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Mossad assassinated Iran’s chief nuke scientist with remote AI gun – report (jpost.com)
109 points by bryan0 35 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 157 comments



Not a lot of details in the article. I'm curious how 'AI' was actually used. Was it used to compensate for wind, distance, etc? Was it used to alert when the target was in range? Was it allowed to automatically recognize the target and deliver a kill shot? Was it used to make sure no innocents were behind him? Why did the apparatus weigh over a ton?

It was only a matter of time before this happened though. With off-the-shelf technology today, even lesser advanced nations, groups and even individuals could put something like this together. Throw in the skills of a more advanced nation, and you get something like this that works from a mile away and effectively destroys all trace of itself before anyone notices. Devices like this could lie in wait for years waiting for the target information to be passed to them. We live in interesting times.


According to NYT article the AI was used to compensate for the movement of the truck from the guns recoil and the 1.5 second round trip latency to the operator.

Again according to the NYT what was astonishing was the accuracy. Fifteen rounds were shot and no one other than the target was injured.

Of course, take it all with a grain of salt, as both Iran and Israel have reasons to lie about what actually went down. Israel would rather everyone believe they’ve got super James Bond devices rather than moles in the Iranian intelligence and security apparatus. Weirdly, Iran would rather everyone believe that too.


Don't really know how to feel about this.

On one hand, it could mean less collateral damage and fewer civilian casualties than drone strikes.

Just yesterday, the US had a drone strike that killed 10 civilians. The military and administration proceeded to lie about the strike and pretend they hit the target, but they were called out by the NY Times and had to backtrack.

We could see fewer civilian deaths with technology like this.

On the other hand, this could reduce the "barrier to action" that countries have before they attempt a targeted killing.

Which means even less "due process" for foreign internationals who are perceived to be enemies of the state. If the CIA thinks you're a threat, you're dead.

Let's ignore the question of how good the CIA is at intelligence-gathering.


The issue with "high precision weapons" is that it merely eliminates the chances of aiming at a target and not destroying it.

However, then the question is: "is it even the 'correct' target?"

The recent "ISIS-K" that turned out to be an innocent aid worker and his family is exactly how this can work wrongly: the weak link isn't the weapon; it's the targeting process that can be imprecise and inaccurate. A human process primarily. Are the rules of engagement correct? If not innocents get killed. What is the intelligence source? How is it analyzed? What cross referencing is used? How accurate are sensors and the matching to the target? Etc. Etc.


It's not an either or. Israel has no ability to carry out drone strikes in Iran.


Why do you say that? Genuine question. Didn’t they bomb a launch pad a year or two back? If you can do it with manned aircraft you can do it with a drone.


Because Iran has hacked drones, even American drones, repeatedly.

Manned aircraft aren't susceptible to that, but even then as Iran starts to get more modern Chinese and Russian SAM systems and gains experience with them Israeli manned excursions will get less frequent.


Nobody lied about the strike, it takes time to confirm you've fucked up, investigate, write a report, brief a general, etc.


Do you believe they would have come clean if the media hadn't challenged their narrative first?


Yes


I think that's naive of you.


I think you're fishing for things that fit your narrative. The fact is that they did apologize, admit a mistake, and did not lie. Your hypothetical is irrelevant.

Your question was loaded but I answered it anyway- shame on me I guess.


The NYT article they're cribbing from has a lot more details, but yes, the AI was to compensate for wind, distance and latency to the operator:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/18/world/middleeast/iran-nuc...


Consumers can buy similar off-the-shelf "smart" rifle scopes, marketed primarily for hunting:

>The Eliminator LaserScope is the most innovative and effective hunting riflescope in the world. With the push of a button, the Eliminator IV ranges and displays the distance to the target (factoring in angle). It instantly calculates and displays the exact aiming point and wind data all inside the scope for complete situational awareness.

>The built-in laser rangefinder is now capable of ranging out to 2,000 yards. Trajectory compensation is accurate at any magnification, and the integrated inclinometer compensates for shots at any uphill or downhill angle.

https://www.burrisoptics.com/scopes/laser-range-finding-elim...


Right but the actuator hardware stabilization includes a lot more like measuring and predicting preposition movements, calculating wind speed into the actuator, etc.

This system gives a shooter the calibration data and they can adapt second to second. Replicating a brain for a truck mounted gun with a 1.5s latency is a 10x magnitude of complexity


> 10x magnitude of complexity

Yeah but if that 10x complexity jump is wrapped in an off-the-shelf facial recognition algorithm and some 30 year old motion control algorithms does it really matter?



That “lie in wait for years” part is absolutely spine chilling


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Your last comment implies that you know for sure that the JP wants to give an impression, which could be true, but I would be careful saying things like this with 100% certainty.


Iran should have nuclear weapons if their citizens can be assassinated by foreign powers that proceed to brag about it openly. Imagine if the reverse happened - an Israeli scientist killed by Iranian special forces. The United States would be revving up for Iraq 2.0 in a matter of hours.


It is hard enough for the US and Russia to prevent accidental nuclear launch, detonation or loss. Many such incidents over the years. So, before you righteously wish nuclear capability on Iran, you might consider the non-linear increase in risks associated with each new entry into the nuclear club.


Yes, we need to collectively do everything we can to prevent a nuclear tragedy of the commons. That includes continued disarmarment of countries already armed. The more devices exist in the world, the higher the probability that some will fall into the hands of people who are not subject to the same incentive structures as secular governments (i.e. religious nuts) who would eagerly use them. One nuke being unexpectedly detonated in a major city could easily escalate into world-ending catastrophy.


This is never going to happen because the current nuclear powers keep abusing their power to benefit themselves. Look at Ukraine. They were effectively invaded and part of their territory annexed. There is nothing that can be done because Russia is a nuclear power. Or look at Libya or Iraq or Afghanistan. All of these invasions are backed by the threat of nuclear weapons.

It's not even too much to say that the only really sovereign countries are countries with nuclear capabilities or the ability to acquire them very quickly.


Why do people throw term "tragedy of commons" at every problem involving group? This issue has nothing to do with "tragedy of commons" which deals with exhaustible resources, not nuclear weaponry control.

Also, as I remember US bombed major cities using nuclear bombs, world didn't end.


The moment after the US bombed Nagasaki, there were no more usable nucler weapons left in the world. There was no such thing as an ICBM. Right now most of the world is pre-targeted by thousands of nukes mounted to space vehicles spread across half a dozen countries and on strike submarines. In the modern era if a country believes it may be under nuclear attack by another nuclear power, they have less than 2 minutes to decide whether to launch because their retaliatory capability would be crushed after that point. There is nothing remotely comparable about nukes in the ww2 era vs the post cold war era.


3.0? Don't forget the 1991 war.


You left out Iran’s multiple statements about “pushing the Jews into the sea”.

It’s not like Israel is attacking Iran for shits and giggles.

And being a country of 9M surrounded by hostile powers means you make yourself appear as threatening as possible.


Where did Israel come from?


> The United States would be revving up for Iraq 2.0 in a matter of hours.

I doubt it. We don't know what would happen in a fictional hypothetical situation.


This seems to be a clickbait headline - where is the AI part? It was just a remotely controlled gun.

>Next, the report details how the sniper who took out Fakhrizadeh did so remotely from Israel, over 1,600 kilometers away, since the hit squad had long ago left Iran.


They apparently used some ML to make predictions about the position of the driver and the future position of the vehicle to account for the lag when they pulled the remote trigger from hundreds of miles away.


Sounds like something you’d use a Kalman filter for.

Except maybe because a Kalman filter expects Gaussian inputs, something fancier is used to deal with nonlinear inputs?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalman_filter


That's pretty trivial 'AI'. The headline mentioning AI is just for clickbait, in reality it was just a remotely-operated drone gun with a fire control system.


Most 'AI' is trivial. If spam detection had been invented today they'd call it "Spam AI".


You're not wrong. I'm gonna add AI to our pitch deck for our A probably will be able to raise an additional 40%.


Right. As well, the gun mounted in the truck needs to account for real world wind, vehicle recoil/ follow through on untested terrain, and 1.5s latency to ensure no collateral damage


The NYT article mentioned facial recognition tech, as well as software which would compensate from the lag inherent in controlling the gun by satellite. Maybe the article considers one of those AI?


So this is a public bragging about illegally putting a gun in a foreign country and assassinating a person, all the while being comfortably sure that no national or international pushback will come.

Quite disturbing to read.


There is no world court or legal structure. The word "illegal" has no meaning in international affairs.


This action was performed in a specific country - Iran. I am sure it was illegal there. Isn't that enough?


A legal system only has influence within its borders though (other than extradition treaties). And since the drone can't be prosecuted and the operators are outside of the borders, what can you do but give them bad press?


A lot of times when people say illegal, they really want to say immoral but that word sounds too out of place in common language.

Is it okay to assassinate scientists? How about tech CEOs and software engineers?

To me, the most troubling thing is that Iran seems to do nothing in response.


They aren't doing nothing, just nothing that can be publicized.


Were you under the impression that groups like Mossad, CIA, etc were law abiding groups? Their entire mission is to do illegal shit to forward their countries' national interest.


So if these are not "law abiding" groups, then by definition part of what they do is illegal. Which is the word I used in my comment.

I don't understand these replies.


I'm a different person than the one who said nothing is illegal. I think nothing is illegal in international relations is a cop-out answer (and not technically true. I dont know about this particular act, but there are plenty of illegal things under int law). Technically yes - its unlikely to be resolved by a court. However i think most people agree that in general assainations are at least morally repugant (although im sure some people think its justified sometimes).

Anyways, lots of countries (Iran included) fund these type of spy groups. They do bad shit. That is their function. I imagine their masters think the ends justify means. Regardless, complaining that spy agencies are unethical is like complaining the mafia is unethical. Its just something that basically goes without saying.


I agree with everything you wrote here, but we talk past each other. The article was disturbing and it left an impression on me. There aren't many articles bragging about assassinations; CIA doesn't do that and if it did there would be domestic opposition. Yet the tone of this article makes it clear that they are not worried about that. That's why I wrote the original comment. It's not about "complaining that spy agencies are unethical". Deep down I just don't like what it represents and I don't think any post-hoc rationalisation will change that.


If Iran could (i.e. had the technological capabilities to) meaningfully retaliate against Israel (without suffering too much consequences), they very likely would.


In many countries authoruzed military operation on foreign territory against what is perceived as existential thread to its existence is legal. So it is legal by Israeli law, isn't this enough?


There are many things which are illegal in Iran yet practiced widely, like consuming alcohol or being attracted to your own gender. I wouldn't use the Iranian book of laws as a moral compass myself, but to each their own.


What are you talking about, according to the former Iranian president Iran has no homosexuals problem. See? Problem solved!


How bizarre for you to sidestep the issue and go after issues with the laws of Iran! In what country is it legal to assassinate a scientist?


We considered shooting Werner Heisenberg during WW2 if there was convincing evidence he was moving a Nazi atomic weapons program along. Certainly that would have been against German or Swiss (this was during a visit to Switzerland) law.


A key factor there is the word 'war'.


Did Iran and Israel ever sign a peace treaty? In 2020, the UAE normalized relations with Israel, and many countries took the opportunity to remind everyone that even if we are all dying of COVID, they would prefer that Israel go first.


It's not fricking world war 2, no matter the technicalities.


If a country you're at war with and whose leadership has stated that they intend to annihilate you is on the verge of developing nuclear weapons, the stakes are arguably WW2-tier.


Conversely, American and Israeli politicians constantly talk about taking out Iran, making nukes a necessity for their self-defense.

In both cases it's mostly posturing, but killing scientists and saying we had to, it's self defense is especially disgusting to me.


[flagged]


> He's a nuclear scientist. He's essentially a terrorist.

Not. The Mossad is the terrorist group here.

Let me explain the situation more clearly. Lets suppose that a team in Iran would travel to US with the purpose of killing at cold blood a scientist working for the army, or in the NASA if you prefer. Would anybody doubt for a microsecond to tag them as terrorists commiting an act of terrorism?


Iran's involvement in the Syrian civil war probably cost hundred of thousands of innocent deaths, what is this bullshit like Iran is a peace seeking entity? And yes it's not just Iran but the Russians as well but Iran played a major part.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_involvement_in_the_Syr...


Executions of helpless people 'just because I can' are a direct attack to democracy and aim to replace the justice system based in international laws by a bunch of serial killers. This is unacceptable and no excuses would fix it.

THIS is the real danger that we all face: justice is being replaced by serial killers and people is slowly but relentlessly being brainwashed to accept this as the new abnormal.

And then, here comes the harvest. We have exactly the same people, trained to kill without a glimpse by money, returning home and being videotaped coordinating an assault to kill your own politicians at the capitol for money because "justice is not working anymore so, zombie time". You reap what you sow. Yep, Genius move.

Israel should be ashamed of this measures that make them look as totally desperate and weak actors that are losing the battle to the point of 'win' a discussion by means of killing the other voices.

The only results that the terrorists bring to the table are reinforcing the will of Iran to have nuclear weapons even faster and probably destroying the life of a wife and some children, so is detrimental to its own interests also.


TIL Albert Einstein was a terrorist


[flagged]


Who are you arguing with? Nobody in this line of discussion said anything about the United States not also being considered terrorists. There can be terrorists on both sides but it looks like the US is living rent free in your head.


Lmao what? I’m responding to a comment suggesting an offensive like this is justified because they’re “terrorists”.

But sure, everyone’s a terrorist, great contribution.


And you brought the US into it when this conflict is clearly between Israel and Iran. The US isn't the only one who classifies enemy combatants as "terrorists". US bashing for the sake of US bashing, just calling it out.


You’re clearly so overly emotional about perceived slights to Murica, you misread my entire point and the point of the discussion at hand.

I’m not going to continue engaging with you and will let the mods do their thing.


GP asked if the fact it's illegal in Iran is not enough, and I say the Iranian code of law has no implications on what I think is moral or not.

Personally I think that it is not outside any moral boundaries to assassinate a scientist which is working on WMDs. In fact, I'll claim the opposite: if you are a leader of a country which you know is potentially targeted by WMDs and you have the strategic and tactical opportunity to assassinate the people working on that program, then you should.

Going back to laws, being a scientist doesn't give you any kind of immunity to any law. It shouldn’t grant you immunity here. Once you work on military programs, it's all fair game.


UN's International Court of Justice (ICJ)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Court_of_Justice


Let’s say I break a law and the ICJ decides to prosecute me. Who comes after me?


There's also ICC and INTERPOL, which are not part of the UN.

INTERPOL does come after you.

There are also extradition treaties.


Quite a few countries, including the US, do not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome_Statute_of_the_Internatio...


ICC and INTERPOL both rely on member countries to actually enforce decisions. There is no ICC or INTERPOL “enforcement arm”.


Then why are people extradited ? Why is Assange in jail ?


Law is quite compatible with a state of anarchy and a lack of centralized authority, particularly customary law. Many people would include customary law as a kind of 'legal structure'.


The court that prosecuted the Nazis (and others) would like a word.


The same court that found Nazi’s guilty of a “war of aggression” for invading Poland when the judges bringing such charges did the same?


It's more disturbing to read complaints about a strike against a brigadier general, where two countries are at war with each other, a mere few days after we learnt the US droned 10 civilians in Kabul as a 'retaliation' for an IS strike. We at HN should look inwards on this one.


Seems to be rather a bad faith argument to suggest that they're not also against that drone strike. Maybe you'd like to suggest they're advocating for the genocides of Uyghurs and Rohingyas because they didn't mention those either.


I'm not suggesting that the they are not against that strike.

However, most of HN is American, this is an American site linking in this case to a story in American media. Complaining against the lesser 'offender' (if at all) in a site hosted in a greater 'offender' is unfortunate. Also, the ordering of the posts is affected by upvotes, and the GGP's post is first. I suspect that plenty of US people who do shrug their shoulders at that drone strike upvoted that post.


Israel is only able to do this because of the unconditional support of the US. US has bloody hands in both instances.


Iran and Israel are at low level war since many decades.


Though you don't see Iran going around killing the people responsible for Israel's nuclear arsenal.


I can't imagine it's for lack of trying.


Trying to assassinate non-existing nuclear scientists? Yeah that's hard to imagine. Israel already has access to pretty advanced nuclear technology it is not actively trying to develop one like Iran is.


You think Israel has zero nuclear scientists? An arsenal requires maintenance, even if you aren’t actively making new warheads.


I rather not discuss the whole conflict. The fact is though, that modern Iran has little to no history of military intervention* and at least no history to suggest that any (if any really exists) ambition towards acquiring nuclear weapons is anything more than sabre-rattling.

* Wikipedia comes up with the odd missile-strike against the islamic state.

Edit: There's a difference between financing terrorism/freedom fighters, which about every country in the region (and basically everybody else) does, and preparing a pre-emptive nuclear strike.


You can't be serious. Iran is one of the most militarily active players in the Middle East. They usually don't do this through the Iranian military itself (other than wanting to send a message like the attack on Saudi Abaqiq facilities with cruise missiles in 2019 [0]). They use proxies, which receive funding, weapons, training and orders from Iran. Hezbollah, Houthis, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, various Iraqi and Syrian militas are all extensions of Iran itself and perform daily attacks.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abqaiq%E2%80%93Khurais_attack


Attribution is difficult if you're behind a VPN


This question is out of pure curiosity: can you give me some examples of this "low level war" being fought? Specifically, what has Iran done that's along the same lines as murdering a nuclear scientist?


Iran openly finances Hezbollah and Hamas, who fire rockets and missiles indiscriminately into civilian areas of Israel. The Hamas charter in particular includes language calling for either the destruction or dissolution of the state of Israel itself.

That isn't to excuse anyone, but yes, Iran and Israel have effectively been at war for decades.


Pure curiosity yet incapable of the simplest of simple searches

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Israel_relations


The conflict involves threats and hostility by Iran's leaders against Israel, and their declared objective to dissolve the Jewish state, Israel and Iran doesn't share frontiers but Iran finance support is key for terrorist groups like Hezbollah


Bombing of the AMIA is one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMIA_bombing#:~:text=The%20AMI....

Burgas bus bombing is another: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Burgas_bus_bombing

Arms, money and support for Hamas, Hezbollah and the Islamic Jihad is another one (Hezbollah is practically an IRGC unit). Arming various militias in Iraq, Yemen and Syria against Israel and its allies.


Ongoing sponsorship of Hamas, Hezbollah and so on?



This question is out of pure curiosity: can you give me some examples of this "low level war" being fought? Specifically, what has Israel done that's along the same lines as funding Hezbollah and Hamas?


How many Israeli scientists have Iran assassinated?


None because Israel is not actively attempting to advance its nuclear technology capabilities. Because it already has access to advanced nuclear technology.



"...because Israel is not actively attempting to advance its nuclear technology capabilities."

Says who?

>Retired in the 1990s, the Jericho-1, like its successors, was intended for nuclear delivery.

>From the mid-1970s to the late 1980s, Israel developed a longer-range version by extending the Jericho’s length to 15m and increasing the diameter to 1.35m. Designated the Jericho-2, this system has an estimated range of 1,500–3,500km, with the same 1,000kg payload.

>According to several analysts, Israel also has an intermediate-range missile, possibly called the Jericho-3. Reports of testing – in 2008, 2011, 2013, 2019 and (possibly) 2020 – related to a longer-range system support this assessment, but it has not been verified.

https://www.iiss.org/blogs/analysis/2021/08/israel-ballistic...


Ah yes. Are you also this indignant about Iran's interference with the Syrian civil war? Who knows how many people were killed because of their involvement.


As others have said, there is no “illegal” when it comes to international relations because there is no global body to enforce it.

Just like power within a nation, it’s violence that maintains order in the end.

The US had the motto “might makes right”. Wikipedia seems to suggest that there is no agreed upon meaning to that statement, but I always viewed it as “being right doesn’t matter if you can’t back it up with force”.


What's illegal about it?


Pretty badass. Does it prevent more nuclear weapons? Yes? Win in my book.


This is a leak like hundred of other leaks.

But, it seems like you are trying to push a certain agenda and paint the info in a certain way.

Here's another way to frame the same info: At least someone tries to prevent a war and prevent bad actors from obtaining nuclear weapons.


> Here's another way to frame the same info: At least someone tries to prevent a war and prevent bad actors from obtaining nuclear weapons.

We used to have inspectors to do such a thing. Now we're just left with an incredibly convenient Schrodingers nuke to keep those not yet fatigued in a constant state of fear.


Two things ...

First, we used not to blaim anyone without a due process....before you take a stand and blaime Israel, instead maybe you should argue to send inspectors to examine if the article is true, maybe it is not Israel or this never happened, did you follow a due process before publically assigning guilt?

Second, who are "we", in your srnyense? The West, China? Iran, Hizbollah, Americans? UN?

I recall no inspectors during Cuban crisis, hmm... why threaten world with nuclear war, instead there could be annual inspections!


> First, we used not to blaim anyone without a due process....before you take a stand and blaime Israel, instead maybe you should argue to send inspectors to examine if the article is true, maybe it is not Israel or this never happened, did you follow a due process before publically assigning guilt?

If you want to say that something being reported by the NYT and corroborated by another paper isn't enough, feel free to do so, but it's not relevant to my comment

As for the rest of your comment, it seems you need to do some preliminary reading: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Comprehensive_Plan_of_...

Cuba doesn't factor into this, they weren't a signatory.


You wrote:

> we used to have inspectors to do such thing

I understood it to mean that the inspectors would take care to prevent Iran nuclear weapons. Which I found to be a ridiculous claim but formally correct. The same way my claim that you should not trust NYT report in this case, before some due process is ridiculous.

For Cuba, I was referring to missile crisis between USSR and USA. It is always good to be well read thank you for your suggestion, but I think the quoted link to wikipedia is due to your misunderstanding ..

Beyond that, do we agree on this: Iran developes nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to deliver these weapons, and openly threatens to destroy Israel and the scientist was a key figure in it.

If we agree to this, than we can move forward. Since my claim was that Israel thinks the scientist is an existential thread to its existence. Under such curcumstances, imo, in most cases any country would be willing to commit an act of war to eliminate the thread. The Cuba crisis is an example where US would be willing to start a nuclear war because it felt "uncomfortable" having USSR missiles near its borders. So I was asking when you say "We" who do you refer to?


Have inspectors prevented the Syrian nuclear program (which Israel bombed in 2007), the Iraqi nuclear program (likewise, 1981), the North Korean one or the Pakistani one? Heck, not even the South African one which they willingly dismantled.

Nukes are too serious to leave to the supervision of a political mission of scientists.


You're missing the Israeli nuclear program, as well.

> Nukes are too serious to leave to the supervision of a political mission of scientists.

I don't care if a country has nukes. I'm much more afraid of what will happen to countries without them: you listed Iraq and we can see the hundreds of thousands of dead civilians.


The link seems to be a summary of this article in the NYT:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/18/world/middleeast/iran-nuc...

It provides more detail and context - the "AI" system was apparently used to properly to compensate for latency and wind when aiming the gun.


Why? Is sniper a rare skill ? Is it more difficult to smuggle bombs ? Or to assassinate a scientist in any other conventional way ? It looks like a coverup for the fact they have sniper in Iran


This kind of thing seems to be a rapidly growing trend. Anyone see this?

"See this report, and the curious lack of media interest:

"According to the U.N. report, Turkish-made Kargu-2 lethal autonomous aircraft launched so-called swarm attacks, likely on behalf of Libya's Government of National Accord, against the warlord Haftar's militias in March last year, marking the first time AI-equipped drones accomplished a successful attack." Jun 7, 2021 VOA


So what is Israel likely to do when Iran has a working nuke?

I ask as a half jew. These questions are intensely interesting to me.

Probably "no one knows" is a decent answer, but I can't help but wonder what sort of plans are already in place.

EDIT: I immediately regret asking about politics. Never mind.

Hopefully things will work out.


I imagine they will continue to do whatever they think serves their geopolitical position best.

Nukes would give iran a significant power boost and bargaining chip, but it wouldn't magically make them rulers of the world. Iran's geopolitical enemies would still try to contain them, iran would still try and not be contained.

Similar to what happened when the soviets got nukes, but on a much smaller regional scale.


The only local enemies capable of containing Iran is Israel. Even the Saudis are afraid of Iran. Hence the Abraham Accords and a peace treaty between Israel and Saudi Arabia is imminent. And Israel isn't intimidating every single one of its neighbours and trying to control them and starting proxy wars with them. And committing acts of terror against random Iranians all over the world. So Israel have the moral upper ground here.


when iran gets nukes, saudi will get nukes.


Israel seems likely to receive a similarly smuggled-in remotely-activated attack, in the form of a small nuclear bomb, with no clear evidence of who's responsible.

MAD doesn't seem effective if you don't know who to attack...


MAD can still be effective if you say any non conventional attack by any actor would trigger it. That said MAD in this case isn’t viable due to the inequality in geographic size and population. A single warhead even a small one would cripple Israel complete whilst Iran can take multiple warheads and survive.

A 50 kiloton warhead detonated over Tel Aviv would reduce Israel’s economy to basically nothing.


It's really unlikely a nuke on TLV will be reciprocated with one nuke of the same exact magnitute on Iran; it's more likely Israel will use everything it has to destroy Iran. Tehran's larger metro area is 15 million people with most of the economy and jobs there. What do you think a few hydrogen bombs (which Israel is known to have) will do to Iran's economy or regime survival? It's mutually assured destruction, period. No side is gonna win a nuclear war.


It’s really unclear if Israel has thermonuclear warheads, or even how many warheads they have in general.

Their delivery systems are quite limited. Their submarines wouldn’t be able to deliver anything larger than a tactical implosion warhead since even the enlarged torpedo tubes that are capable of launching cruise missiles like the Popeye can’t launch ballistic missiles.

Their ballistic missiles based on the Shavit launcher would be possibly capable of carrying about half a ton which is arguably too small for thermonuclear warheads too, especially ones that Israel would be able to produce since it’s unlikely they would be able to produce something as compact as the W88.


> It’s really unclear if Israel has thermonuclear warheads, or even how many warheads they have in general.

Israel has had nukes (reportedly) since 1967. Thats a 52 years (and counting) before Iran. Anything from delivery to the weapons force will be much better on the Israeli side. Trying to attack Israel with a nuclear weapon hoping somehow Israel has no way to retaliate is simply suicide.

This whole scenario was researched btw and anyone with half a brain could see it would be devastating to both countries, which to me at least sounds unsurprising. https://conflictandhealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186...


> MAD can still be effective if you say any non conventional attack by any actor would trigger it.

Isn't this a terrorist's wet dream?


>A 50 kiloton warhead detonated over Tel Aviv would reduce Israel’s economy to basically nothing.

At which point America would step in.


It wouldn’t change the outcome.


It would for Iran.


As you said nobody knows. When Iran has a working nuke it's arguable too late. Then we should all hope there will be mutually assured destruction that will lessen the probability of war. Also - there will probably be countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt who will try to acquire nukes if Iran gets them. So I understand the thought this only touches Jews or half Jews but it really is a global problem.



Demand the USA pays for an endless war in money and American lives, obviously.


An anti-Semitic, inaccurate trope. Israel had no horse in the Afghanistan fiasco, no interest in seeing Iran consume Iraq's power elite (status quo now), no love for Assad's continued reign in Syria, and zero interest in US interventions in Kosovo, Panama, Grenada, Vietnam or Korea. By contrast, Israeli lives sacrificed in Lebanon & Syria & on behalf of Jordan have spared the US any need to intervene significantly (if at all) in those countries. Not to mention Iran's expenditures to undermine Israel limits its ability to undermine the Gulf States.


The influence of the Israel lobby on the 2003 Iraq invasion is not an anti-Semitic trope, it is recorded and acknowledged history. The final decision to invade lay with George W. Bush, and the Israel lobby was far from the only factor in his decision, but their influence was significant and cannot be denied. From the London Review of Books on John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's "The Israel Lobby":

>Pressure from Israel and the Lobby was not the only factor behind the decision to attack Iraq in March 2003, but it was critical. Some Americans believe that this was a war for oil, but there is hardly any direct evidence to support this claim. Instead, the war was motivated in good part by a desire to make Israel more secure.

>According to Philip Zelikow, a former member of the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, and now a counsellor to Condoleezza Rice, the ‘real threat’ from Iraq was not a threat to the United States. The ‘unstated threat’ was the ‘threat against Israel’, Zelikow told an audience at the University of Virginia in September 2002. ‘The American government,’ he added, ‘doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell.’

https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v28/n06/john-mearsheimer/the...


You're quoting Mearsheimer as if it's established truth; he is controversial to say the least and is clearly one sided regarding Israel/Palestine.

"Former Director of the CIA James Woolsey also wrote a strongly negative review, remarking that "... Reading [Walt and Mearsheimer's] version of events is like entering a completely different world." Woolsey contends the authors "are stunningly deceptive", and feature a "commitment to distorting the historical record is the one consistent feature of this book", proceeding with a few examples.[53]"

"Benny Morris, a professor of Middle East history at Ben-Gurion University, prefaced a very detailed analysis with the remark: "Like many pro-Arab propagandists at work today, Mearsheimer and Walt often cite my own books, sometimes quoting directly from them, in apparent corroboration of their arguments. Yet their work is a travesty of the history that I have studied and written for the past two decades. Their work is riddled with shoddiness and defiled by mendacity"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Israel_Lobby_and_U.S._Fore...


Do you have non-biased ( former director of the CIA? The same guys that lied about WMDs in Iraq? Sure, they're reliable; and a professor of Middle East history in an Israeli university) sources disputing those claims? I haven't read the book in question, just asking.


There's a hole bunch of criticisms in the link I shared from all kinds of people, feel free to read it if it interests you.


> So what is Israel likely to do when Iran has a working nuke?

There's a big assumption in this statement. Hopefully stop attacking them if the assumption holds up.


Is it just me or is it impossible to read this article, especially on mobile. I keep getting full page ads with nowhere to click to get out. If i do click i navigate to a new page. So frustrating...


Assassinating leaders individually seems to be a much more human solution to resolving conflicts compared with drone killing/bombing civilians or starting wars. Imagine if somebody had assassinated Hitler long before the 2nd World War had started.


Funnily enough, some German officers were planning on doing just that after the Munich conference in 1938 because they thought he was pushing Germany into a doomed war ( the Oster plot), but UK and France's appeasement resulted in a sin for Hitler and explosion in popularity, so the plot never happened.

However, you're failing for the great man fallacy. Hitler dying in 1938/1939 wouldn't have changed that much due to well established power of the Nazis by then, and the presence of men with power such as Hess, Himmler and Göring to take control.

Long before that, and who knows . Maybe the NSDAP would have grown as popular even without him; maybe Strasser would have won; maybe Rohm would have launched his revolution and taken personal control.


> Hitler dying in 1938/1939 wouldn't have changed that much due to well established power of the Nazis by then, and the presence of men with power such as Hess, Himmler and Göring to take control.

Even before then, there are sentiments in the general population that allowed the Nazis to gain power in the first place. And while they were particularly genocidal, it's not like any of the other options were "good" in the absolute sense, only perhaps "less bad" in a relative sense (in hindsight).

No one was particular enamoured of the structure of the Weimar Republic, with the (far) left wanting to go to a Communist/Soviet structure, and the (far) right returning to the authoritarian structure which Bismarck created. AIUI, as the 1920s went on, there were fewer and fewer middle ground parties.

The "stabbed-in-the-back" conspiracy theory had mostly established itself as a "fact", and the Treaty of Versailles with its reparation costs was causing a lot of pain. Of course the treaty was violated by the German military as it sent soldiers to train on tanks and planes to the Soviet Union:

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kama_tank_school

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipetsk_fighter-pilot_school


Israel seems to be trying to buy time before the inevitable happens. Not sure if it's good strategy to keep assassinating scientists when you're going to need every ounce of International support you can muster when the Iranians rain down on you with their nukes.


those people who believe iran's development of nuclear weapons is legitimate and should not be opposed are unlike to muster any goodwill to israel anyways.


I don't know what else could make it any clearer but the world is already well into an AI terminator WW3.


> I don't know what else could make it any clearer but the world is already well into an AI terminator WW3.

What does this even mean? You've combined 3 completely unrelated terms in Ai, terminator and WW3 to create, well I'm not sure what you mean here....


In which way are they unrelated in a cultural context where Terminator the movie franchise is a thing?


In the context of the real world, which is where we live, and which is different from a fictional movie.


Wait, wasn't the Terminator Governor of California a while back?


It’s one thing to argue that an AI terminator WW3 scenario is unlikely or implausible. It’s just disingenious to claim those three things have nothing to do with each other.


Terminator is a movie about how AI was given too much control over military resources and started WW3 in order to wipe out as much as possible of humanity in one go. This story is about the integration of AI into the military, in a way designed to kill humans.

It doesn't seem unrelated to me.


An AI terminator driven WW3 might make more sense. AI terminator being an AI programed to terminate people (that could go off the rails).


Dozens of countries are churning out and beginning to utilize fully autonomous killing machines.


Well, WWII has been over for a while now and if those who are dissatisfied with the outcome continue to be on the increase, there will eventually be enough of them who see no alternative to WW3 and become quite enthusiastic for such an event no matter how destructive.

There could already be critical mass among the dissatisfied they just don't have the resources to get the whole world involved.

Yet.


Isn't that fine? Let's get a bunch of robot armies in one place like we used to do in the ancient days and let them duke it out. Whoever wins wins.

Army jobs getting automated is one thing I could get behind.

Just keep the drones out of the civilian areas.


That's exactly what Gatling thought of machine guns. They were supposed to automate the military jobs which was supposed to limit casualties and also make humanity reconsider going to war.


Can you direct me somewhere to learn more about Gatling's ethos?


I only have this quote from Gatling himself: "It occurred to me that if I could invent a machine - a gun - which could by its rapidity of fire, enable one man to do as much battle duty as a hundred, that it would, to a large extent supersede the necessity of large armies, and consequently, exposure to battle and disease [would] be greatly diminished."


> Just keep the drones out of the civilian areas.

I have some bad news for you out of Afghanistan...




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