Veteran Israeli journalist Michael Karpin explains how Israel, by far the smallest of the nuclear powers, succeeded in its ambitious effort. David Ben-Gurion saw the need for an atomic capability to offset the numerical superiority of Arab armies at war with Israel. The Israeli program relied heavily on French assistance in its early years, until President Charles de Gaulle reduced his country's cooperation. Once it was discovered, Israel's nuclear program cast a shadow over relations between Israel and the United States. The Kennedy administration opposed it, and President Lyndon Johnson approved it only tacitly.