Ariel (Eli) Levite

Nonresident Senior Fellow
Nuclear Policy Program
Cyber Policy Initiative
Levite was the principal deputy director general for policy at the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission from 2002 to 2007.


PhD, Cornell University
MA, Cornell University
BA, Tel Aviv University


English; Hebrew


Ariel (Eli) Levite is a nonresident senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program and Cyber Policy Initiative at the Carnegie Endowment.

Prior to joining the Carnegie Endowment in 2008, Levite was the principal deputy director general for policy at the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission from 2002 to 2007. He also served as the deputy national security adviser for defense policy and was head of the Bureau of International Security and Arms Control (an assistant secretary position) in the Israeli Ministry of Defense.

In September 2000, Levite took a two-year sabbatical from the Israeli civil service to work as a visiting fellow and co-leader (with Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall) of the Discriminate Force Project at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University.

Before his government service, Levite worked for five years as a senior research associate and head of the project on Israeli security at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies (subsequently renamed INSS) at Tel Aviv University. He has taught courses on security studies and political science at Tel Aviv University, Cornell University, and the University of California, Davis.

He has been awarded the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award at Tufts University’s Institute for Global Leadership and the Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur.

Levite has published extensively in academic outlets s as well as contemporary journals and newspapers. Some of his more recent publications include: "Israeli Strategy in Transition", in Hitchcock, William I., Melvyn P. Leffler, Jeffrey W. Legro, (eds)., Shaper Nations: Strategies for a Changing World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, forthcoming 2016; "From Dream to Reality: Israel and Missile Defense" (with Shlomo Brom), in Kelleher, Catherine Mcardle and Peter Dombrowski (eds.), Regional Missile Defense from a Global Perspective, Stanford University Press, 2015; “Will Nuclear War Break Out in the Middle East?” in Heisbourg, Francois (ed.), Do Nuclear Weapons Have a Future? Paris, France: Odile Jacob, 2011; “Reflections on Nuclear Opacity,” in Tertrais, Bruno (ed.), A Tribute to Sir Michael Quinlan, Paris: France, FRS, 2011; “Rethinking Nuclear Abolition,” in A report to the Trilateral Commission 64, Washington, Paris, and Tokyo: The Trilateral Commission, 2010; “Global Zero: An Israeli Vision of Realistic Idealism,” Washington Quarterly Vol. 32, No. 2, April 2010; “Heading for the Fourth Nuclear Age,” IFRI Proliferation Papers No. 24, winter 2009; “Reflections on a Multilateral Base Camp,” Working Paper, Center for American Progress, July 2009; “The Current Proliferation Predicament” in Pilat, Joseph E., (ed.), Atoms for Peace: A Future After Fifty Years, Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center and the Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007; “Never Say Never Again: Nuclear Reversal Revisited,” International Security Vol. 27, No. 3, winter 2002–2003; “The Case for Discriminate Force,” with Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Survival Vol. 4, No. 4, winter 2002-2003; Offense and Defense in Israeli Military Defense Doctrine, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1989; and Intelligence and Strategic Surprises, NY: Columbia University Press, 1987. Levite has also authored, contributed, and co-edited other works, including  Israel’s Nuclear Image, Foreign Military Intervention, and Deterrence in the Middle East.

  • Op-Ed Haaretz December 20, 2021
    Israel's Race Against Iranian Nukes Has Become a Marathon

    Iran apparently has not abandoned this ambition to acquire nuclear weapons, but at the same time sees no urgency in achieving this aim, while also seeking to minimize the risks entailed pursuing it. Therefore, Israel's intelligence assessments on the timing of Iran's nuclearization have consistently proven wrong.

  • Royal Australian Navy submarine HMAS Sheean arrives for a logistics port visit on April 1, 2021 in Hobart, Australia
    Article December 16, 2021
    How the United States Can Use AUKUS to Strengthen Nuclear Nonproliferation

    The AUKUS security pact between Australia, the UK, and the United States will create precedents that could be used by other countries to pursue nuclear weapons. Here’s how the partners could reduce this risk.

  • Op-Ed Foreign Affairs December 16, 2021
    Will More States Acquire Nuclear Weapons?

    A broad pool of experts offer their thoughts on the risk of expanding nuclear weapons capabilities.

  • Op-Ed Synergia Foundation June 20, 2021
    Securing the Cloud

    The primary challenge is in the absence of progress in defining expectations. Many cloud providers are amenable to such exercises. They should, therefore, be given the opportunity to engage in a dialogue.

  • Op-Ed Der Tagesspiegel May 5, 2021
    New Negotiations on Nuclear Deal with Iran: How Stabilization Can Succeed Without Trust in Tehran

    It is in the EU's vital political and strategic interest not only to show diplomatic support for efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal, but also to influence the content of the renewed nuclear deal.

  • Op-Ed Government Executive April 22, 2021
    How Cyber Ops Increase the Risk of Accidental Nuclear War

    The risk of the United States and China going to war, leading to a nuclear exchange, is growing by the day. Cyber operations by either or both countries increase the risk significantly, as each side is tempted to use cyber tools to gain warning and an early edge in a crisis.

  • Op-Ed Insights April 9, 2021
    A Cloudy Future

    The cloud computing landscape is dominated by a handful of service providers. They are the only ones with skill sets and infrastructure substantial enough to fulfill the mass needs of a rapidly growing digital society.

  • China-U.S. Cyber-Nuclear C3 Stability
    Paper April 8, 2021
    China-U.S. Cyber-Nuclear C3 Stability

    Cyber threats to nuclear command, control, and communications systems (NC3) attract increasing concerns. Carnegie and partners have developed a platform of unclassified knowledge to enable U.S.-China engagement on this issue.

  • Op-Ed International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe January 31, 2021
    Iran and Israel on a Collision Course

    The Islamic revolution upended these ties almost overnight. Thereafter, and for the past forty years the two have found themselves in an ever-worsening conflict, occasionally even in indirect military confrontations.

  • Op-Ed Hill January 12, 2021
    America Must Bolster Cybersecurity

    Cybersecurity experts are still assessing the Solar Winds hack and recent penetrations into government and corporate information systems around the world.

  • Georgetown University Press October 16, 2017
    Understanding Cyber Conflict: 14 Analogies

    Understanding Cyber Conflict draws lessons from past technological disruptions to inform and shape responses to today’s cyber challenges.

  • Decision Points June 15, 2021
    The United States, Israel, and the Iranian Nuclear Program

    World attention has focused on the prospects of the United States and Iran finding terms that enable them to return to their 2015 nuclear deal. But there are still a lot of questions that need answering.

  • China Radio International’s English Service June 26, 2015
    The Iran Nuclear Issue

    The latest deadline for the long-standing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program is almost here. While a short extension seems likely, the talks may finally be winding down.

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