Destroying the Iraqi Nuclear Reactor: A New Report

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Dr. Aviam Sela: How much did operation Opera, the Israeli strike against the Iraqi nuclear reactor, realy cost, and the drones launched by Noah from his ark.

15612731_mThe direct costs of the strike against the Baghdad nuclear reactor in 1981 were about 10 million dollars. This according to Dr. Aviam Sela, during his address at Israel’s national conference on continuity during emergencies, organized by Globes.

Dr. Aviad Sela is a former senior Air Force pilot and officer who was in charge of planing the attack. Today he is the president of Matrix’s security and strategic consulting branch. In his lecture today he exposed, for the first time, the financial aspects of operation Opera. During the operation Sela piloted one of the command aircraft flying above the F-16 fighter jets that carried out the strike.

Dr. Aviam Sela: “Eight years later I was asked to assess the financial aspects of the operation and I came to the following conclusions:

  • Costs of Fuel, ammunition and aircraft operation amounted to half a million dollars
  • Training for the operation cost a total of 2.5 million dollars
  • Special systems developed specifically for the operation cost between 5 and 7 million dollars
  • All in all, the direct costs were about 10 million dollars
  • By 1990, when the review was conducted, we spent 90 million dollars on defending state facilities from retaliatory strikes. By then the total cost of the operation was 100 million dollars.

In today’s terms this means it cost about one billion dollars. Our treasury would almost certainly not authorize such an expensive operation today.”

iHLS – Israel Homeland Security

Dr. Sela gave two examples concerning decision making under pressure:

During a foul kick in a soccer game, the goaltender has to decide whether to stay put, jump to the left or jump to the right. Researchers from Ben Gurion University studied hundreds of these fouls and found that the goalie is 33% likely not to move, 33% likely to jump to the right and 33% likely to jump to the left. Statistics have shown, though, that the goalie is most likely to stop the ball if he doesn’t move. What do most goalies do, despite knowing this? They leap. This is referred to as the “default heuristic” – people feel they have to act otherwise they’ll be considered lazy. The conclusion: During emergencies, decision makers sometimes act when it’s not necessary.

The second case: Noah’s ark. Dr. Aviam Sela: “Noah called all the animals into his ark, followed by his family. After a while he sent out a crow (drone), then he replaced the first drone and sent out a dove. That drone came back with an olive branch. But according to the bible Noah didn’t immediately leave the ark, he waited a week to make sure it was safe. This is an example of a careful executive that made a careful, well thought out decision.”