Monday, August 20, 2012

A Call for Obama to Visit Israel on Iran Threat

5 ways to avert an Israeli strike on Iran
-Amos Yadlin [pictured]

This fall, all the boxes will be checked for an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

The U.S. president should visit Israel and tell its leadership -- and, more important, its people -- that preventing a nuclear Iran is a U.S. interest, and if we have to resort to military action, we will.

This message, delivered by the president of the United States to the Israeli Knesset, would be far more effective than U.S. officials' attempts to convey the same sentiment behind closed doors.

The administration should also take five immediate steps to convince allies and adversaries alike that military action is real, imminent and doable - which are key to making it less likely.

First, Obama should notify the U.S. Congress in writing that he reserves the right to use military force to prevent Iran's acquisition of a military nuclear capability.

Second, Washington should signal its intentions via a heightened U.S. military presence in the gulf, military exercises with Middle East allies and missile defense deployment in the region.

Third, Washington should provide advanced military technology and intelligence to strengthen Israel's military capabilities and extend the window in which Israel can mortally wound Iran's program.

Fourth, U.S. officials should speak publicly about the dangers of possible Iranian nuclear reconstitution in the wake of a military strike.

Fifth, Obama should publicly commit to the security of U.S. allies in the gulf. This would reassure jittery friends in the region and credibly anchor the U.S. last-resort military option to three powerful interests: U.S. national security, Israeli security and the security of allied states.

[T]ime is running out to make this commitment credible to the people of the United States, Israel and Iran. As the adage goes, if you want peace, prepare (credibly) for war.
Amos Yadlin, a former chief of Israeli military intelligence, is director of Israel's Institute for National Security Studies
[The Washington Post]

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