Thursday, August 24, 2006

Israel buys nuclear subs

[Crossposted from Unconsidered Trifles] That was the headline in The Scotsman that caught my eye. My first thought: "Wait a minute. What? How can they buy nuclear-powered subs without training their people to operate them?"

I should have known better--i.e. that the media would be inaccurate and misleading. What you learn if you read past the sensational headline (or if you check other news sources) is ... well, further deception--they want to emphasize that these two new subs could/might/possibly/perhaps/theoretically carry nuclear missiles.

What they miss, however, are the significant strategic implications outside of the fact that these boats can shoot nukes. I'm talking about discussions such as this perceptive insight over at Bubblehead's blog.

Don't misunderstand: I'm sure that Israel is quite happy to send the above headline to Iran as a warning to them. But I think the purchase of these two subs was made on other grounds as well.

In a word: flexibility.

Small though it is, this purchase not only updates but nearly doubles Israel's submarine capability--a great asset against an enemy (Iran) that has used its petrodollars to become an increasing threat from the sea. By "threat from the sea" I don't mean an amphibious or naval power per se, but rather another arena where terrorists can make a media splash by hitting or sinking an Israeli ship (a strategy which they themselves know is the best they can hope for).

Looking forward to hearing from (& being corrected by) my fellow sub bloggers.


At 8:34 AM, Blogger ex-nuke bubblehead said...

I still think the best advice I received when I joined the Navy was from my recruiter who told me upon my enlistment:

"Believe only half of what you see and none of what you hear and you'll get along just fine!"

That was good advice for the Navy and good advice for life as well!


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