Israel's Choice

On 9-11, Americans were confronted with the spectacle of jumpers leaping to their deaths from the burning World Trade Centers in New York -- a demise of their own choosing momentarily preferable to succumbing as victims of smoke, flames and falling debris.  It was a horrific unthinkable act that arose from the spontaneity of a desperate uncontrollable situation.  At this point in history, Israel is facing such a dilemma as it seriously contemplates the consequences of a threatened nuclear attack from Iran.  Does Israel act preemptively to potentially protect its territory and six million citizens and potentially precipitate a full-on regional conflict or anxiously wait while Iran inches closer to nuclear capabilities and follows through with its threats of "Death to Israel?"
 

The media has been fraught with reports about Israel's reaction to the Iranian nuclear threat.  Recent reports have indicated that Israel has received a green light from the U.S. and will strike before the end of the Bush administration rather than during an Obama presidency that purports to value dialogue without precondition with Ahmadinejad.  Other reports indicate that Israel lacks the political will to attack Iran, especially with Ehud Olmert in office.  With the recent successful medium-range ballistic missile test and claims of 5,000 uranium-enrichment centrifuges, Ahmadinejad may have brought the situation to a critical tipping point, as the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is an unacceptable scenario for the State of Israel.
 

Although Iran has indicated that it is not open to negotiation or compromise and the risk appears to have elevated since Iran's recent missile test, many pundits believe that Israel will not attack Iran's nuclear facilities under the leadership of the Prime Minister Olmert.  They cite his failed efforts during Hezbollah's war against Israel in 2006, his capitulation to Egypt with regard to the Gaza situation, his lack of military leadership and combat experience, the fact that Hezbollah now has three times the number of missiles it possessed during the 2006 war, and the infeasibility of bombing underground nuclear facilities.  Although Israel bombed the Syrian nuclear reactor in September and destroyed Iraq's Osarik nuclear facility in 1981, underground facilities involve difficult challenges.  Also, previous attacks occurred discreetly and clandestine action may not be an option against Iran at this point in time.
 

How should Israel deter a nuclear Iran, both from launching direct missile attacks, and from dispersing nuclear assets among terrorist proxies? And for Deterrence Against Nuclear Terrorism (DANT), how should the Jewish state compensate for the absence of "fingerprints," and for the limits of satellites and radars? This is especially significant because Ahmadinejad states that soon there will be a world without the United States and Israel. Coupled with his regular pronouncements to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, this sends serious nuclear alarm signals that cannot be ignored.

 

A nuclear-armed Iran, whose president regularly calls for the annihilation of Israel, is an intolerable threat to the existence of the Jewish state.  There is no quarter for acceptance of an Iranian bomb, which could set in motion regional proliferation to come as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and Syria could potentially acquire nuclear capabilities.  The geopolitical and economic consequences of an attack, although necessary for self-preservation, would be dire.  Iran could retaliate by escalating attacks on U.S. military forces in Iraq and blocking the Strait of Hormuz and thus the flow of 25% of the world's oil.  It could also decrease oil production and raise prices ultimately leading to a global recession and unleash its proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, in Lebanon and Gaza.  The result could be a large-scale regional conflict. However, a well thought out strategy articulated and executed by the US and Israel would serve a strong deterrence. To be sure, it is not a simple or reassuring world. Strategic doctrine is always a complex matter, and any improved U.S. plan will have to be creative as well as comprehensive. If, for any reason, Iran is permitted to "go nuclear," our re-fashioned doctrine will certainly have to identify viable options for coexistence with that unpredictable country. In turn, these options will require enemy perceptions of persuasive American power and of a corresponding American willingness to actually use this power.

 

According to some reports, the Israeli Air Force has conducted secret training missions to prepare for a future attack which will be aided by the X-band radar system, capable of intercepting Iran's newly tested medium-range ballistic missiles, recently installed by U.S. military personnel.  If Israel perceives that time is running out on Iran, it may be forced to muster the political will to defend itself from a nuclear nightmare that Ahmadinejad has repeatedly promised.   We believe Iran is now nuclear capable to some degree.

 

America's new president will have to deal with recent arguments that Washington should lead the way to a world without nuclear weapons. Perhaps, in the best of all possible worlds, all countries could actually turn back the clock, and impose effective limits on the always-evolving technologies of destruction. But we do not yet live in such a world, and the obvious incapacity to implement any real denuclearization means that (however reluctantly) we shall still have to reconcile our own national security with expanding nuclear proliferation. What option will Israel choose and what will its strategy be?
Janet Levy is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  Paul E Vallely (MG, US Army Ret), is Chairman of Stand Up America USA
On 9-11, Americans were confronted with the spectacle of jumpers leaping to their deaths from the burning World Trade Centers in New York -- a demise of their own choosing momentarily preferable to succumbing as victims of smoke, flames and falling debris.  It was a horrific unthinkable act that arose from the spontaneity of a desperate uncontrollable situation.  At this point in history, Israel is facing such a dilemma as it seriously contemplates the consequences of a threatened nuclear attack from Iran.  Does Israel act preemptively to potentially protect its territory and six million citizens and potentially precipitate a full-on regional conflict or anxiously wait while Iran inches closer to nuclear capabilities and follows through with its threats of "Death to Israel?"

 

The media has been fraught with reports about Israel's reaction to the Iranian nuclear threat.  Recent reports have indicated that Israel has received a green light from the U.S. and will strike before the end of the Bush administration rather than during an Obama presidency that purports to value dialogue without precondition with Ahmadinejad.  Other reports indicate that Israel lacks the political will to attack Iran, especially with Ehud Olmert in office.  With the recent successful medium-range ballistic missile test and claims of 5,000 uranium-enrichment centrifuges, Ahmadinejad may have brought the situation to a critical tipping point, as the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is an unacceptable scenario for the State of Israel.

 

Although Iran has indicated that it is not open to negotiation or compromise and the risk appears to have elevated since Iran's recent missile test, many pundits believe that Israel will not attack Iran's nuclear facilities under the leadership of the Prime Minister Olmert.  They cite his failed efforts during Hezbollah's war against Israel in 2006, his capitulation to Egypt with regard to the Gaza situation, his lack of military leadership and combat experience, the fact that Hezbollah now has three times the number of missiles it possessed during the 2006 war, and the infeasibility of bombing underground nuclear facilities.  Although Israel bombed the Syrian nuclear reactor in September and destroyed Iraq's Osarik nuclear facility in 1981, underground facilities involve difficult challenges.  Also, previous attacks occurred discreetly and clandestine action may not be an option against Iran at this point in time.

 

How should Israel deter a nuclear Iran, both from launching direct missile attacks, and from dispersing nuclear assets among terrorist proxies? And for Deterrence Against Nuclear Terrorism (DANT), how should the Jewish state compensate for the absence of "fingerprints," and for the limits of satellites and radars? This is especially significant because Ahmadinejad states that soon there will be a world without the United States and Israel. Coupled with his regular pronouncements to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, this sends serious nuclear alarm signals that cannot be ignored.

 

A nuclear-armed Iran, whose president regularly calls for the annihilation of Israel, is an intolerable threat to the existence of the Jewish state.  There is no quarter for acceptance of an Iranian bomb, which could set in motion regional proliferation to come as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and Syria could potentially acquire nuclear capabilities.  The geopolitical and economic consequences of an attack, although necessary for self-preservation, would be dire.  Iran could retaliate by escalating attacks on U.S. military forces in Iraq and blocking the Strait of Hormuz and thus the flow of 25% of the world's oil.  It could also decrease oil production and raise prices ultimately leading to a global recession and unleash its proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, in Lebanon and Gaza.  The result could be a large-scale regional conflict. However, a well thought out strategy articulated and executed by the US and Israel would serve a strong deterrence. To be sure, it is not a simple or reassuring world. Strategic doctrine is always a complex matter, and any improved U.S. plan will have to be creative as well as comprehensive. If, for any reason, Iran is permitted to "go nuclear," our re-fashioned doctrine will certainly have to identify viable options for coexistence with that unpredictable country. In turn, these options will require enemy perceptions of persuasive American power and of a corresponding American willingness to actually use this power.

 

According to some reports, the Israeli Air Force has conducted secret training missions to prepare for a future attack which will be aided by the X-band radar system, capable of intercepting Iran's newly tested medium-range ballistic missiles, recently installed by U.S. military personnel.  If Israel perceives that time is running out on Iran, it may be forced to muster the political will to defend itself from a nuclear nightmare that Ahmadinejad has repeatedly promised.   We believe Iran is now nuclear capable to some degree.

 

America's new president will have to deal with recent arguments that Washington should lead the way to a world without nuclear weapons. Perhaps, in the best of all possible worlds, all countries could actually turn back the clock, and impose effective limits on the always-evolving technologies of destruction. But we do not yet live in such a world, and the obvious incapacity to implement any real denuclearization means that (however reluctantly) we shall still have to reconcile our own national security with expanding nuclear proliferation. What option will Israel choose and what will its strategy be?
Janet Levy is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  Paul E Vallely (MG, US Army Ret), is Chairman of Stand Up America USA