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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

US military option against Iran 'still on the table'?

Bush administration officials assured Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak (pictured) that a military strike against Iran remains a possibility to prevent that country from acquiring nuclear weapons, but it is not the preferred US solution (Hat Tip: Hot Air).
Bush administration officials reassured Israel's defense minister this week that the United States has not abandoned all possibility of a military attack on Iran, despite widespread Israeli concern that Washington has begun softening its position toward Tehran.

In meetings Monday and Tuesday, administration officials told Defense Minister Ehud Barak that the option of attacking Iran over its nuclear program remains on the table, though U.S. officials are primarily seeking a diplomatic solution.

At the same time, U.S. officials acknowledged that there is a rare divergence in the U.S. and Israeli approaches, with Israelis stressing the possibility of a military response out of concern that Tehran soon may have the know-how to build a nuclear bomb.

"Is there a difference of emphasis? It certainly looks as though there is," said a senior American Defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity when discussing the sensitive talks.
But DEBKA is reporting that if a military option is going to be exercised against Iran, it will be Israel exercising it and not the United States:
The United States agreed to link Israel up to two advanced missile detection systems against potential attack by a nuclear-armed Iran, Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday night, July 30, at the end of his Washington talks. But US officials made it clear that, while prepared to help Israel defend itself against Iranian missile retaliation, they are determined not to be involved in any Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear sites.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Washington would deliver within six months “before the new US administration arrives” in January, a powerful forward-based X-band FBX-T radar. Increased access to its Defense Support Program (DSP) satellites, which spot missile launches, would take longer.

By putting a time frame around delivery, the Bush administration holds off a possible Israeli attack on Iran for as long as possible.


The upshot of the Israeli defense minister’s mission to Washington for a boost to Israel’s military capability for a possible preemptive attack on a pre-nuclear-armed Iran was therefore the promise of hardware to give Israel more time to defend itself against Iranian missile reprisals.
The new systems will allow Israel to give its population five minutes' notice of an Iranian attack so that the population could reach shelters. An Iranian missile would take about eleven minutes to reach Israel. More details on the missile detection systems here.


Pastorius is reporting that Iran is planning a nuclear strike on the US.
In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee and in remarks to a private conference on missile defense over the weekend hosted by the Claremont Institute, Dr. William Graham warned that the U.S. intelligence community “doesn’t have a story” to explain the recent Iranian tests.

One group of tests that troubled Graham, the former White House science adviser under President Ronald Reagan, were successful efforts to launch a Scud missile from a platform in the Caspian Sea.

“They’ve got [test] ranges in Iran which are more than long enough to handle Scud launches and even Shahab-3 launches,” Dr. Graham said. “Why would they be launching from the surface of the Caspian Sea? They obviously have not explained that to us.”

Another troubling group of tests involved Shahab-3 launches where the Iranians "detonated the warhead near apogee, not over the target area where the thing would eventually land, but at altitude,” Graham said. “Why would they do that?”

Graham chairs the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, a blue-ribbon panel established by Congress in 2001.

The commission examined the Iranian tests “and without too much effort connected the dots,” even though the U.S. intelligence community previously had failed to do so, Graham said.

“The only plausible explanation we can find is that the Iranians are figuring out how to launch a missile from a ship and get it up to altitude and then detonate it,” he said. “And that’s exactly what you would do if you had a nuclear weapon on a Scud or a Shahab-3 or other missile, and you wanted to explode it over the United States.”
Read it all.


At 9:38 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I've repeated it a lot of times but it repeating again: defending Israel is the responsibility of Israel's government. The entire point of the Jewish people having their own country is so their fate would never again be decided by others. Other countries no matter how friendly, will never defend Jews. Hence it is Israel's duty, whatever the repercussions, to rise up to fulfill it.

At 5:50 PM, Blogger Ayatollah Ghilmeini said...

All of the pieces are in falling into place. Reports of a huge US military buidup in the region in September, if real, signal the great truth: Bush has given diplomacy every last chance. He even broke US policy to send Amb. Burns to Geneva to encourage the Iranians to wake up. Naturally, this failed but the upshot is the same. The Very Big War is at hand.


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