Friday, April 17, 2015
Will Israel Strike Iran Before Putin Delivers Missles?
Bad or Worse? - J.E. Dyer
Russia's selling the S-300 air defense missile system to Iran is bad. The mobile S-300 could dramatically complicate the air space picture for strike planners, with the missile launchers moving around to evade reconnaissance.
Iran could also lose a launcher and quickly deploy another one to fill the gap. It has nothing approaching this capability today.
The S-300's range and mobility will make an attacking force work much harder, and probably take more losses, to fight through to its targets. No defensive system makes an attack impossible, but the S-300 makes an attack cost more.
Defeating the S-300, in order to give a meaningful thump to the Iranian nuclear program, would not require a conventional ground invasion. But it would require considerably more tactical air forces than the U.S. has in a ready status today.
Israel will have to get creative. The S-300 poses a significant problem. Israel actually has more strike-fighters combat ready and available for an Iran attack today than the U.S. does.
But there's no option of flying into an S-300 network once it goes active. It must be degraded - blinded, immobilized to some level - before the first main-target attack aircraft shows up.
The S-300 forces a decision on the Israelis about what their threshold is: at what point do they decide they can't do enough damage after the S-300 is deployed, and must strike before it's deployed.
The writer is a retired U.S. Naval Intelligence officer.
Is Any Deal Better than No Deal? - Michael Gerson
Why would the Obama administration claim victory in the middle of a sensitive negotiation, in a manner that prods the other side to harden its demands and encourages the unraveling of sanctions?
No one believes that Obama would use force against Iran. And this means there is no theoretical limit to the concessions that could be justified to avoid conflict. The argument of "concessions or war" is another way of saying that any deal is better than no deal.
Legitimizing Iran's Anti-Semitism - Lee Smith
President Obama called American Jewish leaders to a meeting at the White House on Monday. "It was one of the tensest meetings I can ever remember," said one participant who has been invited to many White House sit-downs over the years. "Lots of people challenged him very strongly, like about taking the threats of dictators seriously when Khamenei says death to America, death to Israel, death to the Jews. The president said he knows what the regime is, which is why he is trying to take away their weapons. He didn't dismiss what the Iranians say, he just didn't really address it."
Who knows if the Iranians actually mean to make good on their threats against Israel? After all, say the experts, Iran is not irrational. Of course Iran is irrational. It is irrational in its very essence, for anti-Semitism is the form that unreason takes in modern political life. Disregarding the regime's anti-Semitism is to willfully ignore the nature of the regime. To strike a deal with such a regime is willfully perverse and doomed to failure.