Syrian ambassador challenges U.S. official on Israel nukes
Andrew J. Shapiro, the assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, gave a speech Friday morning at the Brookings Institution highlighting the growing security and military ties between the United States and Israel. During the question-and-answer period, the Syrian ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, asked Shapiro how he could discuss U.S.-Israeli military ties and never once mention Israel's not-so-secret nuclear arsenal.
Under an agreement dating back to the Nixon administration, the U.S. officially maintains a don't-ask-don't-tell policy on Israel's nukes, pledging not raise the issue as long as Israel never officially confirms it has nuclear weapons.
Shapiro began to answer but quickly realized he was headed in a dangerous direction: "I am not going to be the first U.S. official to discuss uh, uh, uh....."
"Israel's nuclear capacity," Moustapha helpfully interjected.
Shapiro's speech, meanwhile, contained one startling statistic. He noted that Israel is on track to receive $3 billion in military financing from the U.S. government in 2011. The total budget for such is $5 billion, which means that Israel by itself gets 60 percent; the other 70 countries who receive military aid share the other $2 billion.
| July 16, 2010; 1:36 PM ET
Save & Share: Previous: White House orders review of Afghan reconstruction reviewers
Next: June Army suicide rate up
Posted by: ardestani | July 16, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ardestani | July 16, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: tal32123 | July 16, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: sssallie51 | July 17, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: steve601 | July 18, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.