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Posted: 1/5/2006 8:18:09 PM EDT
and the Iranians try to counter attack with their air force wont the American forces in Iraq have to deal with them? Hopefully the Iranian army wont try to go through Iraq! It looks like something could happen soon. Hopefully the new Iraqui government wont allow the Iranians to use their airspace or cross their country.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:21:13 PM EDT
I know one thing, I wouldn't want to be hostile forces flying over occupied land and and unknown number of SAMs, AAMs, AAGs, etc.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:21:14 PM EDT
The Isreali's don't have to fly anywhere. They have subs with cruise missiles with a 1500+ km range that can be nuke tipped. They can launch them from the Indian Ocean.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:22:29 PM EDT
It would be a mess. The Iranians would probably start shooting missiles into Israel, and encourage or order their proxies in Iraq to attack the US. Maybe they'd try to shut down the straits of Hormuz, too.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:23:35 PM EDT


hehe
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:23:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
The Isreali's don't have to fly anywhere. They have subs with cruise missiles with a 1500+ km range that can be nuke tipped. They can launch them from the Indian Ocean.



It aint the Israelis Air Force that I'm worried about. And another thing, wouldn't the Israelis have to travel over Iraq to hit Iran or do they have carriers?
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:26:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Pangea:

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
The Isreali's don't have to fly anywhere. They have subs with cruise missiles with a 1500+ km range that can be nuke tipped. They can launch them from the Indian Ocean.



It aint the Israelis Air Force that I'm worried about. And another thing, wouldn't the Israelis have to travel over Iraq to hit Iran or do they have carriers?



They'd be sending cruise missiles anyways. The point is that they don't have to go anywhere. There's probably missiles pointing at those locations waiting for a number of safeties to be deactivated before they can be launched.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:31:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Pangea:

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
The Isreali's don't have to fly anywhere. They have subs with cruise missiles with a 1500+ km range that can be nuke tipped. They can launch them from the Indian Ocean.



It aint the Israelis Air Force that I'm worried about. And another thing, wouldn't the Israelis have to travel over Iraq to hit Iran or do they have carriers?

Israel doesn’t have carriers.

They DO have submarines.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:40:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2006 8:41:47 PM EDT by motown_steve]

Originally Posted By Pangea:

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
The Isreali's don't have to fly anywhere. They have subs with cruise missiles with a 1500+ km range that can be nuke tipped. They can launch them from the Indian Ocean.



It aint the Israelis Air Force that I'm worried about. And another thing, wouldn't the Israelis have to travel over Iraq to hit Iran or do they have carriers?



Yes, the Isrealis would have to fly over Iraq as well as Jordan and/or Syria.

However, I thought I had heard or read somewhere that the Isreali Airforce doesn't have the range to attack Iran, since they don't have airial refueling tankers.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:44:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By motown_steve:

Originally Posted By Pangea:

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
The Isreali's don't have to fly anywhere. They have subs with cruise missiles with a 1500+ km range that can be nuke tipped. They can launch them from the Indian Ocean.



It aint the Israelis Air Force that I'm worried about. And another thing, wouldn't the Israelis have to travel over Iraq to hit Iran or do they have carriers?



Yes, the Isrealis would have to fly over Iraq as well as Jordan and/or Syria.

However, I thought I had heard or read somewhere that the Isreali Airforce doesn't have the range to attack Iran, since they don't have airial refueling tankers.



Pffffft! Funny in a sick kind of way.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 9:05:54 PM EDT
I think it would certainly be interesting at any rate. And I would expect there would be consequences for our troops in Iraq, Asskrackistan, and the Balkans too.

I just hope they warn us so we would get back on a war footing there first - SAM's loaded up and on alert, soldiers in MOPP gear, tanks&helos loaded up and ready, fighters and bombers in the air, etc.


-K
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 9:10:18 PM EDT
Why do I get the feeling a 'human error' will cause some sort of problem at one of these sites before then? Well it's a hopeful feeling....
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 9:18:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
The Isreali's don't have to fly anywhere. They have subs with cruise missiles with a 1500+ km range that can be nuke tipped. They can launch them from the Indian Ocean.



Why must there ALWAYS be nukes . There will be NO nukes used, do you understand that? There will be only conventional weapons (bunker buster) used for all sites and they will be sufficient as it should be. It's as simple as that. Stop hoping for nukes to be used. Eventually, it'll catch up with you.

I'd fully expect Russia to respond and rightfully so if nukes were used since they'd most likely be irradiated also. Use some common F*(&)*(^ sense! Common sense does NOT equal weakness.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 9:44:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By motown_steve:

Originally Posted By Pangea:

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
The Isreali's don't have to fly anywhere. They have subs with cruise missiles with a 1500+ km range that can be nuke tipped. They can launch them from the Indian Ocean.



It aint the Israelis Air Force that I'm worried about. And another thing, wouldn't the Israelis have to travel over Iraq to hit Iran or do they have carriers?



Yes, the Isrealis would have to fly over Iraq as well as Jordan and/or Syria.

However, I thought I had heard or read somewhere that the Isreali Airforce doesn't have the range to attack Iran, since they don't have airial refueling tankers.



So, they land and refuel at some obscure, well-guarded airfield in Northern Iraq. The American ground crews are told to keep their mouths shut and that those F-16s and F-15s they just refueled did NOT have stars of David on them. Or hell, we could even loan them the airfield, leave some fuel and the Israelis fly their own ground crews in. US radar operators in the area are told to "look the other way".
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 9:57:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By XeroSygnal:

Originally Posted By motown_steve:

Originally Posted By Pangea:

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
The Isreali's don't have to fly anywhere. They have subs with cruise missiles with a 1500+ km range that can be nuke tipped. They can launch them from the Indian Ocean.



It aint the Israelis Air Force that I'm worried about. And another thing, wouldn't the Israelis have to travel over Iraq to hit Iran or do they have carriers?



Yes, the Isrealis would have to fly over Iraq as well as Jordan and/or Syria.

However, I thought I had heard or read somewhere that the Isreali Airforce doesn't have the range to attack Iran, since they don't have airial refueling tankers.



So, they land and refuel at some obscure, well-guarded airfield in Northern Iraq. The American ground crews are told to keep their mouths shut and that those F-16s and F-15s they just refueled did NOT have stars of David on them. Or hell, we could even loan them the airfield, leave some fuel and the Israelis fly their own ground crews in. US radar operators in the area are told to "look the other way".



With GWB in office?
Highly doubt it. Also nukes are a point of no return unless Israel itself will be overrun it will not happen.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 9:59:04 PM EDT
If Israel attacks nuclear sites in Iran nothing will come from it, Iran will take it like a bitch and whine to the UN.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 5:45:50 AM EDT

I "heard" that during gulf war 1, the isrealis were going to bomb bahgdad, nuclear, after the iraqi scud missle attacks in isreal, but the u.s. wouldn't authorize them access to iraqi airspace.
Not certain if that's factual, especially the nuclear.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 5:58:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By nf9648:
If Israel attacks nuclear sites in Iran nothing will come from it, Iran will take it like a bitch and whine to the UN.



if iran is attacked by anybody, all bets are off. if they have nuclear material and sites get destroyed, i would not be suprised to see some leftovers in dirty bombs in telaviv an elsewhere.

also, i'm not military but they iranians know without a doubt that the israelis in particular might come looking to destroy their sites. so they have done things to counter. like 350 separate sites and many buried very deep in reinforced underground sites. anything is possible but i wonder if tactical nukes might not be the only sure way of getting at those sites.

its a very messy situation. and will only get more so with sharon gone.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 10:24:31 AM EDT

However, I thought I had heard or read somewhere that the Isreali Airforce doesn't have the range to attack Iran, since they don't have airial refueling tankers.


For the most part, yes. However, take a look at the conformal fuel tanks on their F-16Is (?) I believe that is the correct designation. That should give those aircraft range to Tehran.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v515/IsraeliAirForcePilot/F-4F-16I.jpg
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 10:54:07 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 10:55:11 AM EDT
the iranian army will have to go through iraq?

heck, i thought half the iranian army was already in iraq.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 10:57:08 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 11:03:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/15/2006 11:04:29 AM EDT by SkyCatII]

Originally Posted By motown_steve:

Originally Posted By Pangea:

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
The Isreali's don't have to fly anywhere. They have subs with cruise missiles with a 1500+ km range that can be nuke tipped. They can launch them from the Indian Ocean.



It aint the Israelis Air Force that I'm worried about. And another thing, wouldn't the Israelis have to travel over Iraq to hit Iran or do they have carriers?



Yes, the Isrealis would have to fly over Iraq as well as Jordan and/or Syria.

However, I thought I had heard or read somewhere that the Isreali Airforce doesn't have the range to attack Iran, since they don't have airial refueling tankers.



The IDF flies mostly American designed/built aircraft correct? Those airplanes do in fact have aerial refueling capability do they not? The United States does have KC-135s in theater don't we?

Get the point I'm trying to make?

If Isreal attacks Iran, they will need to fly through Iraqi airspace, this will require American permission. If we grant them the permission neccessary to carry out the raid, we are already involved. What will keep us from taking an active roll in facilitating the Isreali strikes? We've already sold them the weapons to do it.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 11:07:11 AM EDT

Realistically, haven't the Iranians had too many years in which to dig deep holes and pour concrete?
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 11:58:02 AM EDT
Every time there is a thread about teh Iran strike i say this and I'll say it again. In order to definatly destroy Irans capability to Refine nuclear material The Isrealis are going to have to GO IN! Of course I'm no Expert on the capabilities of "bunker buster" Bombs. But if say the Site was buried under a huge mountain how could any missle penetrate that? They are going to have to land and personally go into the bases and blow the place to shit then get out. All this with the Iranian Air force on their ass. That is a very very tall order. Also Russia dont give a shit about Iran. She has her own problems with Muslim insurgents. She does'nt want a nuclear Iran more than anyone else. Thought she might give "ohhh that's so wrong of the Little Satan" support to the Iranians to keep them on their good side. The whole question is can Isreal pull off the same luck as she had in '67 with total suprise and wiping out Irans Air farce? (this is the Key) And in what way will the US help? (crucial factor) I forsee no problems with Isrealis on the ground, they'll whip the "persians" good! And after all that Cyrus did for the jews! Tisk tisk tisk! PS- did you hear that Iran is hosting a "holocost" conference? I bet a lot of guys in their 80's who live in Argentina are gonna show up and explain how killin 6 million was impossable! 5.9 million maybe, but 6?????? They are all Zionist liars!
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 12:02:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 4:19:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SkyCatII:

Originally Posted By motown_steve:

Originally Posted By Pangea:

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
The Isreali's don't have to fly anywhere. They have subs with cruise missiles with a 1500+ km range that can be nuke tipped. They can launch them from the Indian Ocean.



It aint the Israelis Air Force that I'm worried about. And another thing, wouldn't the Israelis have to travel over Iraq to hit Iran or do they have carriers?



Yes, the Isrealis would have to fly over Iraq as well as Jordan and/or Syria.

However, I thought I had heard or read somewhere that the Isreali Airforce doesn't have the range to attack Iran, since they don't have airial refueling tankers.



The IDF flies mostly American designed/built aircraft correct? Those airplanes do in fact have aerial refueling capability do they not? The United States does have KC-135s in theater don't we?

Get the point I'm trying to make?

If Isreal attacks Iran, they will need to fly through Iraqi airspace, this will require American permission. If we grant them the permission neccessary to carry out the raid, we are already involved. What will keep us from taking an active roll in facilitating the Isreali strikes? We've already sold them the weapons to do it.



So, the US should not only allow Isreal to use Iraqi airspace on thier mission to strike an Arab nation with a Shiite (or whatever) population, the US should also aid the Isrealis by refueling the Isreali warplanes which are attacking Iran directly over Iraq...

You don't see the US using the nation we are "occupying" to aid "zionist invaders" in the destruction of "fellow muslims" as having the potential to impact our situation on the ground in Iraq at all?
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 4:25:38 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 4:33:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
The Isreali's don't have to fly anywhere. They have subs with cruise missiles with a 1500+ km range that can be nuke tipped. They can launch them from the Indian Ocean.



the Israelis aren't going to use nukes to target their nuclear sites. And their conventionally equipped cruise missiles don't have the capacity to knock out deeply buried sites. They will have to use their air force and bunker busters... and they will have to score several hits with the bunker buster to have any hope of destorying the target. In Operation Iraqi freedom, our bunker busters (the same ones we sold Israel) failed to destroy Saddam's bunkers even with several direct hits.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 4:37:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By XeroSygnal:

Originally Posted By motown_steve:

Originally Posted By Pangea:

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
The Isreali's don't have to fly anywhere. They have subs with cruise missiles with a 1500+ km range that can be nuke tipped. They can launch them from the Indian Ocean.



It aint the Israelis Air Force that I'm worried about. And another thing, wouldn't the Israelis have to travel over Iraq to hit Iran or do they have carriers?



Yes, the Isrealis would have to fly over Iraq as well as Jordan and/or Syria.

However, I thought I had heard or read somewhere that the Isreali Airforce doesn't have the range to attack Iran, since they don't have airial refueling tankers.



So, they land and refuel at some obscure, well-guarded airfield in Northern Iraq. The American ground crews are told to keep their mouths shut and that those F-16s and F-15s they just refueled did NOT have stars of David on them. Or hell, we could even loan them the airfield, leave some fuel and the Israelis fly their own ground crews in. US radar operators in the area are told to "look the other way".



I'm sure the Iraqis would tell us "please continue to use our country as you see fit" after that. They would be demanding we leave the next day.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 5:10:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/15/2006 7:21:20 PM EDT by glockguy40]
Is the Begin Option Still a Viable Option for Israel

by Shlomo Brom

In Getting Ready for a for a Nuclear Ready Iran

Report by the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, October 2005

(starts on pg. 133 of the PDF)
-------------------------------------------------------------

CHAPTER 6
IS THE BEGIN DOCTRINE STILL A VIABLE OPTION
FOR ISRAEL?


Shlomo Brom

[snip]

The Nature of the Iranian Nuclear Program
and Its Vulnerabilities.


The Israeli attack on the Iraqi reactor, Osiraq, had a deep
impact on the evolution of other nuclear programs in the Middle
East. States that were determined to continue with such programs
learned the lessons of the attack and concluded that they should
strive to decrease the vulnerability of their program by adding more
protection and more redundancy. The new nuclear projects are
much more dispersed and well-protected. That is also true for the
Iranian nuclear program. The most essential part of every military
nuclear program is the production of fissile materials. According
to recent revelations concerning the Iranian nuclear program, Iran
intends to produce fissile materials in two tracks; the uranium track
and the plutonium track. First, using the excuse of a plan to produce
fuel for nuclear power plants, Iran is building uranium enrichment
capabilities. Iran is also pursuing different methods of enrichment
to ensure redundancy. It is vigorously building an industrial size
facility for uranium enrichment with gas centrifuges in Natanz,
and it pursued also LASER enrichment of uranium. In parallel,
it is striving to control technologies that will enable it to build a
plutonium production heavy water reactor. In this context, it was
recently discovered that Iran is building a heavy water production
facility in Arak, and also has an intention to build at the same location
a heavy water so-called “research reactor,” which will probably be
used for irradiating of uranium, and later separation of plutonium
from the irradiated uranium rods.27 Uranium enrichment specifically
enables dispersion of the production facilities in a relatively large
number of small facilities. It is very difficult to assure that there are
no additional facilities other than those that were already traced.
According to one estimate, there are 19 traced suspected nuclear
facilities in Iran without assurance that this number is finite.28
The nuclear facilities that Iran is constructing are also welldefended.
The centrifuge plant built at Natanz is underground, and
it is defended by an extensive ground air defense system.29
It is very difficult to find in the Iranian nuclear program one
vulnerable point that, once it is attacked and destroyed, the Iranian
program is stopped or stalled for a long time. The Bushier nuclear
power plant, which is relatively vulnerable to attacks, is not really
a part of the military nuclear program, and it mostly serves as an
excuse for an Iranian wish to have control over the full fuel cycle,
namely building a capacity for uranium enrichment. Its attack would
not have a real effect on the military program. The net effect is that
any attempt to attack the Iranian nuclear program would necessitate
sustainable attacks on a relatively large number of targets that are
well-defended, passively and actively.

Israeli Operational Capabilities vis-à-vis Iran.

Iran is situated more then 1,000 kms from Israel. It is a vast country,
and all the meaningful nuclear targets are, and most probably will
continue to be, situated far from its Western borders. That means
that once Israel decides to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, it will have
to plan a sustainable attack on a number of targets that are situated
1,500-1,700 kms from Israel. For that purpose, Israel can use only
its air force. The targets usually are far from the Indian Ocean, and
Israel has no significant seaborne air power assets. Although Israel
has some military relationships with friendly states that are situated
closer to Iran, most notably, Turkey and India, these states also are
keeping a friendly relationship with Iran, and it is highly unlikely
that they would let Israel use their territories for the purpose of
attacking Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. This means that the Israeli
attack aircraft would have to take off from air bases in Israel, fly
1,500-1,700 kms to the targets, destroy them, and then fly back 1,500-
1,700 kms. It is also possible that the flight would be even longer
for the Israeli planes because they would have to fly through the air
space of Jordan and Iraq to use the direct shorter route to Iran. Flying
through Jordan without the explicit or implicit permission of the
Jordanians would hurt relations with a friendly Arab state. Flying
over Iraq without coordination with the United States would lead to
a clash with U.S. interceptors. Any attempt at coordination with the
United States or asking permission from Jordan might compromise
the operation. It is also very doubtful whether Jordan and the United
States would be willing to be involved in such Israeli operations. As
a result, the Israeli planes would have to use the longer route over
the Indian Ocean, with minimal penetration of the air space of other
states.

The IAF does not have any bombers. Its air fleet consists only of
fighter-bombers with limited range of action. Israel has 25 F-15I and
137 F-16C/D fighter-bombers. It is going to improve its long range
capability in 2004 with few operational F-16I aircraft with greater
range of action then the F-15I, but the burden of the attacks would be
laid mostly on the F-15I aircraft that have better capabilities at longer
ranges. F-15I has a radius of action of 1,270 kms. The corresponding
one for F-16C/D is 925 kms and for F-16I, 2,100 kms (but Israel will
have only few of them at the relevant time).30 The real operational
radius is even shorter because for parts of the route, the planes would
have to fly at low altitude to avoid radar detection. That shortens the
range of flight because of higher fuel consumption at low altitudes.
It means that the attack aircraft would need to be refueled at least
twice, on their way to the targets and from the targets. That adds
complication to the operation because Israel has only a few air
refuelers based on Boeing 707 aircraft platforms. Such aircraft are
very vulnerable, and therefore air refueling cannot take place in
hostile air space.

Assuming that the attack aircraft succeeded in entering the Iranian
air space, they would have to avoid early detection and be capable
of dealing with Iranian interceptors. Iran is a vast country, and the
radar assets available to the Iranian air defense system are limited.
If the Israeli planners had good information about their location, it
would be possible to plan approach routes to the targets that would
avoid early detection. If the attacking aircraft were detected and
intercepted, the Israeli F-15s and F-16s enjoy vast superiority over
the Iranian interceptors and would probably defend themselves
successfully. The problem is that such long range attacks are very
sensitive to interferences, and therefore the intercepted attack
formation might have to abort its mission.

If the Israeli attack aircraft succeed in avoiding early detection
and interception, it can be safely assumed that they would be capable
of avoiding the surface to air missile defenses and the antiaircraft
artillery (AAA) defenses deployed closer to the targets and destroy
the targets by use of a combination of tactics, ECM, and smart
munitions.

In any case, any Israeli attack on an Iranian nuclear target would
be a very complex operation in which a relatively large number
of attack aircraft and support aircraft (interceptors, ECM aircraft,
refuelers, and rescue aircraft) would participate. The conclusion is
that Israel could attack only a few Iranian targets and not as part
of a sustainable operation over time, but as a one time surprise
operation.

Even if Israel had the attack capabilities needed for the destruction
of the all elements of the Iranian nuclear program, it is doubtful
whether Israel has the kind of intelligence needed to be certain that
all the necessary elements of the program were traced and destroyed
fully.
Israel has good photographic coverage of Iran with the Ofeq
series of reconnaissance satellites, but being so distant from Iran,
one can assume that other kinds of intelligence coverage are rather
partial and weak.


Covert action demands different kinds of operational capabilities
and intelligence. There is no indication that Israel has capabilities
of covert operations in Iran. The recent information about the
development of the Iranian program indicated that it reached a
status of being independent of external assistance. Moreover, the
assistance Iran got was mostly from Pakistan, another place which is
not a traditional area of operations for the Israeli secret services, like
Europe or South America. It seems that there is no real potential for
covert Israeli operations against the Iranian Nuclear program.


[SNIP]

Iranian Possible Responses as a Constraint.

Although presently Israel enjoys vast superiority in long range
strike capabilities in comparison with Iran, Iran is succeeding
in maintaining a balance of mutual deterrence with Israel. Until
recently, Iran’s deterrence was based on the use of proxies, terror
groups that operated from areas close to Israel or in the global arena.
Iran could balance Israel’s ability to strike at targets in its territory
with the ability of these proxies to attack Israeli towns in northern
Israel or Israeli interests all over the world, using the infrastructure
that these terror groups have established in many states. The most
salient of these groups is Hezbollah in Lebanon. It succeeded, with the
support of Iran, in building a large array of surface to surface rockets
in South Lebanon that presents a constant threat over the civilian
population in a large part of Israel. In recent years, Hezbollah has
acquired from Iran longer range rockets (Fajr 3 and 5) and expanded
its strike capability to a larger part of Israel.36 Iran also demonstrated
its ability to hurt Israeli interests in others states when its agents
were involved in the bombing of the Israeli embassy and the Jewish
community center in Buenos Aires.

Iran is developing a 1,330 kms range ballistic missile, Sheab-3,
that will give Iran the capability to strike directly at targets in Israel’s
territory. The missiles have reached initial operational capabilities.37
Iran admitted after signing the Chemical Weapons Convention
(CWC) that it developed and stockpiled chemical weapons, probably
mustard gas and nerve agents. It was supposed to destroy these
weapons in accordance with the provisions of the CWC, but there is
no report that this was done and Iran is suspected of continuing its
activities in this area.38

If Israel decides to attack Iran’s nuclear installations, it will have
to take into account a response in kind. Iran may use its ballistic
missiles to attack Israeli nuclear installations. Such attacks will not
be effective because of the inaccuracy of its missiles. The probability
of an attempted Iranian attack with aircraft is lower, although strike
aircraft may be more accurate. Iran has a very small number of
long range SU-24 strike aircraft and some air-refueling capability,
but such a long range attack with the challenge of the Israeli air
defense system is a formidable task for its air force. It is possible
that Iran would follow the example of Iraq, and, being aware of the
ineffectiveness of the missile attack on nuclear installations, it would
launch its missiles against Israeli cities.
Iran would probably use its proxies to hit at Israeli targets and
interests in Israel and elsewhere. Under the present circumstances,
striking Israel from Lebanon would be difficult because Israel
probably would react harshly against Syria, Iran’s ally, which is
in a position of weakness; and that does not serve Iran’s Interests.
Hitting Israeli and Jewish targets abroad may look to the Iranians as
less risky.

If an Israeli strike in Iran caused some radioactive contamination,
Israel would have to take into account Iranian use of chemical
weapons.
In all other circumstances, such use is highly improbable
because an Iranian chemical attack would be a blatant violation of
the CWC, and might lead to international action against Iran.

It is not possible to ascertain accurately what would be the Iranian
response, but the experience of the Israeli- Iranian relationship in
the last 2 decades and the declarations of the Iranian leadership39
indicate clearly that there would be a violent Iranian reaction to any
Israeli attack in Iran.

Global and Regional Responses as Constraints.

The Israeli leadership will have to assess the ramifications of
such an attack on its foreign relations when it weighs arguments
for and against the preemptive action. Israel enjoys the position of
a state that already has been through such an experience, attacking
the Iraqi reactor, absorbing general international condemnation, and
being vindicated later. It seems that the Israeli leadership can only be
encouraged by this experience. First, the political price it had to pay
eventually was insignificant; U.S. sanctions were limited and stopped
after a short time, and the negative effect on its relations with other
states also subsided very quickly. Second, the environment is more
conducive today for an Israeli preemptive action, because in 1991
Iraq was considered an ally of the West, while Iran is a member of
the “Axis of Evil,” and because after 9/11 and the war on Iraq, the
concept of preemption is not rejected by everyone as it was in 1991;
at least the only global superpower, the United States, adopted it
as part of its doctrine. Third, after the experience of Iraq, one can
assume that some states will be more cautious in their reaction to the
Israeli action.

From Israel’s point of view, the ramifications of such an action
would be in three arenas; the Middle East, the United States, and
Europe. Israel can assume that the reactions in the Middle East
would be mixed. On the one hand, the Arab States would look on
the Israeli operation as another example of Israel’s intransigence and
aggressiveness, and would object to the manifestation of Israel’s wish
to retain a nuclear monopoly. But on the other hand, they would feel
relieved, because the Iranian nuclear posture is a threat to them as
well. It is quite probable that they would condemn the Israeli action
but would not take any other steps.

Assuming that the preemptive operation took place when it was
clear that the Iranian program could not be stopped in any other
way, it would be difficult for the United States to condemn an action
that suits perfectly its own positions. Israel can be assured that the
action would not harm its relationship with the United States.
The EU is composed of a majority of states already voicing their
opposition to the U.S. preemption doctrine and the war on Iraq as a
manifestation of this doctrine. They would most probably condemn
Israel. Nevertheless, Israel can assume that such an attack that came
after an European failure to make Iran stop the nuclear program
would not lead to sanctions other than verbal condemnation.

CONCLUSION

The Iranian decision to suspend its uranium enrichment activities
and to sign the additional protocol with the IAEA implies to Israel
that Israel does not yet have to decide on a violent preventive action
against the Iranian nuclear program, and can postpone this difficult
decision. As long as it is possible to stop the Iranian program and roll
it back without resort to violence, Israel will prefer it because it will
minimize risks and the price it would have to pay for this objective.
The decision is difficult because the probability of success is
not high, the risks are high, and the cost is certain. The probability
of success is not high because, on one hand, the Iranian nuclear
installations are dispersed, well-defended and have much
redundancy; and on the other, the Israeli operational capabilities for
sustainable operations, and not a one of its kind surgical strike, are
limited. It is not certain at all whether any Israeli operation will stop
the Iranian nuclear program or delay it substantially. The risks are
high because the operational difficulties may lead to a high casualty
rate and because of the high probability of failure. The cost is certain,
because an Iranian violent reaction is almost a certainty. The Israeli
leadership will have to consider whether it is willing to take the risks
and pay the costs for an operation with doubtful results. On the other
hand, there are no real political constraints domestically or in Israel’s
foreign relations that should prevent it from making such a decision.
The conclusion is that eventually the two parameters that will be
decisive in the Israeli decision will be the assessment whether the
Iranian program can be stopped by other means and the assessment
of the operational feasibility.

It is not surprising that, based on these assessments, Israel
believes that the key to the fight against the Iranian nuclear program
is in the hands of the United States, especially after the war in Iraq.
On November 8, 2002, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, in
an interview given to the New York Post, that the U.S. war on terror
should not end with Iraq. He added, “as soon as Iraq is dealt with,
I will push for Iran to be at the top of the ‘to do’ list . . . Iran makes
every effort to possess weapons of mass destruction . . . and ballistic
missiles . . . That is a danger to the Middle East and a danger to the
world.”40

Israel’s preferred policy is to let the United States and the
European states help deal with Iran.
It believes that keeping the
ambiguity concerning possible Israeli reactions in case the attempts
to stop Iran fail may help the U.S.-European effort because it may
induce some actors—those who wish to prevent Israeli operations
that may lead to further destabilization of the Middle East (especially
the Europeans)—to increase their pressures on Iran, and it also may
have a deterring effect on Iran. An examination of Israeli statements
on the Iranian nuclear program shows a constant emphasis on the
danger to the civilized world of this program; concern that the
Iranians are using deceitful tactics; and threats of an Israeli action
against the nuclear installations as a last resort, combined with
declarations that Israel prefers peaceful solutions.41

The United States has to take into account the possibility of an
Israeli preemptive strike against the Iranian nuclear facilities when
considering its policy options. First, such an attack, especially if it
did not achieve its planned objectives, would have a destabilizing
effect on the Middle East. It could lead to acceleration of the Iranian
program and to a chain of violent clashes between Iran and Israel. The
United States should prepare contingency plans for such an event that
include actions aimed at deterring Iran from destabilizing the Middle
East, and the necessary political reactions, including prevention of
initiatives aimed at a show of support for Iran internationally from
such organizations as the UN. The United States has an interest
in knowing the Israeli intentions and affecting them. That can be
achieved only through an open, detailed, and continuous dialogue
between the two nations.

Second, if the United States is considering preemptive strikes
against Iran, it should weigh the pros and cons of cooperation with
Israel in such attacks. The main argument against such cooperation
is that it would fortify the existing perception in the Moslem world of
an anti-Islamic Judeo-Christian conspiracy. That could be balanced
only by very convincing and clear operational advantages of such an
alliance.

Last, the United States should make use of the threat of a
preemptive Israeli strike in its deliberations with its other allies,
mostly its European allies. It may help convince them to take a more
robust stand against the Iranian nuclear program. The Europeans
most probably will consider an Israeli preemptive strike a disaster
and will be ready to invest in an effort to induce Israel to avoid it.


ETA: Did that unfuck your thread???
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 6:32:20 PM EDT
Dude! Unfuck my thread!
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