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The FOXBAT mission doesn't imply the Soviets instigated the 1967 war

Reader comment on item: Foxbats Did Fly over Dimona

Submitted by Charles Martel (United States), Aug 24, 2007 at 11:45

The FOXBAT recon mission did occur (there is clear contemporary U.S. evidence) and it's easy to imagine that Bezhevets is just maintaining Soviet-style secrecy on it.

However, the Soviets didn't have direct control of Nasser or Assad to the degree of being able to order a war with Israel, and they didn't need a war to fly a recon mission over Israel.

I don't know that much about the 1967 War, and I just saw a 2-hour TV history that mentioned the Soviets told the Arabs that Israel was about to attack (which was news to me) but I do not think the two things are causally linked even if the Soviet lie to the Arabs is real.

I would argue that if the Soviets just wanted to overfly Dimona for recon, the safest thing to do would be do it as a complete surprise in peacetime.

During the war, there was a maximum chance the Israelis would immediately shoot it down assuming it to be hostile, while a single aircraft overflying in peacetime would be more ambiguous and the air defenses would inevitably be not-as-ready in peacetime.

Consider the safety of an unannounced flight over Pearl Harbor on 6 December 1941 vs. 8 December 1941.


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