Thursday, April 5, 2012

Outing Israeli FOB?

Israel's contingency plan for striking Iranian nuclear facilities is one of the world's most talked about open secrets.  While the Israeli military has an impressive record of daring-do, the ability to project such military power is daunting and often requires one, or more likely, several secret political deals to "reach out and touch" their enemies.  (The raid on Entebbe comes to mind).

In order to conduct a successful air strike (the most like form of preemptive attack), Israel needs to one of two things:

1. Conduct mid-air refueling en-route, or

2. Establish a Forward Operating Base (FOB) somewhere.

Here's a rough sketch of an Israeli strike-package dilemma:

According to In From the Cold, that somewhere is Azerbaijan.

But how did the world-at-large find out about this?

Some speculate, that the Obama Administration, desperate to forestall an Israeli strike, leaked the Israeli-Azerbaijiani deal.

Interesting. So are the Obamunists trying to sabotage Israel? Wouldn’t surprise me.

Some folks, like Steven Cook of Foreign Policy, think the potential of a middle eastern nuclear arms race is a much ado about nothing.

One of my friends did an excellent job of dissecting Cook's faulty logic:

So many things I disagree's a few:

- saying that "the Middle East is different than the PAK-India situation" is not a strong argument about proliferation in the former

- saying that, since Turkey is under the NATO nuclear umbrella they won't pursue nukes works for now, but that assumes the U.S. slow withdrawal from Europe does not make the Turks think they're on their own

- just because Egypt's nuclear program is crude, doesn't mean a Muslim Brotherhood government may "reconsider" the peace with Israel won't decide that they need nukes to protect against Israel (and Iran)

- Same with the Saudis - they may not have a great nuke program, but I'll bet big money they have a deal to get their hands on some Pak weapons, since they helped pay for them in the first place. Plus, they have the big money to buy a whole program if they wanted to.

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