UPDATE ON ISRAEL’S VULNERABILITY
Not long ago I was in Israel’s Jezreel Valley. Sometimes identified as the sight of the great battle of Armageddon, the peaceful, rolling green pastures look like a gentle farming area. Not far away is the Meggido Pass which holds some of the most ancient ruins in Israel because Meggido had always been a major crossroads in journeying from Egypt to the Fertile Crescent. A fascinating vacation area. Not so!
Hidden within those hills is Ramat David Air Force Base housing F-16 fighter jets that come roaring out every few hours to patrol the skies. Jets are scrambled daily to intercept civilian aircraft failing to respond to Israel’s air traffic control demands and thus prevent a 9/11 disaster in Israel. Because of this strategic location, Ramat David would be a prime target for Syria or Hezbollah in a future war. Currently, Syria remains bogged down in what amounts to a civil war so I’m sure the base is not a primary interest for the Al-Assah regime. However, an assault would probably come from another direction.
When (assuming Iran remains intransigent) Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities, Ramat David would probably be the point of departure should the attack on Iran come from the sky. In a mission of considerable distance, saving every drop of fuel would be paramount. Ramat David’s location in the far north provides that advantage. But can they accomplish the goal of knocking our Iran’s program? The answer depends on who you listen to.
Three recent chiefs of staff includind Dan Halutz, Gabi Ashkenazi, and Benny Gantz believe Israel can knock out some of Iran’s facilities, but not destroy their program because Iran has already mastered the technology to build a bomb. A strike on buildings, storage tanks, etc., would be feasible but difficult. To avoid what happened to Syria and Iraq, Iran has built their facilities across a wide area, making one strike impossible to stop the program. Still, knocking out the facilities at Natanz, Arak, and Isfahan would deal a serious blow to Iran’s attempt to create nuclear weapons.
The hidden joker in the deck may yet prove to be Israel’s three Dolphin-class German-made submarines which can carry large warheads. These vessels might be capable of carrying nuclear-armed Popeye Tubo cruise missiles. If I was sitting in the driver’s seat in Iran, I’d be giving more than a second-thought to what this backdoor approach could accomplish if provoked.
Probably, the most important element in this situation is the unequivocal support President Obama gave publically to Israel in exchange for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s agreement to give more time for sanctions to work. Mr. Obama gave Israel the green light that the USA will stop Iran at all costs, including use of military force.
I conclude that Israel’s front and back doors are covered. While President Obama has not been trusted by Israelis for some time, this recent confirmation that America stands behind Israel reshuffles the cards.
Israel is secure; Iran is not.
The mullahs better give the situation a great deal more scrutiny. My bet? They won’t.