the thing called military. However, as used here, the division of labor is more a normative than a descriptive concept. It derives from Clausewitz's (1976) principle that war is the continuation of politics by other means. This is what Clausewitz meant by the aphorism, “[War's] grammar, indeed, may be its own but not its logic.” The logic of war must come from the political masters of the military.

Clausewitzean logic assigns a role for civilians and implies, in turn, a role for the military. The military are, in Clausewitzean phraseology, the grammarians of war. This makes operations the exclusive province of the military. The argument asserts that some issues are not political that is, some issues are purely technical, best decided by the experts, in this case, the military.

This division of labor is implied in Huntington's (1957) preferred method of civilian control, “objective control.” Objective control means maximizing the professionalism of the military because obedience to civilians is at the heart of professionalism (Huntington claims), this will insure civilian control. Maximizing professionalism is best achieved by getting the military out of politics and, similarly, getting the politicians out of the military, that is, getting the politicians out of directing tactical and operational matters. Welch (1976) is even more explicit about the quid pro quo aspect of the division of labor. He advocates a hands-off approach as the most effective and achievable path to civilian control. Civilians grant autonomy to the military in matters of lesser import in exchange for military acceptance of the ethic of subordination. Such a deal was crucial, for instance, in preserving civilian control during the early French Republic the army was granted autonomy over accession policy (which the army exploited to limit commissions to the aristocracy and to Catholics) in exchange for a cult of obedience.

The disposition of the military to intervene can be reduced in yet another way—by strengthening the legitimacy of the civilian government (Holsti 1996). A vigorous and effective civilian government eliminates a powerful coup motive, namely the military conviction that they can rule better than incompetent or corrupt civilians. Such a government also makes insubordination and coups more costly because it raises the expectation that the mass civilian society will support the civilian leaders against the military. 7

Finally, civilians can adopt numerous monitoring mechanisms, which, while not making insubordination impossible, nevertheless raise the costs and so may affect the military's disposition to intervene (P Feaver, unpublished manuscript). Monitoring mechanisms include such activities as audits, investigations, rules of engagement civilian staffs with expertise and oversight responsibilities and such extragovernmental institutions as the media and defense think tanks. Essentially, monitoring mechanisms enhance civilian control by bringing military conduct to the attention of responsible civilians. Monitoring mechanisms like this presume a certain level of civilian control—they are not going to secure civilian control in the face of a coup-prone military. They are essentially the practical implementation of the constitutional/legal provisions discussed above, suffering from the same limitations. Indeed, they may even be self-limiting monitoring mechanisms can take the form of “getting in the military's knickers,” provoking more harm in military resentment than benefit they gain in civilian oversight. Properly implemented, however, monitoring mechanisms can raise the costs of military insubordination or noncompliant behavior simply by making it more difficult for such action to go unnoticed.

The greater the willingness of civilian leaders to punish noncompliant behavior, the more effective the monitoring mechanisms are in securing civilian control. Yet, even with weak and uneven punishment, the monitoring mechanisms can support civilian control. Especially in the face of a global norm supporting democratic traditions, it always costs the military more to disobey in public than to do so in private. Although monitoring mechanisms may not ensure compliance in cases where military interests dictate large benefits from noncompliance, they can affect cost-benefit calculations at the margins. More to the point, they are the critical arena for civil-military relations in mature democracies. As the norm and the fact of civilian control become more deeply entrenched, the day-to-day practice of civil-military relations (and hence the focus of the study of civil-military relations) will increasingly center on monitoring and oversight of the delegation relationship. As the field shifts in this direction, however, care should be taken to make precise and sufficiently limited claims. Conclusively establishing which monitoring mechanisms are more effective than others—or identifying the conditions under which one kind of monitoring mechanism is superior to another—is notoriously difficult. Just as it is difficult to know whether deterrence is working, the absence of civil-military problems may be evidence for the effectiveness of the control mechanism or it may reflect the underlying stability of the political structure, or luck, or indeed all three factors.

Iran’s Jewish community is the largest in the Mideast outside Israel – and feels safe and respected

TEHRAN, Iran – In a large room off a courtyard decorated in places with Islamic calligraphy and patterned tiles featuring intricate geometric shapes and patterns, men wearing tunics, cloaks and sandals recite morning prayers.

At the back of the room, three women sit together on a bench, hunched over ancient texts. Scarves cover their hair, as required by Iran&rsquos religious law. Birdsong floats into the cavernous space as the incantations grow louder and more insistent.

This is a synagogue. In Iran.

In a nation that has called for Israel to be wiped off the face of the Earth, the Iranian government allows thousands of Jews to worship in peace and continue their association with the country founded more than 2,500 years ago.

"We have all the facilities we need for our rituals, and we can say our prayers very freely. We never have any problems. I can even tell you that, in many cases, we are more respected than Muslims,&rdquo said Nejat Golshirazi, 60, rabbi of the synagogue USA TODAY visited one morning last month. "You saw for yourself we don&rsquot even have any security guards here."

At its peak in the decades before Iran&rsquos Islamic Revolution in 1979, 100,000 to 150,000 Jews lived here, according to the Tehran Jewish Committee, a group that lobbies for the interests of Iranian Jews. In the months following the fall of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, Iran&rsquos second and last monarch, many fled for Israel and the United States.

It was a dispersion precipitated in part by the execution of Habib Elghanian, who was then one of Iran&rsquos leading Jewish businessmen and philanthropists. Elghanian also headed the Tehran Jewish Committee and had ties to the deposed shah. He was killed by firing squad after being accused by Iran&rsquos Islamic revolutionaries of spying and fundraising for Israel.

Few Jews remain

Today, 12,000 to 15,000 Jews remain in Iran, according to the committee.

It&rsquos a small minority in a nation of 80 million people. But consider: Iran is home to the Middle East&rsquos largest Jewish population outside Israel.

And, according to Golshirazi and other senior members of Iran&rsquos Jewish community, they mostly enjoy good relations with Iran&rsquos hard-line, theocratic government despite perceptions abroad that Iran&rsquos Islamic rulers might subject them to harsh treatment.

"The Muslim majority in Iran has accepted us," said Homayoun Sameyah Najafabadi, 53, who holds the role once held by Elghanian, chairman of the Tehran Jewish Committee.

"We are respected and trusted for our expertise and fair dealings in business, and we never feel threatened," he said. "Many years ago, before the royal regime of Pahlavi, by contrast, if it was raining in Iran, Jews were not allowed to go outside of their houses because it was believed that if a non-Muslim got wet and touched a Muslim it would make them dirty."

Najafabadi said it may be difficult for Jews and others outside the country suspicious of Iran&rsquos treatment of religious minorities or its views on Israel to accept, but after the execution of Elghanian, Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran&rsquos first supreme leader, deliberately sought to improve relations between Jews and Muslims in the country for the nation&rsquos long-term stability.

He added that Jews, who have been in Iran since about the eighth century B.C., used to be scattered all over the country but are now largely concentrated in Tehran and other big cities such as Isfahan and Shiraz. In all, he said, Iran is home to about 35 synagogues.

Najafabadi said most Jews in Iran are shopkeepers, although he said others work as doctors, engineers and in other highly skilled professions.

There are no Jews, however, in senior government positions. There&rsquos only one Jewish representative in the country&rsquos 290-member Parliament. His name is Siamak Moreh Sedgh.

Sedgh, 53, said one of the reasons Jews in Iran are able to live peacefully is that they consider themselves Iranians first &ndash and Jews second.

"We&rsquore not an entity outside of the Iranian nation. We are part of it. Our past and our future. I may pray in Hebrew, but I can only think in Persian (Farsi, Iran&rsquos language)," said Sedgh, who is also a surgeon at a hospital in central Tehran, where USA TODAY spoke with him.

Crucially, that affinity extends to the question of Israel.

"I don&rsquot think Israel is a Jewish state because not everyone in Israel lives according to the teachings of the Torah. This is what Jews in Iran believe," Sedgh insisted.

He acknowledged that it was somewhat ironic that Iran, arguably the biggest foe of Israel, was also the "biggest friend of the Jewish people."

Sounding more Iranian than Jewish, Sedgh said he disagreed with President Donald Trump&rsquos decision this year to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv because "Trump can&rsquot just change a capital city that according to international law and the United Nations is an occupied city."

The final status of Jerusalem has long been disputed. Palestinians want a capital of an independent Palestinian state in East Jerusalem Israel views the city as its true capital.

"Trump is a coward who has lost his humanity and forgotten about spirituality. He wants to destroy large parts of the world only for the benefit of a small group of capitalists," Sedgh said.

On Tehran&rsquos bustling streets, Jews are not very visible, partly because there are so few of them. USA TODAY did, however, spot a few men wearing kippahs as they hurried off to work in the morning. They did not appear to attract any second glances from Iranian men in business suits, others in traditional Muslim dress or women sporting hijabs and chadors.

Other minority groups in Iran include Arabs, Armenians, Baloch people (who live near Pakistan, in Iran&rsquos southeast), Christians and Kurds. Open Doors USA, an organization that tracks persecuted Christians worldwide, estimates there could be as many as 800,000 Christians secretly living in Iran. It says Christians in Iran are routinely subject to imprisonment, harassment and physical abuse for seeking to convert Muslims. USA TODAY did not encounter any Christians in Iran.

Outside the Yousef Abad Synagogue, the entrance via the courtyard was unprotected, and it was easy to walk straight in. That's unheard-of for Jews in Europe, where Jewish schools, institutions and places of worship receive extra security amid a spate of attacks.

"What you see there (for Iran&rsquos Jews) is a very vibrant community," said Lior Sternfeld, a Middle East historian at Penn State University who in November will publish a book on modern Jewish life in Iran. "A community that faces problems &ndash but it's Iran, so problems are a given."

Difficulties and discrimination

Still, rights groups and experts believe Jews in Iran do face discrimination. Najafabadi, the committee chief, conceded that in some instances, Iranian Jews have had trouble getting access to the best schools with their Muslim peers.

In other cases, treatment of Jews has ended in brutal violence.

In 1998, Ruhollah Kadkhodah Zadeh, a Jewish businessman in Iran, was hanged by the authorities after being accused of helping Iranians Jews emigrate. Two years later, 10 Jews in the southern city of Shiraz were jailed after they were accused of spying for Israel.

Then there&rsquos Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran&rsquos former president, who drew international attention when he repeatedly denied the Holocaust in which 6 million Jews were murdered.

Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian Jew, says life has improved for Jews under Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Javedanfar left the country for Israel in 1987 as a teenager and now teaches classes on Iranian politics at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv.

Javedanfar said, for example, that Jewish children in Iran are no longer required to attend school on the Sabbath, the traditional day of rest and religious observance among Jews that falls on a Saturday but is a regular workday in Iran.

"At the same time, the regime continues to hold Holocaust cartoon contests that are pretty anti-Semitic," he noted, referring to a provocative annual exhibition in Iran that mocks Jewish suffering while claiming to challenge Western ideas about free speech and Holocaust taboos.

He quickly pointed out: "The regime is not too concerned about its Jews as long as they don&rsquot become involved in politics and don&rsquot say anything positive about Israel."

Golshirazi the rabbi, Najafabadi of the committee and Sedgh the parliamentarian all stressed they were speaking truthfully and not trying to distort their views of life in Iran for Jews out of fear of government persecution. They also said Jews in Iran often enjoy extra social freedoms that Muslims do not, such as the ability to consume alcohol in a private setting.

The few Jews in Iran are unlikely to leave.

In 2007, the Tehran Jewish Committee rejected an offer by Israel&rsquos government to pay each family of remaining Jews in Iran up to $60,000 to help them leave the country.

"I can tell, you are thinking I am afraid," Golshirazi said when USA TODAY pressed him on that point. "But I have been many places visiting Jewish communities. Iran is the best for us."

How the Nuclear Arms Race Works

The detonation of the first nuclear bomb at the Trinity test site in New Mexico was a triumph for American scientists. For about three years, the scientists and military perso­nnel involved with the Manhattan Project had worked nonstop to build a nuclear bomb, and the blinding flash of light, intense burst of heat and deafening boom let them know they had succeeded.

Any celebrations that took place after the first detonation were short-lived. The initial goal of the secret projec­t was to build a bomb before Germany could, but World War II had officially ended in Europe on May 8, 1945, two months before the Trinity test. The decision to use the bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki instead confused many. Although some believed the device saved lives by ending ground combat and air strikes, others felt Japan was ready to surrender anyway -- the Soviet Union was about to join the U.S. by declaring war on the Japanese. The Franck Committee, headed by Nobel laureate James Franck, had even issued a report suggesting the power of the nuclear bomb should be demonstrated to the Japanese before its use on military or civilian targets.

­The U.S. was equally conflicted about sharing atomic information with the Soviet Union. Many s­cientists, including Niels Bohr and Robert Oppenheimer, felt it best to allow a "free interchange of information" of atomic knowledge. Enough was known in the world of physics for the Russians to build a bomb eventually, with or without help from America. Also, withholding information might upset political ties between the two countries, both of which were coming out of World War II as major superpowers. On the other hand, a growing distrust of communism had already formed within many Americans by the end of the war, so some wanted to keep nuclear secrets out of Soviet hands. An American monopoly on nuclear weapons would make Russia more manageable from a political standpoint.

It was this kind of tension that sparked a nuclear arms race, a frantic era in which several nations tested a myriad of nuclear technology and stockpiled thousands of nuclear warheads in an effort to get ahead of one another. Like the space race, whoever had the best technology had the most power, but this was a much more dangerous game -- the potential of an all-out nuclear war between nations always loomed, and the 20th century is littered with uneasy international policies and near catastrophes.

To learn about the nuclear arms race and the people and organizations involved with it, read on.

International Nuclear Control

­I­n the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United Nations established the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in an attempt to disarm any and all nuclear weapons and establish international control on atomic information. An initial plan from the United States, informally titled the Acheson-Lilienthal Report, suggested an international "Atomic Development Authority" that would control a monopoly on weapons and information. A subsequent revision of the report called the Baruch Plan (named after its author, Bernard Baruch) was nearly the same, except it included harsh penalties for nations who violated the plan's rules.

The Soviets rejected the plan outright, arguing that the U.S. was too far ahead in weapons development and would remain so until more details for international control were worked out. Americans, according to the Soviets, would use this lead to their advantage. Russia instead suggested the complete disarmament of nuclear weapons.

Any hope of agreement was lost -- Soviet-American relations were already in sharp decline by 1946. Russian diplomats sent the U.S. State Department an unusually long telegram in February that explained a distressingly hostile policy towards America (you can read all five parts of the message here). Winston Churchill warned against communism in his famous "Iron Curtain" speech on March 5, claiming that the Soviets desired "the fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines" [source: The History Guide]. Given that the Baruch Plan wasn't delivered until June of that year, a breakdown in relations between the two nations was well under way.

Soon after efforts over nuclear control crumbled, the U.S. went right back to business with testing nuclear bombs. In July, the military invited a large gathering of press members, congressmen and military officers to demonstrate a nuclear bomb's effect on large fleets of Navy ships. These tests, under the name "Operation Crossroads," were airborne and underwater attempts at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean. The first test on July 1, called Shot ABLE, performed as well as the Trinity and Nagasaki bombs, but a missed target made it less impressive. The second test on July 25, Shot BAKER, surpassed expectations. The blast destroyed or damaged 74 empty ships, shooting thousands of tons of water into the air. Worse, dangerous levels of radiation spread around the area, cancelling a third test. The display succeeded in demonstrating the power of the bomb to a much wider audience.

The Soviets, meanwhile, had known about the U.S. bomb project for a long time. German-born physicist Klaus Fuchs was among the British scientists working at Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project. Although officials didn't find out until 1948, Fuchs had been passing information about nuclear bombs to the Soviet Union since 1945. By August 1949, the Soviets detonated their own atomic bomb, nicknamed "Joe 1" by Americans after Russian leader Joseph Stalin, in Kazakhstan.

To learn about the scramble for more bombs -- and more powerful bombs -- read the next page.

The 1950s and the Hydrogen Bomb

With the Soviets successfully testing their own nuclear weapons, the race was officially on. Little more than a month after the "Joe 1" test, the United States began expanding its production of uranium and plutonium. By the start of 1950, President Harry S. Truman announced the U.S. would continue research and development on "all forms of atomic weapons."

This "all forms" part was important. Initially, scientists working for the Manhattan Project considered two possible designs for an atomic bomb. They eventually chose to create a fission bomb, in which neutrons fired toward the nuclei of uranium or plutonium set off a massive chain reaction. This type of bomb was used on Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Bikini Atoll. A physicist at Los Alamos, Edward Teller, suggested a thermonuclear fusion bomb, or hydrogen bomb. A fusion bomb operates by forcing together deuterium and tritium, two light isotopes of hydrogen. The resulting explosion would be theoretically many times more than that of a fission device, and almost without limit. Time didn't permit the completion of a fusion bomb, but Teller pushed for a chance to complete the device in order to keep one step ahead of the Russians.

On Nov. 1, 1952, the U.S. detonated the world's first hydrogen bomb, code-named "Mike," on the Enewetak Atoll of the Marshall Islands. The resulting explosion was about the same as 10 million tons of TNT, or 700 times greater than the fission bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The cloud produced by the explosion was 25 miles high and 100 miles wide, and the island on which it exploded simply disappeared, leaving nothing but a gaping crater. Again, Klaus Fuchs had delivered early information on the hydrogen bomb designs along with the fission bomb information, and by late 1955 the Soviets tested their own design.

One of the more distressing events of the 1950s was another Soviet development -- the launch of Sputnik 1 on Oct. 4, 1957. The satellite was the first object to be launched into space by an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), and the achievement caused a great scare in the U.S. If the Soviets could put a satellite into space, they could do the same thing with a nuclear warhead. Now, instead of having sufficient warning time for a nuclear attack by monitoring incoming airplanes, a missile could hit a target in less than an hour.

The 1950s also included the expansion of the nuclear "club," or the group of nations with tested nuclear weapons. England had worked together with the U.S. on the nuclear bomb design, but because of limited funds during the war, their contributions were mainly theoretical. This changed on Oct. 3, 1952, when the English tested their first nuclear bomb off the coast of Australia.

The race during the '50s started off quickly, but the real dangers didn't become evident until the next decade. To learn about nuclear weapons in the '60s, read the next page.

­The fi­rst half of the 1960s turned out to be one of the most trying eras of the nuclear arms race. Between 1960 and 1964, both France and China joined the nuclear weapons "club" by testing their own designs. The Soviets tested the most powerful bomb ever exploded, a 58-megaton atmospheric hydrogen ­bomb. As President Dwight Eisenhower left office, he warned the nation about the dangers of the military-industrial complex, a broad term that described the large network of individuals and institutions working on weapons and military technology. A growing awareness of tensions between nations, especially the United States and Russia, was only adding more heat to the Cold War. At one point, Americans were even encouraged by President Kennedy to build or buy their very own bomb shelters to avoid the dangers of a nuclear attack. People listened, and a year-long frenzy of shelter construction consumed many Americans.

One of the first major scares of the race began with the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba in April 1961. New president John F. Kennedy had approved a CIA plan to overthrow the Cuban government and replace the country's leader, Fidel Castro, with a politically friendly, non-communist government. The CIA trained a group of Cuban exiles to invade the country, but the invasion ended quickly once bombers missed targets and the invaders were either killed or captured.

This military error embarrassed Kennedy, but it led to a much more dangerous situation. The next year on Oct. 14, a U-2 bomber flying over Cuba sighted Soviet nuclear missile sites under construction, and what is known as the Cuban Missile Crisis began. The missiles were pointed at the U.S., and a nuclear warhead could easily reach America in a short amount of time. From Oct. 16-29, the world watched as President Kennedy and Communist Party leader and Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev nervously negotiated the removal of the missiles. The Soviets finally agreed to withdraw the weapons, but this marked the closest the world had come to nuclear war.

By this point, both the U.S. and the Soviet Union recognized the concept known as mutual assured destruction (MAD) -- if one country made a nuclear attack, chances were good the other would simply strike back, and the destruction of both nations would likely be the only outcome. This was the only thing that kept both nations from attacking each other, and as the '60s ended, more efforts were made toward slowing or stopping the nuclear arms race. The two rivals installed a "hot line" to facilitate discussion in the event of another close call. In July 1968, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was signed in Washington, D.C., Moscow and London, with the aim of preventing any nation without nuclear weapons from acquiring them. The first Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I) between the U.S. and Soviet Union also began in Helsinki, Finland, in November 1969, and the world was on its way toward a nuclear détente, a relaxing of tensions and attempt at understanding.

To learn more about détente during the 1970s, read the next page.

The SALT I sessions continued in the early '70s, and by May 1972 President Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev signed a series of treaties, including the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The limitation of ABMs became an important step -- although they were defense systems, an excess of anti-ballistic missiles actually encouraged offense. If one country knew it had a better chance of stopping attacks than the other, it would have less to lose in a nuclear war. With the ABM Treaty, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to maintain just two ABM sites each.

Despite perceived improvements in international relations, everything wasn't exactly rosy. A U.S. development in nuclear weapon technology during this era was multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs) -- single missiles that could target multiple cities with several nuclear warheads. MIRVs could easily overcome a limited defense system comprised of only two ABMs. The ABM Treaty never addressed this innovation, and during the '70s America and the Soviets would add more than 12,000 nuclear weapons to their stocks.

­By th­e end of the '70s, tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union began to rise once again. A second series of talks ended in 1979 with the signing of the SALT II treaty, which recognized MIRVs and set limits on the number of weapons a country could have and the rate at which technology could move forward. President Jimmy Carter, who originally signed the treaty, pulled out of the agreement in January 1980 when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, setting the stage for the next difficult decade.

The decade also ended with a scare when the nuclear power plant at Three Mile Island suffered a partial meltdown in 1979. The accident, located near Harrisburg, Penn., caused 140,000 residents to flee the ­area upon hearing news of the first major nuclear power accident. No one was injured or killed during the accident, but the event heightened fears of nuclear power and increased the need for safety regulations.

Alongside the attempt at détente, two more countries joined the nuclear "club" in the '70s. India unexpectedly began testing nuclear technology in 1974 -- an underground test on May 18, known as "Smiling Buddha," wasn't a weapon suitable for warfare, and Indian officials declared the trials "peaceful." The test still received negative international attention as yet another country emerged with nuclear capabilities, and the action prompted Pakistan, India's longtime rival, to respond with their tests soon after.

The Nuclear Arms Race, 1980 to Present Day

With the election of President Ronald Reagan in 1981, military spending became a top priority for the United States. Cold War rhetoric increased dramatically, as the Soviet Union was referred to as an "evil empire" by Reagan. In 1983, the president proposed a new, extremely expensive space-based anti-ballistic missile system called the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). Also known as "Star Wars," the plan hoped to design a complex anti-ballistic missile system that used technology on the ground and satellites in space to defend the U.S. from airborne nuclear attacks.

T­he controversial program was eventually­ abandoned because it was too complicated and expensive -- after the U.S. spent more than $80 billion, barely any progress was made on the "Star Wars" plan, and many critics pointed out that its science-fiction-based name was appropriate for a system that might never come to fruition. Despite this, the Americans were still far ahead of the Soviets in technology and funds, and Mikhail Gorbachev, Russia's leader at the time, was pushing more for peace and restructuring. As Soviet-American relations began to improve by the late '80s, the Soviet economy was on the verge of a collapse. On Nov. 9, the Berlin Wall fell, finally uniting East and West Germany. The wall was a longtime symbol of the tensions between the Soviets and the U.S., and the Cold War effectively ended two years later when the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

The '90s began with a sense of relief and the feeling that the threat of nuclear war had weakened. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) was quickly reintroduced for consideration -- the plan had begun during the Reagan administration, but disagreements led to a standstill on its ratification. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Gorbachev signed the treaty with pens made from melted-down nuclear missiles, as it called for the reduction of nearly 50 percent of each country's nuclear arsenal.­

­Although nations made gradual improvements after the Cold War to­ward disarm­ament, complications continued to emerge during the '90s and into the 21st century. Nations including China and India continued to test weapons on and off despite a general movement toward the end of such acts. Although there are seven nations with an acknowledged arsenal of nuclear weapons - the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, China, India and Pakistan -- other nations are suspected to have nuclear programs or have actively pursued weapons. Israel, Iran, North Korea and Libya are all believed to have extensive knowledge or capabilities of producing nukes, which still manages to cause political tensions and international uncertainty.

For lots more information on nuclear weapons and related topics, see the next page.

Watch the video: I LOVE MY MEMORIES Greek 80s TV (May 2022).