Will Israel Strike Iran?

The Jerusalem Post, at least, is taking the possibility seriously:

Over the past several days, Hebrew media reports have been engaged in intense speculation regarding a possible imminent Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear sites.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak appeared to have made a veiled reference to the issue again on Tuesday, when he told the Knesset that Israel may have to protect its vital interests alone, while other reports focused on comments by Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who stated this week that difficult decisions were “keeping him up at nights,” without elaborating further.

Israel is believed to have a fully prepared plan to launch such a strike, which would likely involve at least several hundred aircraft.

At least? This obviously would be a major military operation, with, presumably, no help from the U.S.

The Air Force, which according to foreign reports has gone on dry runs to practice such an attack on previous occasions over the past decade, would first have to neutralize Iran’s aerial defense capabilities, blind Iran’s radars, destroy command and control centers and paralyze Iran’s own air force for a while, before overcoming fortifications and special aerial defense measures placed by the Iranians around their nuclear sites. The operational challenge is vast.

The Air Force would in effect have to take temporary control over sections of Iran’s airspace before being able to target nuclear facilities, some of which are hidden in mountains or deep underground.

The mission would require the use of powerful bunker-busting bombs, as well as possible repeated strikes to ensure success.

Not surprisingly, the proposed mission has its critics:

[S]uch a strike would undoubtedly touch off conflict with Iran’s proxy in southern Lebanon, Hezbollah, which is armed with tens of thousands of rockets, as well as Hamas in Gaza, and possibly with Syria. The resulting chain of events could easily lead to a major regional war and long-term instability, so much so that some senior Israeli defense figures have reportedly been rejecting the idea of attacking Iran for years.

Frankly, I find it hard to believe that Israel would pull the trigger on such a major, and risky, attack. But the possibility is, at least, being taken seriously.

Responses

-->