Plan B for Iran Posted by: McQ
on Thursday, August 14, 2008
Haaretz entitles their piece "US Puts Brakes on Israeli Plan For Attack on Iran Nuclear Facilities". In reality, if Haaretz is to be believed, the US said "no" to some "military equipment and support" they feel they need to better attack the Iranian facilities. Those could perhaps be anything from refueling help to bunker busters.
However, what Haaretz doesn't say is that the US said "no" to the attack. In fact, they claim just the opposite:
The Americans viewed the request, which was transmitted (and rejected) at the highest level, as a sign that Israel is in the advanced stages of preparations to attack Iran. They therefore warned Israel against attacking, saying such a strike would undermine American interests. They also demanded that Israel give them prior notice if it nevertheless decided to strike Iran.
Israel, having war gamed this out, has a plan A and a plan B. Plan A was the plan which includes American help and the "military equipment and support" requested. Plan B is the "we go it alone" plan - and most likely the plan they figured they'd be executing all along. Our reported rejection of their request doesn't mean they aren't prepared to execute an attack. It simply means it will be more difficult to do.
Israel understands two things - Bush isn't going to attack Iran (we just set up a US Interest section in Tehran) and Iran is still committed to a nuclear weapon and would probably use it on Israel.
Now, all of this planning may be based on something else entirely. Israel may be readying itself to attack Iran if the November US presidential election goes to the Democrats. While they may be willing to hold off (at least for a while) if McCain becomes president (and try to rework "plan A"), I would suggest that they have determined their best interests may not be served by an Obama administration.
Washington also reportedly offered Israel advanced defensive systems instead of the requested offensive systems.
In an attempt to compensate Israel for having rejected all its proposals, Washington then offered to bolster Israel's defenses against ballistic missiles. For instance, Gates proposed stationing an advanced radar system in Israel and linking Israel directly into America's early warning satellite network; he also offered increased American funding for the development of two Israeli missile defense systems - the Arrow-3, an upgrade of Israel's existing Arrow system for intercepting ballistic missiles, and Iron Dome, a system designed to intercept short-range rockets. In addition, Washington agreed to sell Israel nine Super Hercules long-range transport aircraft for $2 billion. However, it would not agree to supply Israel with any offensive systems.
Look for them to accept that while continuing to refine "plan B". If Obama wins the election, look for a strike on Iran between November and January.
Interesting. The other day there was total speculation that maybe the Russian invasion of Georgia and our (NATO) lack of defense of Georgia (other than verbal) was a carrot to Russia to let Isreal strike Iran in the fall. THEN there was a front page article saying we won’t sell Isreal weapons they need to strike the Iranian facilities (which is odd on many levels). THEN there’s this article saying we put the brakes on any Israeli strike against Iran.