The danger is that Netanyahu may seek to break out of the current political isolation by mounting a spectacular attack
October 13, 2011
In recent weeks, intense discussions have taken place in Israeli military and intelligence circles about whether or not to launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Apparently, the key question in the debate was how to ensure that the United States took part in the attack or, at the very least, intervened on Israel’s side if the initial strike triggered a wider war.
Reports of these discussions have caused considerable alarm in Washington and in a number of European capitals. Some western military experts have been quoted as saying that the window of opportunity for an Israeli air attack on Iran will close within two months, since the onset of winter would make such an assault more difficult.
Concern that Israel may decide to attack without giving the US prior warning is thought to be the main reason for the visit to Tel Aviv on October 3 of the US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta. His aim seems to have been to rein in the Israeli hawks.
Amos Harel of the Israeli daily Haaretz summed up Panetta’s message as follows: America is standing by Israel, but an uncoordinated Israeli strike on Iran could spark a regional war. The US will work to defend Israel, but Israel must behave responsibly.
This article was posted: Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 11:29 am