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Why An Israeli Strike on Iran is Unlikely

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Posted on July 25 2010 6:15 pm
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by Jonathan F. Keiler

If Israel does launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities it will be the most widely anticipated military operation in modern history, even more so than D-Day or the 2003 campaign against Iraq.  The buildup to those operations lasted a few years.  Speculation about an Israeli strike on Iran has persisted for more than a decade.  And this leads one to the most obvious of conclusions — that if Israel has not struck yet, it won’t.

I don’t pretend to know one way or the other, but the fact that conditions for an Israeli strike against Iran were more favorable a few years ago than they are today is a relatively persuasive argument that the window of opportunity, if it ever existed, may have passed.

In a recent piece, The Weekly Standard’s Reuel Marc Gerecht makes this point, among many others. But the gist of Gerecht’s piece is that if the leadership of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) believes that military success is probable, then the widely bruited, supposedly disastrous consequences of such a strike, (e.g. Iranian counter moves in the Persian Gulf and against American and Israeli interests, strengthening of the Iranian regime, weakening of opposition movements, etc.) are much overrated.

Gerecht makes a compelling case for an Israeli strike, if the IAF leadership thinks it is feasible.  Where I think he may err — and many other pundits as well — is in guessing that if the IAF proposes a plan, that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  would be particularly inclined accept an optimistic IAF evaluation and launch a strike.

Read more at American Thinker

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