Tag: iran strike

U.S. OFFICERS OPPOSE DISASTROUS NUCLEAR DEAL, HOLD IT MAY LEAD TO THE “UNTHINKABLE”

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Vital Points on the Iran Deal: Major Flaws and Positive Elements: Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser & Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Aug. 27, 2015 — In light of the centrality and vast importance of the debate around the July 14, 2015, agreement between Iran and the main world powers – “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (JCPOA )1 – and with a view to analyzing in a straightforward manner the various aspects of this agreement, this analysis lists the major flaws of the agreement, as well as its positive elements.

Military Officers Come Out Strongly Against Nuclear Iran Deal: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Aug. 27, 2015— President Obama and fellow supporters of the Nuclear Iran Deal boasted that it must be the right deal because they were able to gather 36 military officers to endorse it.

If Iran’s Behavior Calls for Plan B: Shoshana Bryen, Breaking Israel News, Aug. 25, 2015 — In an interview on CNN, President Obama eschewed the notion of “Plan B” in case the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran failed to pass Congress. “I don’t plan to lose,” he said.

Thinking About the Unthinkable: An Israel-Iran Nuclear War: John Bosma, American Thinker, Aug. 23, 2015 — In an interview on CNN, President Obama eschewed the notion of “Plan B” in case the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran failed to pass Congress. “I don’t plan to lose,” he said.

 

On Topic Links

 

Surviving the Obama Presidency and the Iranian Bomb: Noah Beck, Breaking Israel News, Aug. 27, 2015

Former Intel Chief: US, Israel Should Reach Parallel Iran Agreement: Yaakov Lappin, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 30, 2015

Israel Keeps Wary Eye on Iranian Missile Buildup: Barbara Opall-Rome, Israel Defense, Aug. 29, 2015

My Position on the Iran Deal: Charles E. Schumer, Aug. 6, 2015

                  

                                     

VITAL POINTS ON THE IRAN DEAL:

MAJOR FLAWS AND POSITIVE ELEMENTS                                                       

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser & Amb. Alan Baker                                                               

JCPA, Aug. 27, 2015

 

In light of the centrality and vast importance of the debate around the July 14, 2015, agreement between Iran and the main world powers – “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (JCPOA ) – and with a view to analyzing in a straightforward manner the various aspects of this agreement, this analysis lists the major flaws of the agreement, as well as its positive elements. It concludes with a discussion of some of the dilemmas inherent in the agreement and its implications.

 

Flaws of the agreement: The agreement is set to enable Iran safely, legally, and without economic hardships or changes in its rogue policies, to overcome the main obstacles on its way to possessing a nuclear weapons arsenal and becoming a regional hegemonic power. The agreement will legally provide Iran with the capability to shorten the time required to produce such an arsenal within the next 10-15 years (including the production of fissile material, weaponization, acquiring delivery systems, and improved military capabilities to protect the military nuclear program), so that it would be practically impossible to stop it. This is in exchange for a questionable and barely verifiable Iranian commitment to avoid producing arms and some limited restrictions on its nuclear program for 10-15 years.

 

Reliance on Iran’s open reaffirmation in the agreement that it will not seek, develop, or acquire nuclear weapons is untrustworthy and even naïve, given Iran’s past record of concealing its nuclear activities, its periodic declarations of hostility vis-à-vis the U.S. and Israel, and its regime’s messianic aspirations.

 

The agreement fails to empower the international community with the means to prevent Iran’s crossing the line that keeps it from producing a nuclear weapon even during the 10-15 years in which there are restrictions on its enrichment. Iran could accomplish it via various paths: First, through a “break out” policy, since, unlike the main argument of the U.S. Administration that Iran will need a year to acquire enough fissile material for its first nuclear explosive device, in fact it is going to need only about six months to acquire the necessary amount. Second, Iran can adopt a “sneak out” policy since its nuclear activities outside the declared sites are not going to be effectively monitored, if at all, and since there is no real monitoring of its cooperation with other rogue countries such as North Korea.

 

In short, the agreement unilaterally and unconditionally grants Iran everything it has been seeking without any viable quid-pro-quo from Iran to the international community. Inasmuch as the agreement paves the way for Iran to produce an arsenal of nuclear weapons through the enrichment of uranium before the 10-15 year period, after the period, and certainly later through the production and processing of plutonium, the agreement is clearly a danger to the world order and to the future of the Middle East, as well as to U.S. interests and to the security of Israel…

 

In order to obtain a nuclear arsenal, Iran has to acquire sufficient quantities of fissile material (uranium enriched to around 90 percent or processed plutonium), gain the ability to turn this material into a weapon (“weaponization”), and produce delivery systems, with an emphasis on long-range missiles. In addition, it has to be able to protect its nuclear facilities from attack so that it may safely cross the sensitive period in which it is trying to produce a nuclear arsenal but it has not yet completed a nuclear bomb (the “threshold”).

 

The deal solves all of Iran’s problems, if it is ready to wait 10-15 years, by shortening the threshold that separates it from a nuclear arsenal to practically no time. It does not effectively prevent Iran from breaching the agreement and achieving its goal even earlier, if it decides that the conditions justify it…

 

Three paths are open for Iran to secure the enriched uranium for a nuclear weapons arsenal: break out, sneak out, or wait out patiently until the sunset of the restrictions on its (military) nuclear program in 10 or 15 years which are included in the agreement. It has to be emphasized that Iran does not have any civilian justification for its vast nuclear program, a fact affirmed by the United States and the European Union. Therefore, the entire logic of the agreement is baseless and stands in striking contradiction to the November 24, 2013, Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), which states that the enrichment capabilities will be in line with Iran’s civilian needs.

 

Break out – Rather than blocking Iran’s ability to enrich uranium to a weapons-grade level to produce nuclear weapons, the agreement enables Iran, if/when it decides to breach the agreement and dismiss the inspectors, to do so within a six-month period and not in a year as the U.S. Administration repeatedly and falsely claims. By activating the 13,000 centrifuges and related equipment that are going to be uninstalled, rather than destroyed or sent out of Iran (the agreement requires Iran merely to store the equipment under IAEA monitoring), Iran will need only six months to produce enough fissile material for the first nuclear explosive device.

 

Moreover, the agreement imposes only very minor limitations on the continued development of highly sophisticated and advanced centrifuges and basically allows Iran to proceed with them. Part of these centrifuges may be installed in the deep underground facility in Fordow. Despite President Obama’s declaration that there is no justification for Iran’s Fordow military enrichment facility – the sole purpose of which is to create weapons-grade uranium – the agreement makes no requirement that Iran dismantle that military facility…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                                                                   

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MILITARY OFFICERS COME OUT STRONGLY

AGAINST NUCLEAR IRAN DEAL                                                                                       

Lori Lowenthal Marcus                                    

Jewish Press, Aug. 27, 2015

 

President Obama and fellow supporters of the Nuclear Iran Deal boasted that it must be the right deal because they were able to gather 36 military officers to endorse it. Well, a group of five volunteers in less than a week were able to gather more than 190 retired officers to sign on to a letter in opposition to the deal.

Those officers include 22 Admirals and 4 star generals, 46 vice admirals and lieutenant generals, 96 Rear admirals and Major Generals and 24 brigadier generals.

 

The letter they signed unequivocally states that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed by the United States and its partners in the P5+1, rather than “‘cut[ting] off every pathway’ for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” instead actually “provides Iran with a legitimate path to doing that simply by abiding by the deal.” The letter, the full text of which appears below, was delivered on Wednesday, Aug. 26, to the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid…

 

The letter to the members of Congress, as delivered, reads as follows: Dear Representatives Boehner and Pelosi and Senators McConnell and Reid:

 

As you know, on July 14, 2015, the United States and five other nations announced that a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has been reached with Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. In our judgment as former senior military officers, the agreement will not have that effect. Removing sanctions on Iran and releasing billions of dollars to its regime over the next ten years is inimical to the security of Israel and the Middle East. There is no credibility within JCPOA’s inspection process or the ability to snap back sanctions once lifted, should Iran violate the agreement. In this and other respects, the JCPOA would threaten the national security and vital interests of the United States and, therefore, should be disapproved by the Congress.

 

The agreement as constructed does not “cut off every pathway” for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. To the contrary, it actually provides Iran with a legitimate path to doing that simply by abiding by the deal. JCPOA allows all the infrastructure the Iranians need for a nuclear bomb to be preserved and enhanced.Notably, Iran is allowed to: continue to enrich uranium; develop and test advanced centrifuges; and continue work on its Arak heavy-water plutonium reactor. Collectively, these concessions afford the Iranians, at worst, a ready breakout option and, at best, an incipient nuclear weapons capability a decade from now.

 

The agreement is unverifiable. Under the terms of the JCPOA and a secret side deal (to which the United States is not privy), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be responsible for inspections under such severe limitations as to prevent them from reliably detecting Iranian cheating. For example, if Iran and the inspectors are unable to reach an accommodation with respect to a given site, the result could be at least a 24-day delay in IAEA access.The agreement also requires inspectors to inform Iran in writing as to the basis for its concerns about an undeclared site, thus further delaying access. Most importantly, these inspections do not allow access to Iranian military facilities, the most likely location of their nuclear weapons development efforts. In the JCPOA process, there is substantial risk of U.S. intelligence being compromised, since the IAEA often relies on our sensitive data with respect to suspicious and/or prohibited activity.

 

While failing to assure prevention of Iran’s nuclear weapons development capabilities, the agreement provides by some estimates $150 billion dollars or more to Iran in the form of sanctions relief. As military officers, we find it unconscionable that such a windfall could be given to a regime that even the Obama administration has acknowledged will use a portion of such funds to continue to support terrorism in Israel, throughout the Middle East and globally, whether directly or through proxies. These actions will be made all the more deadly since the JCPOA will lift international embargoes on Iran’s access to advanced conventional weapons and ballistic missile technology.

 

In summary, this agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies. In our professional opinion, far from being an alternative to war, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action makes it likely that the war the Iranian regime has waged against us since 1979 will continue, with far higher risks to our national security interests. Accordingly, we urge the Congress to reject this defective accord…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

                                                           

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IF IRAN’S BEHAVIOR CALLS FOR PLAN B

Shoshana Bryen                                                                                                  

Breaking Israel News, Aug. 25, 2015

 

In an interview on CNN, President Obama eschewed the notion of “Plan B” in case the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran failed to pass Congress. “I don’t plan to lose,” he said. No one “plans” to lose, and Mr. Obama may be headed to a win over Congress, meaning the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will become operational. However, it’s far from apparent that the White House has a Plan B thought out for either the vote or for the day after, an essential tool for ensuring the safety and security of the United States and its interests abroad.

 

What if the Iranians cheat or there is at least mounting evidence of malfeasance? What if President Hassan Rouhani is overthrown and his successor is even more anti-American? Well, what if? What if the next crisis isn’t even in the Persian Gulf? Regardless of the fate of the Iran agreement, America needs Plan B to reverse the most egregious effects of military decline, restore America’s global capabilities, and assure both allies and adversaries that the United States has not gone on permanent hiatus. Sequestration, Congress‘ option for restraining spending, was enacted in 2011. As Congress prepares the 2016 defense spending bill, the services have spent five years deferring training and maintenance, and watching troop levels decline. Long-term planning in the absence of a long-term spending plan has become almost impossible.

 

In a recent hearing, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force chief of staff, said it would take “eight to 10 years to return the Air Force to full readiness.” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said it would be 2018 before the delayed maintenance on ships is complete, and an additional two years is needed to perform all deferred maintenance on aircraft. During that time and beyond, said Republican Rep. Michael Turner of Ohio, “We can lose, people will die, and people will be injured,” as a result of decreased readiness.

 

It isn’t just money. “Our requirements have been more unexpected, our enemies more unpredictable, and our ability to handle multiple simultaneous situations more uncertain,” said Army Secretary John McHugh.

 

An informal poll of priorities among experts in the services — most of whom preferred to remain anonymous — elicited the following:

 

For one retired Marine major general, it was funding the soon-to-be-selected new Amphibious Combat Vehicle. “We are at least a decade behind in ground vehicle modernization in general, and a new ACV in particular. Another priority should be new amphibious shipping. The joint USN-USMC power-projection requirement is for at least 38 amphibious ships; we have 29.”

 

For the Navy, a civilian analyst responded, “Congress should raise the number of carriers that the Navy is legally required to have from 11 to 12 and pay for Ohio-class replacement submarines over, above, separately and independently of the Navy’s [already insufficient] shipbuilding budget.” A retired Coast Guard admiral wanted accelerated ship replacement, specifically offshore patrol cutters and Polar-class icebreakers. “Funding has been limited so far resulting in loss of capability as old ships break and significant reduction in being able to take advantage of production efficiencies and savings.”

 

One Army answer focused on Iran: Special Forces “to go one-on-one against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps worldwide,” cybercapabilities to “make sure Iran needs to worry about our ability to completely turn off the grid in Iran,” and advanced upper-tier missile defense, “to ensure that if Iran develops a ballistic nuclear capability, it doesn’t get beyond Iranian territory before being shot down.”

 

Not everyone was service-specific. While noting problems with flying hours, aircraft maintenance and pilot retention, a retired Air Force general pointed to a comment by a Marine as the chief challenge for all the services. “The fundamental job of the military, ‘kill bad people and break things,’ has become critically hampered by ‘rules of engagement’ [and policies] whose guiding logic is political outcome, not successful combat.” A stronger American approach to NATO, including more forward-deployed troops would help the Baltic States and Poland, both increasingly unnerved by Russian cyber-attacks and adventurism in Ukraine. The United States should also revisit installation of the missile defense radars in Poland and the Czech Republic that were approved in the George W. Bush administration but canceled by President Obama.

 

In the Pacific, Australia has been increasing its defense budget in light of Chinese expansion in the South China Sea. The U.S. has allies and friends in the Pacific and should be leading an effort to better define boundaries and resource rights — with China, if China wants to be cooperative; without it, if necessary. With these priorities and others, it is time for the United States to embark on a serious program to find, fund and execute Plan B to defend America, its allies and its interests.

                                               

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THINKING ABOUT THE UNTHINKABLE:

AN ISRAEL-IRAN NUCLEAR WAR                                                                                           

John Bosma                                                                                                        

American Thinker, Aug. 23, 2015

 

The signing of a Munich-class agreement with Iran that hands it more than it ever hoped to pull off represents a shocking, craven American capitulation to an apocalyptic crazy state: a North Korea with oil. Nothing in Western history remotely approaches it, not even Neville Chamberlain's storied appeasement of another antisemitic negotiating partner.

 

But it also augurs the possibility of a nuclear war coming far sooner than one could have imagined under conventional wisdom worst-case scenarios. Following the US's betrayal of Israel and its de facto detente with Iran, we cannot expect Israel to copy longstanding US doctrines of no-first-nuclear-use and preferences for conventional-weapons-only war plans. After all, both were premised (especially after the USSR's 1991 collapse) on decades of US nuclear and conventional supremacy. If there ever were an unassailable case for a small, frighteningly vulnerable nation to pre-emptively use nuclear weapons to shock, economically paralyze, and decapitate am enemy sworn to its destruction, Israel has arrived at that circumstance.

 

Why? Because Israel has no choice, given the radical new alignment against it that now includes the US, given reported Obama threats in 2014 to shoot down Israeli attack planes, his disclosure of Israel's nuclear secrets and its Central Asian strike-force recovery bases, and above all his agreement to help Iran protect its enrichment facilities from terrorists and cyberwarfare – i.e., from the very special-operations and cyber forces that Israel would use in desperate attempts to halt Iran's bomb. Thus Israel is being forced, more rapidly and irreversibly than we appreciate, into a bet-the-nation decision where it has only one forceful, game-changing choice — early nuclear pre-emption – to wrest back control of its survival and to dictate the aftermath of such a survival strike.

 

Would this involve many nuclear weapons? No – probably fewer than 10-15, although their yields must be sufficiently large to maximize ground shock. Would it produce Iranian civilian casualties? Yes but not as many as one might suppose, as it would avoid cities. Most casualties would be radiological, like Chernobyl, rather than thermal and blast casualties. Would it spur a larger catalytic nuclear war? No. Would it subsequently impel Russia, China and new proliferators to normalize nuclear weapons in their own war planning? Or would the massive global panic over the first nuclear use in anger in 70 years, one that would draw saturation media coverage, panic their publics into urgent demands for ballistic missile self-defense systems? Probably the latter.

 

The Iranian elite's ideology and controlling political psychology is inherently preferential towards nukes and direct population targeting as a way to implement Shi'ite messianism and end-times extremism. Iran is a newly nuclear apocalyptic Shi'ite regime that ranks as the most blatantly genocidal government since the Khmer Rouge's Sorbonne-educated leaders took over Cambodia in April, 1975. Senior Iranian officials have periodically tied nuclear war to the return of the Twelfth Imam or Mahdi, which Iran's previous president anticipated within several years. This reflects not just the triumphalist enthusiasm of a new arriviste nuclear power that just won more at the table than it dared to dream. It also reflects a self-amplifying, autarchic end-days theology that is immune to both reality testing and to Western liberal/progressive tenets about prim and proper nuclear behavior.

 

Admittedly, Iranian leaders have lately resorted to envisioning Israel's collapse in more restrained terms through Palestinian demographic takeover of the Israeli state and asymmetric warfare. Still there remains a lurid history of Iranian officials urging the elimination of Israel and its people, of allocating their nukes to Israeli territory to maximize Jewish fatalities, of Iranian officials leading crowds in chants of “Death to Israel!” Iran's government also released a video game allowing players to target various kinds of Iranian ballistic missiles against Israeli cities – this as part of intensive propaganda drumming up hatred of Jews. A more recent video game envisions a massive Iranian ground army marching to liberate Jerusalem. In all, Iran's official stoking of genocidal Jew hatred is far beyond what Hitler’s government dared to advocate before the 1939 outbreak of World War 2.

 

The deliberate American silence over Iran's genocidal intentionality sends an unmistakable signal to Israel that the US no longer recognizes a primordial, civilizational moral obligation to protect it from the most explicit threats imaginable. It is truly on its own, with the US in an all-but-overt alliance with its worst enemy. The shock to Israel's leaders of this abrupt American lurch into tacitly accepting this Iranian intentionality cannot be understated. Iran is violating the core tenets of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, a US initiative after the Tokyo and Nuremberg war-crimes trials to codify genocide as a crime against humanity. Now the US is silent…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

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On Topic

                                                                                                        

Surviving the Obama Presidency and the Iranian Bomb: Noah Beck, Breaking Israel News, Aug. 27, 2015—When, in 2012, I authored a cautionary tale about the dangers of a nuclear Iran, I never imagined a U.S. president who would, just a few years later, actively try to strengthen Iran’s geopolitical and financial position while providing international legitimacy to the Iranian nuclear program. But sometimes truth is scarier than fiction.

Former Intel Chief: US, Israel Should Reach Parallel Iran Agreement: Yaakov Lappin, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 30, 2015 —The US and Israel should enter into a bilateral, parallel agreement in response to the highly problematic Iran nuclear agreement, former Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin said over the weekend.

Israel Keeps Wary Eye on Iranian Missile Buildup: Barbara Opall-Rome, Israel Defense, Aug. 29, 2015— Israel is keeping a “very sharp eye” on Iran’s modernized ballistic missile arsenal and will be “ready to respond” should the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) attempt to export the new Fateh 313 to Lebanon- or Syria-based proxies, a defense official says.

My Position on the Iran Deal: Charles E. Schumer, Aug. 6, 2015 —Every several years or so a legislator is called upon to cast a momentous vote in which the stakes are high and both sides of the issue are vociferous in their views.

 

CALENDAR OF “DEAL” EVENTS:

 

Monday, August 31, 5:30-7:30 PM – Florida

South Florida: Stop Iran Rally

Rally at the office of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, serving Florida's 23rd District.

Where: 19200 W. Country Club Drive, Aventura FL 33180

 

Tuesday, September 1, 5:30 PM – New York City

Press conference and rally against nuclear Iran

Where: Outside Senator's Schumer's and Gillibrand's office 780 Third Avenue, NYC (at 49th street)

 

Tuesday, September 8, 12:30 PM  Washington, D.C.

Iran Deal Press Conference, featuring Members of Congress, Americans effected by Iranian terrorism, and luminaries to speak out against the Iranian Nuclear Deal.

Where: Washington DC: "West Grassy Area," facing the ellipse, in front of the Capitol building.

 

Wednesday, September 9, Washington, D.C.

Tea Party Patriots, Center for Security Policy, Zionist Organization of America To Host DC Rally

Where: West Lawn of the Capitol, Washington, D.C.

Keynote speakers: Sen. Ted Cruz , Donald Trump

 

Wednesday, September 9, 8:00 PM – New Jersey

Where: Congregation B'nai Tikvah, 1001 Finnegan Lane, North Brunswick Township, NJ

 

                                                                      

 

              

IDF PREPARES FOR ISRAEL’S EXISTENTIAL THREATS: NUCLEAR IRAN, ISLAMIC STATE & HAMAS

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication.

 

 

How Israel Might Destroy Iran’s Nuclear Program: Daniel Pipes, National Review, July 16, 2015 — The Vienna deal has been signed and likely will soon be ratified, which raises the question: Will any government intervene militarily to stop the nearly inevitable Iranian nuclear buildup?

Is IDF Gearing Up to Fight the Islamic State?: Ben Caspit, Al-Monitor, July 8, 2015  — Barely five months into his new job, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot has already made two significant strategic decisions.

IDF Would Seek Destruction of Hamas Military Wing if Future Conflict Erupts: Yaakov Lappin, Jerusalem Post, June 7, 2015 — The IDF has drawn up a new combat doctrine to deal with Hamas, based on the destruction of its military wing, a senior military source said Tuesday, speaking one year after Operation Protective Edge.

Indefensible Defense: Mark Helprin, National Review, June 11, 2015— Continual warfare in the Middle East, a nuclear Iran, electromagnetic-pulse weapons, emerging pathogens, and terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction variously threaten the United States, some with catastrophe on a scale we have not experienced since the Civil War.

               

On Topic Links

 

What Israel Can Do Now: Dr. Max Singer, BESA, July 19, 2015

Preemptive Strike on Iran Legally Dicier Once UN Lifts Sanctions: Yonah Jeremy Bob, Jerusalem Post, July 15, 2015

An Israeli Raid on Iran, with American Weapons: Ehud Eilam, Israel Defense, July 12, 2015

U.K. Lifts Export Bans on Arms to Israel: Israel Defense, July 20, 2015

 

 

         

HOW ISRAEL MIGHT DESTROY IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM

Daniel Pipes

National Review, July 16, 2015

 

The Vienna deal has been signed and likely will soon be ratified, which raises the question: Will any government intervene militarily to stop the nearly inevitable Iranian nuclear buildup? Obviously it will not be the American or Russian governments or any of the other four signatories. Practically speaking, the question comes down to Israel, where a consensus holds that the Vienna deal makes an Israeli attack more likely. But no one outside the Israeli security apparatus, including myself, knows its intentions. That ignorance leaves me free to speculate as follows.

 

Three scenarios of attack seem possible: Airplanes. Airplanes crossed international boundaries and dropped bombs in the 1981 Israeli attack on an Iraqi nuclear installation and in the 2007 attack on a Syrian one, making this the default assumption for Iran. Studies show this to be difficult but attainable.

 

Special ops. These are already underway: computer-virus attacks on Iranian systems unconnected to the Internet that should be immune, assassinations of top-ranking Iranian nuclear scientists, and explosions at nuclear installations. Presumably, Israelis had a hand in at least some of these attacks and, presumably, they could increase their size and scope, possibly disrupting the entire nuclear program. Unlike the dispatch of planes across several countries, special operations have the advantage of reaching places like Fordow, far from Israel, and of leaving little or no signature.

 

Nuclear weapons. This doomsday weapon, which tends to be little discussed, would probably be launched from submarines. It hugely raises the stakes and so would only be resorted to, in the spirit of “Never Again,” if the Israelis were desperate. Of these alternatives, I predict the Netanyahu government will most likely opt for the second, which is also the most challenging to pull off (especially now that the great powers promised to help the Iranians protect their nuclear infrastructure). Were this unsuccessful, it will turn to planes, with nuclear weapons as a last resort.
                                                         

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IS IDF GEARING UP TO FIGHT THE ISLAMIC STATE?                                                                

Ben Caspit

Al-Monitor, July 8, 2015

 

Barely five months into his new job, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot has already made two significant strategic decisions. The first, announced June 15 and discussed in Al-Monitor, involved the establishment of a “cyber branch.” The second, announced July 6, concerns the establishment of a commando brigade to be headed by a colonel. This latter decision is said to be designed to bring the IDF up to speed with the modern battlefield — which no longer consists of clashes between two large armored forces, but a struggle between asymmetrical forces — with an emphasis on anti-terror warfare in densely populated areas.

 

The IDF has evolved as an unplanned military, formed on the go, with units established to address ad hoc needs. Its first commando units — the venerated Unit 101, founded by the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and the 890th battalion of paratroopers — were set up in the 1950s. They were designed to address infiltration from Egypt, Jordan and Syria by Palestinian fedayeen and their attempts to commit acts of terror. This impromptu approach remained the norm for years. During that time, the IDF never created a commando unit the size of a brigade.

 

The IDF’s special units are dispersed among the various corps and military branches. The most famous elite reconnaissance unit, Sayeret Matkal, operates under Military Intelligence. The elite commando unit Shayetet 13 falls under the navy’s purview. Each infantry brigade has its own reconnaissance unit, which is also considered to be a special commando unit. There are also other commando units in the various corps.

 

With the passage of time, the number of special warfare and commando units has grown. For example, after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, during which the IDF sustained heavy tank losses from anti-tank missiles fired by Egyptian infantry, the Magellan and Moran reconnaissance units were formed with the purpose of hunting down missiles behind enemy lines. Such units expanded over the years.

 

The new brigade will consolidate under one large commando branch a number of the existing commando units: the Duvdevan, the IDF’s undercover unit; the Golani Brigade’s Egoz recon unit; the Magellan unit, specialized in destroying targets deep behind enemy lines and providing intelligence; and the Rimon unit, a commando outfit specialized in desert warfare. The remaining IDF commando units — Sayeret Matkal, Shayetet 13, etc. — will remain independent.

 

One assessment in the IDF is that the consolidated commando brigade is the military’s response to the Islamic State (IS). One of the brigade’s immediate tasks will be to draw up a new warfare doctrine against entities similar to IS. These are essentially scattered forces specializing in terrorist warfare in populated areas. They blend in well on the ground and have a relatively low profile, namely, staying off the radar.

 

“The biggest advantage of an organization like IS,” said a seasoned Israeli infantry officer speaking on condition of anonymity, “is the fact that it is very difficult to strike it. It has no big strategic objectives or vulnerable infrastructures. It is always on the move. It can camouflage itself and disappear. You end up fighting a ghost army that is hard to deter, hard to track down and hard to strike at.”

 

“The IDF’s special [commando] units,” said a senior officer who once commanded such a unit and also requested anonymity, “are used to operating in small, surreptitious settings. The IDF uses them for special raids, pinpoint strikes, certain missions behind enemy lines or such that require special skills. This situation changes the more the arena around us changes. Throughout its existence, Israel prepared for large-scale confrontations against regular armored forces. The biggest threat has always been armored corps stampeding toward Israel from Syria or Egypt. This is no longer the case, which is why our armored divisions are also less relevant. The IDF needs to adapt itself to the modern battlefield and place emphasis on infantry, commando, swift and light, and if possible also furtive maneuverability. It needs to be able to track down and collect intelligence on targets and accurately strike at a dispersed, camouflaged and somewhat amorphous enemy.”

 

Other IDF sources, however, deny that the new commando brigade constitutes a response to IS. “This is a move that’s part of a multiyear plan,” said a senior IDF officer, speaking to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “We don’t adjust our multiyear plans to these or those terrorist organizations but to phenomena. We mustn’t forget that prior to IS, we had al-Qaeda. We see the jihadist organizations in Syria, such as Jabhat al-Nusra and many others. Israel doesn’t consider IS to be a significant threat. Reality has taught us that whenever IS encounters a trained, skilled, organized and resolute military force, it has been defeated. We do adapt ourselves to developments in the arena, and we’ll continue to do so.”

 

Another senior official, who recently served as a commander in an IDF infantry arena, described as “nonsense” the assessment that the new commando brigade is a response to IS. He told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “IS is mainly a PR threat. If IS gets near the border, it will be stopped by IDF air force and tanks. There’s no need to have the commando forces engage them. Every standard, trained Golani [Brigade] soldier is better trained, more competent and more efficient than an average IS fighter. This new commando brigade was set up to concentrate efforts, improve power buildup, establish a new warfare doctrine and bring all the means under one roof. To date, the commando units were dispersed between the battalions and brigades. Now we’re talking about one organized punch with a combat concept, training, recruitment, etc.”

 

Asked what would be required of such a force in the future, if and when needed, the senior IDF official cited the Gaza Strip as a case in point. In the next confrontation against Hamas, should such an event occur, if there’s a need for a pinpoint, sophisticated commando operation deep inside Gaza, there will be a specific address to go to and have it carry out the operation, instead of starting arguments and trying to pool IDF resources and troops, he said.

 

Meanwhile, Israel has begun to disseminate information to the effect that Hamas in Gaza and IS in the Sinai Peninsula are collaborating. It began with a statement to Al Jazeera by Maj. Gen. Yoav “Poli” Mordechai, coordinator of government activities in the territories, following a July 1 terrorist attack in Sinai. It was followed July 7 with statements by IDF intelligence officials to the effect that the attack in Sinai had been carried out by IS at Hamas’ request in a bid to “create a smuggling route (from Sinai to Gaza) for raw materials for building rockets.” In exchange for this “piecemeal work,” IDF sources told Israeli media, “Hamas is helping IS with infrastructure and training.” According to the sources, IS launched an attack on 15 objectives between the Egyptian towns of el-Arish and Rafah, along the Sinai beach route leading to the Gaza Strip.

 

Also on July 7, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon told his Italian counterpart, Roberta Pinott, that Hamas and IS were collaborating in Sinai. “On the one hand,” Ya’alon said, “Hamas is fighting against a branch of IS in Gaza, but on the other hand, it is cooperating with IS in Sinai to harm Egypt.” ​

 

                                                                       

Contents        

                                           

IDF WOULD SEEK DESTRUCTION OF HAMAS

MILITARY WING IF FUTURE CONFLICT ERUPTS                                                                         

Yaakov Lappin            

Jerusalem Post, July 7, 2015

 

The IDF has drawn up a new combat doctrine to deal with Hamas, based on the destruction of its military wing, a senior military source said Tuesday, speaking one year after Operation Protective Edge. The new doctrine is the fruit of internal investigations into last summer’s fighting. The probes centered on issues such as training, intelligence, underground combat capabilities, urban warfare, and the overall use of firepower. The IDF concluded that a central objective would be to shorten the length of any future engagement with Hamas.

 

The new concept, created together with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), calls for eliminating the Izzadin Kassam Brigades military wing if war erupts again in the South. “We have new components and an approach, which was shown to the chief of staff and received his approval,” the senior IDF source said. “There will always be a need for adjustments to fit [future] circumstances,” the source said. “But we have a concept, and we have plans.”

 

The IDF has also redrawn its plans to defend Gaza border communities, based on the understanding that Hamas plans to launch raids on these areas in any future clash. “You don’t win with defense,” the source said, “but a good defense will deny Hamas tactical gains that would allow it to claim a propaganda victory.”

 

A third important aspect of the IDF’s new approach to a future Gaza conflict is its focus on Hamas’s tunnel network. Tunnels, the source said, have become Hamas’s most valuable asset. The network exists to serve its offensive forces, smuggle goods and armaments, and facilitate command and control networks. The IDF has installed two tunnel detection systems in areas bordering Gaza, and these are to become fully operational in the coming weeks, the source said. The systems will be able to alert the military whenever it detects digging under Israeli territory.

 

So far, the IDF has not detected any new cross-border tunnels since the cessation of hostilities last August. While the terrorist group is digging tunnels in Gaza, it has not yet rebuilt any of the 32 attack tunnels destroyed by the IDF last summer. The army has also created two tunnel-warfare training sites to improve the ability of ground forces to confront this threat. In a future conflict, the IDF plans to keep critical unit headquarters away from the Gaza border, out of the range of Hamas mortar attacks.

 

Operation Protective Edge was the largest armed conflict between Israel and the Palestinians so far. To prevent the outbreak of a new round of fighting any time soon, there is a need to improve Gaza’s civilian economic situation and hasten reconstruction efforts, the source said. This would provide civilians with hope and raise their standard of living. This is a particularly difficult task in light of the fact that Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority have all disconnected themselves from Gaza, leaving the Hamas-run enclave – where there is a 50-percent unemployment rate – in a state of near total isolation.

 

Hamas – regarded by Egypt as an enemy allied with its domestic Islamist foes – is anxiously looking for sponsors, and its military wing has begun receiving tens of millions of dollars from Iran once again. The organization also receives cash from a global network of charities and businesses, as well as from Qatar, its chief foreign sponsor. Reaching a long-term ceasefire arrangement with Hamas is likely to encourage the Islamist regime and its armed wing to remain restrained, according to the source. Currently, Hamas is taking more steps than ever before to prevent other Gazan terrorist groups from firing rockets at Israel, and it has arrested many Salafi jihadists following recent rocket launches into Israel, according to military intelligence assessments.

 

At the same time, the group continues to restock its own rocket supplies, and is actively seeking to improve the accuracy of its projectiles. A total of eight rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza since the end of hostilities last summer, representing the quietest period in the South since the Palestinian rocket attacks on the South in 2000. There is recognition among the IDF leadership of the possibility for “years of quiet” if the situation can be managed.

 

Tensions persist between Hamas’s military and political wings, the source added, and the military wing could begin to take more independent steps, military assessments have stated. Renewing contact with Iran was cited as one example of an independent move already made by the military wing, which did not receive the backing of the group’s political division.            

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Contents                                                                                      

   

INDEFENSIBLE DEFENSE                                                                                        

Mark Helprin                                                                                                                

National Review, June 11, 2015

 

Continual warfare in the Middle East, a nuclear Iran, electromagnetic-pulse weapons, emerging pathogens, and terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction variously threaten the United States, some with catastrophe on a scale we have not experienced since the Civil War. Nevertheless, these are phenomena that bloom and fade, and that, with redirection and augmentation of resources we possess, we are equipped to face, given the wit and will to do so.

 

But underlying the surface chaos that dominates the news cycle are the currents that lead to world war. In governance by tweet, these are insufficiently addressed for being insufficiently immediate. And yet, more than anything else, how we approach the strength of the American military, the nuclear calculus, China, and Russia will determine the security, prosperity, honor, and at long range even the sovereignty and existence of this country.

 

Upon our will to provide for defense, all else rests. Without it, even the most brilliant innovations and trenchant strategies will not suffice. In one form or another, the American way of war and of the deterrence of war has always been reliance on surplus. Even as we barely survived the winter of Valley Forge, we enjoyed immense and forgiving strategic depth, the 3,000-mile barrier of the Atlantic, and the great forests that would later give birth to the Navy. In the Civil War, the North’s burgeoning industrial and demographic powers meshed with the infancy of America’s technological ascendance to presage superiority in mass industrial — and then scientific — 20th-century warfare. The way we fight is that we do not stint. Subtract the monumental preparations, cripple the defense industrial base, and we will fail to deter wars that we will then go on to lose.

 

Properly subservient, the military implements the postulate of current civil authority that we cannot afford the defense we need. This view, however, a commonplace of public opinion, is demonstrably false, and insensible of a number of things, not least the golden relation of economic growth and military power. The way we fight is that we do not stint. Subtract the monumental preparations, cripple the defense industrial base, and we will fail to deter wars that we will then go on to lose.

 

China, Japan as early as the Meiji, and Israel have consciously employed this golden relation to their advantage. In sum, rapid and sustained economic growth increases the marginal income of families and individuals beyond what is needed to survive, so that what under less favorable conditions would be a disproportionately high share of gross domestic product can be diverted to military purposes without threatening social cohesion and political stability. In just a few decades, the Meiji went from silks and swords to their modern battle fleet’s victory over Russia. Israel enjoyed the world’s fastest economic growth prior to the Six-Day War of 1967, the results of which are well known. And in only 30 years, China has become a military superpower.

 

The way this works can best be understood in the Chinese example, which is now most pertinent. In 1988, China’s per capita GDP was $256, and its purchasing-power parity (PPP) military expenditure $5.78 billion. After average annual economic growth of 8.95 percent from 1988 to 2007, its per capita GDP was $2,539, nearly a tenfold rise, conducive to political stability, and its PPP military expenditure $122 billion, a 21-fold increase. This is the cardinal explanation of China’s rapidly advancing power.

 

Given a short-term assessment of our economy, we might find it intimidating, but it should not be. For whatever the cycles of its economy, the United States has long possessed and continues to possess the most potent combination the world has ever known of major population, massive GDP, and high marginal income. We have chosen to depart from customary and easily sustainable levels of defense spending not out of economic duress but only as a result of the ideological proclivities of most Democrats and growing factions within the Republican coalition. What, then, has been the norm, and why, contrary to the common wisdom, is it sustainable now?

 

From 1940 through 2000 — through wars, recessions, panics, and expansions — average annual American defense expenditure, as a proportion of GDP, was 8.5 percent — 13.3 percent in war and mobilization years, 9.4 percent under Democratic administrations, 7.3 percent under Republican, and, in the peacetime years, 5.7 percent. By contrast, the defense base-budget appropriation (excluding overseas-contingency funding) for 2015 is 2.994252873 percent (just less, as if someone somewhere had set a limit, than 3 percent) of GDP. That is, roughly half the traditional outlays during peacetime. The resultant starvation leads not only to diminished immediate resources but to the slow erosion of the defense industrial base, which is so complex and would take so long to rebuild that, if it were lost, it could be lost forever.

 

Military expenditure need not wait on exceptionally high growth. Nor will it break the fisc. In 1931–40, average GDP was $77.5 billion, and average unemployment 19 percent. By 1944, GDP had risen 271 percent to $219 billion; unemployment was down to 1.2 percent, and real disposable income had doubled — despite the fact that by 1945 military expenditure was 40 percent of GDP and 86 ++percent of the federal budget. The material resources of the average family were a fraction of what they are now, and therefore the amount of national wealth devoted to public purposes was that much more a burden. No one is advocating 40 percent of GDP for defense, but certainly, as the world comes apart, we can do better than half of the long-established peacetime appropriations…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

 

Contents                                                           

 

                                                                                     

On Topic                                                                                        

 

How Israel Might Destroy Iran’s Nuclear Program: Daniel Pipes, National Review, July 16, 2015 —The Vienna deal has been signed and likely will soon be ratified, which raises the question: Will any government intervene militarily to stop the nearly inevitable Iranian nuclear buildup?

What Israel Can Do Now: Dr. Max Singer, BESA, July 19, 2015—For years, the Obama administration has assured Prime Minister Netanyahu that Israel does not have to attack Iranian nuclear weapon production facilities because the US would make sure that Iran would not get nuclear weapons.

Preemptive Strike on Iran Legally Dicier Once UN Lifts Sanctions: Yonah Jeremy Bob, Jerusalem Post, July 15, 2015 —Israel probably has until around mid-December to preemptively strike Iran’s nuclear program before it gets even harder to justify legally than Tuesday’s deal has already made it.

An Israeli Raid on Iran, with American Weapons: Ehud Eilam, Israel Defense, July 12, 2015—Iran and major powers gave themselves until Monday to reach a nuclear agreement, their third extension in two weeks.

U.K. Lifts Export Bans on Arms to Israel: Israel Defense, July 20, 2015—The United Kingdom has lifted all remaining restrictions on arms sales to Israel, according to The Independent. Over the past year, the U.K. government conducted a review of 12 export licenses for weapons that may have been used in last year’s Operation Protective Edge.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                      

 

              

Prof. Frederick Krantz: AFTER GAZA, IRAN

 

AFTER GAZA, IRAN

Frederick Krantz

 

Israel’s brief, intense war with Hamas in Gaza, initiated by the terrorist movement’s renewed rocketing, is over.  A shaky truce, negotiated through a U.S.-pressured and Moslem Brotherhood-affiliated Egyptian President Morsi, is, so far, holding.

 

   While the Gaza leadership has emerged from its hiding-holes to claim “victory”, it’s clear that–thanks in large part to powerful pin-point counter-bombing of the IDF and the remarkable, over-80% effectiveness of the new “Iron Dome” anti-missile batteries—Israel came off well in the exchange.   (Hamas claims over 160 fatalities, while Israel suffered five dead.)

 

   Several leading Hamas terrorist figures were killed in carefully targeted strikes. And Hamas’ Iran-supplied stock of new, long-range Fajr-5 missiles, several of which reached the outskirts of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, has been destroyed, along with other rocket caches and many of the supply-tunnels from contiguous Egyptian territory.

 

   Some Israelis (particularly in the South, most subject to Hamas’ attacks) would have preferred a ground invasion to, finally, wipe out the Hamas leadership and all the hidden (among civilian schools, hospitals, and houses) rocket bases.  Such a move may yet be necessary, either because the current truce breaks down, or because, after an interval, as after Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09, Hamas will resume its missile terrorism.

 

   But for now, with a January 22, 2013 Israeli election looming, and the far more serious Iranian problem on the near horizon, a solid defeat of Hamas and a truce  backed by Egypt’s commitment to prevent further rocketing, is sufficient.

 

   Israel’s fundamental, over-riding concern must now be the immanent Iranian nuclear capacity. A recent IAEA report indicates that a multiplying number if centrifuges means Iran can generate sufficient uranium to arm a bomb in about three months—that is, by late spring (March-April) 2013, shortly after the Israeli election.

 

   That election must be seen as a referendum on Netanyahu’s Iran policy, which very clearly states that Israel will not allow the Iranians to reach nuclear capability. The U.S. position, different, and fuzzier, emphasizes the actual building of a nuclear weapon; it gives U.S. policy makers more time, perhaps up to a year, before having to act.

 

   But Israel’s “red line” is more concrete, and cogent: the time-lag between achieving “capability”, and actually building a bomb-tipped missile, may well be quite short; and in any case, achieved capability alone will greatly enhance Iran’s power in the region.  And waiting until Teheran actually has a verifiable weapon may well be too late.

 

   This is a chance Israel cannot take; for Israel, the issue is existential, and a mistake on here is irreversible and potentially fatal. The US, not the focus of initial attack and infinitely larger and more powerful, can afford to be more patient. 

 

   For the Jewish state, one bomb exploded over Tel Aviv will mean what the Iranians have consistently been threatening, genocide. Israel’s existence, as the legatee of the Jewish People, and the realization of Zionism’s vision of Jewish sovereignty and national independence, is neither negotiable nor, finally, answerable to the vagaries of world “opinion”. 

 

   Hence we should be ready for an Israeli attack—led by a reinforced post-election Likud government–on Iran’s nuclear installations sometime in or after late spring, 2013. And we must anticipate the criticism and hostility of the “international community” and, perhaps, of the newly re-elected President Obama.

 

   The testing time of Israel and the Jewish People is fast approaching; it, and we, have not asked for this, but ein brera, there is no alternative.  And we must all be ready to pass the arduous, and imminent, test being prepared for us.

 

(Dr. Krantz is Director of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research,

and Editor of its Israfax magazine. He is Professor (History), 

Liberal Arts College, Concordia University, Montreal)