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None of this implies the Soviets instigated the 1967 war to overfly Dimona

Reader comment on item: Foxbats Did Fly over Dimona
in response to reader comment: RTWT

Submitted by Charles Martel (United States), Aug 27, 2007 at 11:21

I'm not making a pro-Soviet or pro-Arab argument -- I promise I hate them both.

I made a narrow response to a narrow and to me unconvincing claim, that the Soviets provoked the 1967 war to overfly Dimona. (Maybe I misunderstood the claim, I apologize if so.) I agree they overflew Dimona for recon during the war-- no question.

I think by 1967 Nasser and Assad felt ready for war after their Soviet-assisted buildup.

They had the motive and felt they had the tools to do the job.

You don't need nefarious Soviets to explain the Arab decision to attack, and even IF the nefarious Soviets misled the Arabs into war (I have no opinion on that) -- I don't think the Dimona overflight is adequate motive.

As I said, a surprise peacetime overflight would be a lot less risky than overflying a country at war.

All the comments are tangential to the claim that the Soviets provoked the war to overfly Dimona.

Yes, the Arabs concealed the destruction of their air forces, but what does that have to do with this claim?

Yes, Soviets advised the Arab military (and often provided specialists) down to very low levels, but that does not imply that the Soviets could order the Arab militaries to act.

Nasser and Assad were Soviet clients, but they weren't puppets.

Thus, I am unconvinced that the Soviets had either the means or the motive to provoke the war -- they were helping out their Arab buddies and when the Arabs felt ready they would attack Israel. And IF there was a motive it was not overflying Dimona.

Give Arabs the weapons and confidence in victory over Israel, and that's an unstable equilibrium -- you don't need to provoke them further, and the Soviets did not like their direct fingerprints on international conflict.

I assume you're not arguing that the Arabs were mere proxies in a Soviet vendetta against israel?

So, MAYBE the Soviets misled the Arabs into war in 1967, but if so the reason wasn't to overfly Dimona.

Submitting....

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