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Comprehension Exercise (Grades 9-10)

Based on the article "More Pre-emptive Strikes?" by K. Subrahmanyam, published in The Times of India (independent), New Delhi, India, June 10, 1981 and reprinted in the World Press Review Iraq Anthology 1981-2003.

1. What did the Israelis believe Iraq was going to use the Osirak reactor for?

2. What happened on June 7, 1981?

3. Israel and the U.N. had a difference of opinion about the events of June 7, 1981. What was the position of each side?

4. Who first implemented the policy of pre-emptively destroying the developing nuclear weapon capability of a potential adversary?

5. Who was the first to suggest using pre-emptive disarming strikes? What was the context in which this suggestion was made? Was the suggestion carried out? Why or why not?

6. Pre-emptive strikes were only considered against some of the countries that were developing nuclear capability at mid-century. According to the author of “More Pre-emptive Strikes?”, which countries were able to join the nuclear club without fear of attack?

7. Which country or countries considered attacking China before it could develop its own nuclear capability?

8. How did the world discover that the Chinese were nearly ready to test a nuclear bomb?

9. Why didn't the U.S.S.R. bomb the Chinese test site in 1964?

10. What did the Chinese build at Lop Nur? What did they build at Lanzhou?

11. In the late sixties, the Americans leaked stories that concerned China's nuclear program. What did those stories say? Were they true? What did America hope to gain by leaking this information?

12. The Israeli strike on the Osirak reactor in Iraq in 1981 was not that country’s first attempt to stop Iraq from developing nuclear capability. What came before it?

13. What argument, according to some American researchers, did Pakistan use to try to convince other Islamic countries to support its development of “the Islamic bomb”?

14. Consider Israel and Iraq: Which country was known, in 1981, to have developed nuclear weapons? Which country had signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty? Which country's nuclear reactors were under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards?