The Pentagon assessment, dated Oct. 24, 1973, was in sharp contrast to
that issued only six months earlier, Middle East Newsline reported. In the first document, DIA determined
that the Arabs would be quickly defeated by Israel.
But the Yom Kippur War, in which Israel lost 2,700 soldiers in the
campaign with Egypt and Syria, resulted in a U.S. dismissal of the military
of the Jewish state. DIA said Israel could require U.S. or international
guarantees for its safety.
"Among the options are: an international guarantee of Israel's borders;
a unilateral U.S. military guarantee of those borders; or a public
declaration of Israeli determination to employ nuclear weapons to guarantee
its territorial integrity," DIA said.
Washington's view of the Israeli military again changed significantly in
the 1990s. At the time, the U.S. intelligence community concluded
that the Arabs did not possess a veritable conventional weapons threat
against the Jewish state.
The DIA assessment in October 1973 came despite a determination by the
U.S. intelligence community that Israel could produce nuclear weapons. DIA
said Israel could threaten Arab states with nuclear weapons in an attempt to
"Their threatened use against such targets as Arab forces, cities,
ports, holy places, and the [Egyptian] Aswan High Dam could serve to deter
future armed attacks," DIA said. "Such an avowed
Israeli policy would occasion world-wide opposition. The U.S. would,
therefore, find it extremely difficult to associate itself with such an
Israeli policy. Meanwhile, the Arabs might be willing to attack, despite the