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March 14, 1969

Memorandum from Deputy Secretary of Defense David Packard, 'Computers for Israel'

This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)

This memo from Deputy Secretary of Defense David Packard concerns Israeli efforts to acquire high speed computers for use in a weapons program, and recommends that the United States should oppose these efforts.


Related Documents

March 17, 1969

Memorandum from Secretary of Defense Laird to Secretary of State, 'Stopping the Introduction of Nuclear Weapons into the Middle East'

Colonel Robert P. Pursley, discussed the Israeli nuclear issue with other senior officials at the Pentagon, and drafted a memorandum that the Defense Secretary sent to Rogers, Kissinger, and Helms on 14 March 1969. Believing it is necessary to convey “a sense of urgency,” the memorandum restated the earlier [Warnke’s] points about the need for a meeting and included new intelligence about Israeli efforts to acquire high speed computers for use in a weapons program.

March 28, 1969

Letter from Secretary of State William P. Rogers to Secretary of Defense

In his 28 March reply Secretary Rogers agreed that the computer issue needed more examination along with a further review of policy on sensitive technology exports, but he virtually blew off Laird’s request for a meeting and for deliberation outside of NSC channels. Instead, he advised that the Israeli nuclear problem be studied by the NSC Under Secretaries Committee.

March 26, 1969

Memorandum from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 'Nuclear Missile Capability in Israel'

A proposal from JCS Chairman Earle Wheeler favored a presidential-level approach and the application of pressure. Wheeler presented a range of options but recommended a demand to “cease-and-desist” a specific nuclear-related activity.

March 29, 1969

Memorandum from Ralph Earle, Office of International Security Affairs, 'Stopping the Introduction of Nuclear Weapons Into the Middle East'

This memo provided Laird with a scheme for a tough approach to Israel that involved a demarche to the Israeli government for “cease-and-desist” certain nuclear and missile [excised] activities and a demand for private assurances and, ultimately, Israel’s signature on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). To seal such a deal Earle proposed an exchange of letters between President Richard Nixon and Prime Minister Golda Meir, for which he provided drafts.

Document Information


Mandatory declassification review request. Originally published in Avner Cohen and William Burr, eds., National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book #485 (September 12, 2014).


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Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)