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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Things that you don't see from there, you see from here?

Would you believe that Chuck Hagel (!!!) says that Israel has the right to decide for itself when to strike Iran?
Chuck Hagel arrived in Israel Sunday for his first visit as U.S. defense secretary with the message that Israeli leaders have the right to decide for themselves whether to strike Iran and with promises to give Israel more advanced weapons that could make such an attack more decisive.
The new Pentagon chief's warnings about the Iranian nuclear "threat" and pledges to sell air refueling aircraft and other weapons systems to Israel appeared designed not only to assure Israel of U.S. military backing, but also to dispel questions raised during Mr. Hagel's Senate confirmation fight about his level of support for Israel.
Meanwhile, Israel's Air Force is already training on some of the new weapons it's going to get from the US.
Israel Air Force pilots have begun training on the tili-rotor V-22 aircraft, which uses rotors to take off and land vertically before flying on missions as an airplane. It can match the speed of a Hercules and refuel from it during sorties. The V-22 will improve the IAF’s aerial patrol capabilities, and can also transport troops a considerable distance.
Israel will also purchase the KC-135 military refueling plane, which will form a substantial addition to the IAF’s current fleet of modified Boeing 707 refueling aircraft, of which the air force is believed to have around 10.
The arms deal is part of a wider $10 billion package involving US sales to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, designed to provide Washington’s allies in the region with enhanced military capabilities against Iran. The UAE will take stock of 25 F-16 Desert Falcon jets worth nearly $5b.
No, I don't think we were wrong about Hagel. I think that seeing the problems the US is having with North Korea has awakened the Obama administration to the potential of Iran, and they realize that the US does not currently have the assets to handle Iran alone. They understand - hopefully - that a credible Israeli military threat to Iran works to the United States' advantage.

What could go wrong?

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