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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • June 07, 1981

    NSC Discussion Paper: Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Cooperation

    On 7 June 1981, the day of the Osirak raid, a policy paper composed by the ‘Senior Interagency Group on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Cooperation’ (SIG) was submitted to the NSC. The discussion paper crowned the administration’s nonproliferation efforts as a “key foreign policy objective” and called to revise the 1978 NNPA.

  • June 09, 1981

    Immediate cable from Tel Aviv Embassy to Secrety of State about Iraq (Israel strike on Iraqi nuclear facility)

    While starting to construct the political strategy of response to the raid, the administration came face to face with what U.S. ambassador to Israel, Sam Lewis called in his cable to Washington a “gap” in the administration’s “institutional memory”, as assessments regarding Israel’s intention to launch a strike were not passed on from the Carter administration.

  • June 09, 1981

    Memo to Richard V. Allen from Raymond Tanter, Subject: Israel's air strike on Iraq's nuclear facility

    The NSC’s Raymond Tanter recommended a “middle course of action,” one which would distance Washington from the strike “while avoiding extreme measures designed to punish Israel.”

  • June 09, 1981

    Memo for Richard V. Allen from Douglas J. Feith subject the Israeli raid on Iraqi nuclear facility

    NSC staffer Douglas J. Feith took the internal debate on the legitimacy of the raid a step further, stating that “no rebuke of Israel’s raid against Iraq should be issued without an equally emphatic rebuke of Iraq.” Feith’s argument was based on the fact that Iraq had continuously refused to acknowledge Israel’s existence and was officially at war with it.

  • June 11, 1981

    Memorandum for Richard V. Allen from Robert M Kimmitt, Subject: Israeli Strike -- Legal Aspects

    This NSC memo examines some of the legal aspects of the raid. It states that the administration should determine “[W]hether a substantial violation has occurred”, as this would reflect on the delivery of Israel’s F-16 jets.

  • June 11, 1981

    Memo from Eugene Rostow to National Security Council meeting, Subject: Additional comment on NSC discussion paper: Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Cooperation

    ACDA Director-Designate Eugene Rostow explains his pro-Israel stance, and argues that Israel should be given an exemption from the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty.

  • June 12, 1981

    Memo fron Walter J. Stoessel Jr to the President "Subject: U.S. strategy for UN Security Councul Meeting on the Israeli Raid on the Iraqi Nuclear Facility"

    This document outlines Haig's proposed political strategy, which was approved by Reagan on 12 June, and was constructed around the notion of red lines: Washington would harshly condemn Israel but would also “draw the line on punishment” by Israel.

  • June 15, 1981

    Memo from Richard V Allen to the U.S. President, Subject: Political strategy for responding to Israeli attack

    National Security Advisor Richard V. Allen informed Reagan that the administration was “not required to make a legal determination on whether Israel violated U.S. law” and commented that the issue of the raid was “to be treated as a political rather than a legal question.”

  • June 15, 1981

    Memo from Walter J. Stoessel, Subject: Political Strategy for Responding to Israeli attack

    Following Lewis’ cable, and the realization that the raid should have been at least somewhat anticipated, the administration opted to develop a more restrained, sober approach towards Israel, constructing what was termed a “political strategy for responding to Israeli attack”.

  • September 15, 1981

    Memorandum for the president from Alexander M. Haig, "Subject: Secretary Haig's Evening Report"

    Instructions for the U.S. delegation to the IAEA's annual General Conference (GC) which told them to anticipate a “severe attack” against Israel by objecting “vigorously [to] suspension of technical aid.” Later on, this instruction would change, and the delegation would be instructed to leave the building should the Israeli credentials be rejected.

  • January 08, 1982

    Memorandum for the President; Secretary Weinberger's Weekly Report

    In a memorandum for the president from January 1982, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger expressed his criticism of Israel’s Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon and his tendency of “going public whenever it suits him”.

  • August 13, 1982

    Memorandum for the President; Secretary Weinberger's Weekly Report

    Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger openly conveyed his dismay toward the Israeli leadership, expressing his support for the opposition, led by Shimon Peres.

  • July 23, 1983

    National Security Council, Memorandum from Shirin Tahir-Kheli to Robert Oakley, 'Dealing with Pakistan’s Nuclear Program: A US Strategy'

    This memorandum by a senior NSC staffer took the Pervez case seriously as a threat to aid to Pakistan that Islamabad needed to avert by making “reliable assurances on enrichment and on illegal procurement activities.”

  • July 20, 1985

    NSDD-179: Task Force on Combatting Terrorism

    Reagan appoints Vice President Bush to the head of a task force designed to assess the US policy on terrorism. This task force will use government resources from all departments to evaluate and give recommendations for actions to prevent and respond to terrorist acts.

  • November 19, 1985

    Memorandum of Conversation, 'Reagan-Gorbachev Meetings in Geneva'

    Department of State summary of Gorbachev and Reagan's discussions.

  • February, 1986

    Public Report of the Vice President's Task Force on Combatting Terrorism

    This report details the plan of the Vice Presidential task force on combatting terrorism. It aims to assess American priorities and policies, to determine how the program can be coordinated to achieve the most effective results, and ends by giving recommendations based on analysis of the program itself.

  • April 01, 1986

    NSPG Meeting re: Acting Against Libyan Support for International Terrorism

    Memorandum outlines three options for American and allied intervention in Libya in response to terrorist attacks in Rome and Vienna. Options range frome economic and political sanctions to military intervention with allied support.

  • July 01, 1986

    National Security Council Meeting Minutes

    Minutes of the National Security Council Meeting focus on discussions of Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) research and promotion with foreign governments and U.S. politicians.

  • July 03, 1986

    Schedule proposal for SDI Israel Meeting

    Proposal for a meeting between the Secretary of Defense and Director of SDIO to discuss the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) with Israeli supporters.

  • June 12, 1987

    Speech by President Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate, West Berlin, 'Remarks on East-West Relations'

    Ronald Reagan's famous speech in which he advises Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!"