Barack Obama needs to make his first visit to Israel since winning the White House to ease fears that the United States is not fully committed to stopping Iran from developing the nuclear bomb, former Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin says.
“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,” Yadlin wrote in an Op-Ed for The Washington Post
Yadlin also set out a five-point plan for the Obama administration to convince both “allies and adversaries alike that military action is real, imminent and doable.”
He said Obama should:
• Notify Congress that he reserves the right to use military force to prevent Iran acquiring a military nuclear capacity. “This would show the president’s resolve and congressional support for such a measure is likely to be strong;"
• Sent more military hardware to the Gulf and encourage media coverage of the operation;
• “Provide advanced military technology and intelligence to strengthen Israel's military capabilities and exend the window in which Israel can mortally wound Iran’s program.” He said this should be contingent on Israeli pledges to give diplomacy and sanctions more time to work;
• Speak out about the dangers of Iran’s “nuclear reconstitution in the wake of a military strike.” He said the best argument against an Israeli attack on Iran is that sanctions would disintegrate, allowing Tehran to build up its nuclear program. “If Iran sees military action by Israel or the West as an absolute end to its nuclear ambitions, it will be more reluctant to risk things;” and
• Publicly commit to the security of 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.”
“Israel cannot afford to outsource its security to another country,” Yadlin wrote. “But if the United States wants Israel to give sanctions and diplomacy more time, Israelis must know that they will not be left high and dry if these options fail.”
Yadlin is currently the head of the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies. He is a strong supporter of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who have both made it clear that Israel will not leave its fate in the hands of the U.S., the Jerusalem Post said in reporting Yadlin’s article.
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