No F-22 For You: Gates squashed Israel’s big hopes

Yesterday’s Aluf Benn Haaretz article caused some waves online

It was a two parter. Benn himself it should be noted is a lefty, but competent generally in military matters which is his domain as one of Haaretz’ correspondents.

One part was highlighting ISIS propaganda regarding how a strike on Iran is destined to fail. This is a non starter for me, because one of the chief authors of the ISIS think tank report is Jaqueline Shire. She’s a former State Dept cheerleader, and a graduate of the ‘Columbia Middle East program of Israel hard knocks’.. The most anti Israel University program in the USA which makes little secret of its hatred of a strong Zionist state. Shire is one of those lefty experts who walks around denying Israel’s capitol is Jerusalem and touting the virtues of pacifism.

There is only a diplomatic approach for this school of thought, (one destined itself likely to fail in my opinion) while force is itself illegitimate. Accordingly in my thought process the ISIS think tank report is also fairly illegitimate because it is also agenda driven.. But enough wasting time about that, let’s talk about the weapons!

The other part of Aluf Benn’s article was on how the USA is trying to squish any IDF strike plans..

The American administration has rejected an Israeli request for military equipment and support that would improve Israel’s ability to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.

A report published last week by the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) states that military strikes are unlikely to destroy Iran’s centrifuge program for enriching uranium.

The Americans viewed the request, which was transmitted (and rejected) at the highest level, as a sign that Israel is in the advanced stages of preparations to attack Iran. They therefore warned Israel against attacking, saying such a strike would undermine American interests. They also demanded that Israel give them prior notice if it nevertheless decided to strike Iran.

As compensation for the requests it rejected, Washington offered to improve Israel’s defenses against surface-to-surface missiles. Israel responded by saying it reserves the right to take whatever action it deems necessary if diplomatic efforts to halt Iran’s nuclearization fail. [...]

No mention is made of what systems were rejected. Thankfully I follow these things a little more than is healthy, and know which two big pieces of hardware were on the list and nixed by Mr. Gates. They consist of the F-22 radar evading air to air superiority fighter, and the latest most advanced US JDAM munitions. Israel at the time (Bush’s May visit to Israel) asked the US to consider providing the JDAMs in part because the US has A-OK’d a massive arms package to the Saudis, consisting of advanced satelite guided JDAMs, somewhat reckless for the unstable regime if you ask me - but they didn’t.

Georgia, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq (under the dems) – It’s not a good time to be allied with the USA led State Dept / Pentagon frankly

In order to maintain some military advantage we argued the latest most awesome JDAM should be offered to Israel for purchase.. Along with the F-22 which as I have written previously is cause for major lust here in Israel. What would these two pieces of hardware do? They would up a strike on Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons programs success factor substantially, in both accuracy and survivability for Israeli pilots. They aren’t absolutely essential, we can still do the job without them.. But Gates is dead set against an Iranian strike by anybody that much is clear.

F-22 Raptor

Gates, would Obama keep him as Sec Def?

My own thoughts on him is that he has been somewhat weak, allowing Iran to run roughshod over the US in terms of the nuclear issue and the Iranian sponsored efforts to murder US soldiers in Iraq & Afghanistan. When he was appointed some said he is anti-Israel, but this is simply not true.. He is just a CIA guy, they have no cohones any more in the CIA, self confidence is lacking from a non stop string of high profile failures, while any successes are not profiled at all publicly. He’s, how do you say it? Demure.

When I read speculation from the American democrats (Hotair) that maybe Gates should be kept on in a new Obama administration, this spoke loudly. They seem him as anti force, don’t get me wrong he seems like a nice guy.. But in military matters and many things nice guys often finish last. In any case, it appears that American assistance to Israel to defend against Iran pre-emptively is very very limited, they will help perhaps when the missiles come flying at us - This is appreciated, but less than ideal. Soft power makes for nice books on Amazon.com, here we are dealing with harder realities.

Soft Power? US Specialty lately..

This soft power fetish speaks loudly to how out of step Gates & Rice have been with Bush doctrine, as a neo-con I am somewhat reviled. This tread lightly program has yet to show much success, the Surge is a glorious success but it heralds the exact opposite, a go out & get it done mentality and action. When I think surge I think Hooah! Frankly overall, American policy has been getting stepped on all over this 2nd Bush term. Even when the Iranians made mock speed boat suicide attacks on US Warships, not even warning shots were fired in the air. Kind of weak, with a capital Dubya.

So Israel has received a much larger warning shot from the US than Iran has, it has come in the form of denial of military assistance to carry out a strike against an existential threat. We don’t often listen to warnings here in Israel. We will likely advise the Pentagon if we strike, but I doubt we will get much assistance. Rice & Gates will try to deter us as hard as they try to deter Iran – that is also working marvelously. Rice after all stood firm to stop Israel from striking the Syrian / Iranian / NoKo nuclear program, it’s a good thing we didn’t take her advice then either.