The American Jew Who Created the Nuclear Submarine

Since 1958, the U.S. military has employed submarines powered by onboard nuclear reactors, which have numerous advantages over those with conventional engines. Similar vessels were later developed by the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and other maritime powers. Responsible for this technological breakthrough was a Jewish immigrant to America named Hyman Rickover. Rich Tenorio tells his story:

Rickover was born Chaim Godalia Rykower into an Orthodox Jewish family in 1899’s Poland. The Rykowers left an increasingly anti-Semitic climate at the turn of the 20th century and young Chaim, age six, arrived at Ellis Island with his mother, Ruchia, and sister, Faiga. Abram, the family patriarch, had arrived beforehand but never received news that the rest of the family had reached Ellis Island. Lacking financial support, Ruchia, Chaim, and Faiga were detained for ten days. Deportation appeared imminent. Yet an acquaintance from Poland miraculously recognized them and summoned Rykower’s father, ensuring their stay in the U.S., under Americanized names.

When the family—including baby daughter Hitel—relocated to the sizable Jewish community of Lawndale, Chicago, serendipitous circumstances connected Rickover with Congressman Adolph Sabath, a fellow Jew who got him into the Naval Academy.

By 1947, Rickover had served aboard multiple types of vessels, seen his leadership ability expand during World War II, and was working to develop a nuclear-powered submarine at the Manhattan Project site of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. His superior and supporter, Admiral Earle W. Mills, grew disillusioned with the rate of progress and relocated Rickover to an office space where the plumbing from toilets was still visible.

Despite working in what was once a women’s bathroom, Rickover persisted in the project, and in five years’ time came up with a viable plan that, as Tenorio writes, included everything “from the production of material to shield the reactor to splitting atoms that would generate heat to power the turbines.”

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: American Jewish History, Jews in the military, Technology

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy