Friday, June 01, 2012

Why Israel Can't Pull Off a Secret Iran Mission

An Israeli official suggested Israel was restrained by "golden handcuffs"

U.S. Radar Station in Israel: "Golden Handcuffs"? -Karl Vick & Aaron J. Klein

The 100 U.S. service members who staff the X-band radar station in the Negev [Desert] are the only foreign troops stationed in Israel.

The radar is pointed toward Iran, where it could detect a Shahab-3 missile launched toward Israel just seconds into its flight - six to seven minutes earlier than Israel would know from its own radar. This substantially increases the chances of launching interceptors to knock down the incoming missile before it reaches Israel.

All this is possible, however, only if U.S. officials choose to share the information, because only Americans have eyes on the radar.

The reality of the U.S. radar, operating since 2009, also undercuts the notion of Israel launching a surprise attack on Iran that would also take Washington unawares, since it sees all traffic at Israeli air bases.

One Israeli official termed the radar installation "golden handcuffs."

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