US–Israel Nonproliferation Dialogue

July 23, 2018

On April 29–30, 2018, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), the National Defense University’s Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction (CSWMD), and Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) held a two-day track 1.5 US–Israel nonproliferation dialogue in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The purpose of the dialogue was for experts and officials from the United States and Israel to exchange views on evolving threat perceptions, perceived gaps in goals, priorities, and policies, and identify further opportunities for deepening bilateral cooperation to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and related threats. The dialogue was aimed at supporting and complementing the official dialogue between the two countries.

The agenda for the dialogue was developed in consultation with senior US and Israeli officials. Participants included former senior Department of Defense and State Department officials, current and former senior officials from the Israel Defense Forces, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Strategic Affairs, and National Security Council, and senior researchers from INSS. Each panel comprised a US and Israeli speaker who were provided questions in advance to elicit discussion on the two countries’ positions or strategies, possible gaps in bilateral cooperation, and how any discrepancies could be addressed. The dialogue took place on the eve of the public announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that Israel had acquired the archives from Iran’s nuclear weapons program and a week prior to President Donald Trump’s announcement of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Participants from both sides believed that the dialogue contributed to mutual understanding on current and emerging WMD issues, and that the gaps identified below merit further exploration. The organizers observe that the dialogue revealed gaps between the United States and Israel in terms of priorities, threat perceptions, and future plans, some of which the participants were unaware of prior to the meeting.

Policy Memos

Comments Are Closed