Sunday, December 11, 2005

Israel Sets Military Timetable For Iran

Despite ElBaradei's please for diplomacy, Israel has set a time-line for military strikes against Iran as reported in The Sunday Times. (The Australian: Sharon prepares for Iran). According to news reports, Iran has until March to curtail their nuclear research or they will face both air and ground attacks by Israel. Military preparations come in the wake of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call to wipe Israel off the face of the Islamic world, Ahmadinejad's public expression of doubts that the Holocaust ever happened, his calls to move Israel to lands appropriated from Germany and Austria, and Iran's pledge to continue their quest to enrich uranium.

It goes without saying that an attack by Israel will generate an uproar in the Middle East. Fears of breaking the coalition in Gulf War I prompted the US to hold Israel at bay even after that nation was attacked by scud missiles fired from Iraq. There can be little doubt that an Israeli military strike will prompt some type of response at least from Syria and perhaps even Saudi Arabia. This leads me to believe that Iran may actually have less time than the March deadline set by Israel.

Knowing full well that the road-map for peace will crumble when the first Israeli bomb strikes, as will 20-years worth of detente between Israel and neighboring states, it is highly likely that the first strikes will not come from Israel. It is in the best interests of the United States - and the rest of the Western world - to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear capability. It is also in the best interests of all parties to keep Israel out of the mix. Therefore, I do not believe Israel will be the nation that goes on the offensive.

At the moment, Iran is fairly isolated even in the Arab world. While many Arab nations privately agree with the sentiments expressed by Ahmadinejad, publicly they opposed the confrontation that is brewing. Bringing Israel to the forefront, however, will unify the Arab world with Iran. That unity could not only foster a far greater war than anyone wants, but it would also severely hamper the progress being made establishing a healthy and self-sufficient government in Iraq. That, in fact, is what Iran is banking on. They recognize that engaging Israel in a war of words and an escalation of military posturing will only benefit Iran.

What Iran must fear the most is a strike by the US, not Israel. We have the technology to strike at their hardened bunkers. We have the ability to conduct our raids overnight, something that Israel can do but not effectively. We have sufficient carrier groups off the costs to pummel Iran with cruise missiles and eliminate their command and control centers long before any planes touch Iranian airspace. We have active military operations ongoing in both Afghanistan and Iraq with sufficient territory on both sides from which to launch an air and ground assault. Lest anyone claim we're understaffed, keep in mind that we only have 25% of the troops committed in this war as we did in Gulf War I. If troops are needed for an assault on Iran, there are plenty available.

It would seem that Iran is almost out of time. If Russia and the EU are going to pull off a diplomatic miracle, they had best do it sometime in the next two months. Israel now has Iran squarely in their sights, which means the US does as well. Besides, we still have a 25-year old score to settle with Ahmadinejad and it seems to me that payment is about to come due.


1 comment :

Christian Prophet said...

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