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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Shapiro’

Kerry to Return Soon with ‘Framework,’ Says US Ambassador Shapiro

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry may return to Israel within a month with his “framework” agreement to push Israel and the Palestinian Authority off their respective cliffs, U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro said Tuesday.

“I hope he will return in another month so Washington can present both sides a proposal for a framework agreement,” Shapiro told Israeli radio.

If anyone thinks that Kerry failed in his visit last week because he didn’t unpack his “framework,” guess again. The Secretary of State left Israel for Jordan and Saudi Arabia before returning to the United States because he knows who is calling the shots in the Middle East.

It is not Mahmoud Abbas, who will do whatever the Arab League tells him to do, and it is not Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who so far has not defended a single red line on anything except to keep illegal African infiltrators from taking over the country.

Kerry knows he has no chance of convincing Abbas to retreat one inch and of convincing Netanyahu that the United States knows what is best for Israel.

When Kerry and President Obama say Israel’s security is their number one concern, it is true – but only through the lens of their dreamy-eyed telescope that sees Israel as better off with another enemy Arab state.

The “framework” will include all of the core issues and will be presented to the Israeli public and the Palestinian Authority so everyone can understand its character and intent for a final agreement, according to Shapiro.

In a not so subtle threat to Israel, he said, “I think Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu realizes that failure in the talks will make thinks a lot more difficult for the Israeli army.” That is the follow-up to Kerry’s open incitement on his previous visit when he rhetorically asked if Israel wants a new intifada by refusing to hand over more than half of Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley to the Palestinian Authority and expel tens of thousands of Jews from their homes.

The more Arab violence spreads throughout Israel, the more ammunition Kerry and foreign media have to convince the world – and more importantly the Israeli public – that Israel better raise its hands and agree to die slowly instead of putting up a fight and die immediately.

Kerry and Obama have said they will not force either side into an agreement. But that is exactly what they are doing, in the most Machiavellian way, and all of this is ostensibly for the sake of Israel’s security, which in Obama’s mind is conditioned on the United States deciding who is on first in the Middle East, just like it decided in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Egypt.

Sure, things did not work out well, but everything will turn out just right as soon as Israel signs a deal with Abbas.

The “framework” is going to be phrased in a way that if either side balks, it will lose the blame game. Prime Minister Netanyahu already has maneuvered Israel into a tight corner, surrounded by Kerry’s incitement, escalating Arab terror, the European Union and the specter of a boycott if it does not keel over.

But Kerry is not forcing Israel to do anything.

US Ambassador: America’s Goals in Iran Identical to Israel’s

Monday, September 30th, 2013

U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Israel Radio Monday morning that Israel and the United States have identical goals regarding Iran, and that both are seeking to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Shapiro said that in today’s meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu they will decide the details of their “common mission,” with full coordination and, as he put it, with no surprises.

Which means the Americans are well aware of Israel’s anxiety regarding such a surprise, much as Taiwan was surprised one morning, back in 1979, to discover that the United States had switched diplomatic recognition from them as the Republic of China to the People’s Republic of China next door. Oh, President Jimmy Carter, always the life of the party…

Shapiro insisted that both countries are in agreement that the Iranian problem must be resolved through diplomatic means, but are also united in their position that Tehran must prove with real steps what Shapiro called “the nice words” of President Rouhani. Those steps, Shapiro said, should bring about a significant agreement guaranteeing that Iran would not possess nuclear weapons.

Shapiro added that Jerusalem and Washington share information regarding Iran’s nuclear program, and that their cooperation is unprecedented. But he would not say whether or when the U.S. would lift the sanctions against Iran.

He suggested the upcoming meetings between Secretary Kerry and Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif will determine how far Iran is prepared to advance in exchange for the West easing economic pressures.

Hundreds of US Air Force Officials in Israel for Joint Drill

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Hundreds of US Air Force personnel have arrived to Israel for the purpose of participating in the joint “Juniper Stallion 13″ exercise, one of the largest exercises held together by Israel and the US.

Dozens of US Air Force and IAF squadrons are presently located at the IDF Nevatim Airbase ahead of the exercise, which begins on Monday and will continue over the course of the week. Juniper Stallion will see F-15 and F-16 fighters carry out numerous air-to-air exercises. According to IDF sources, Juniper Stallion is part of a series of annual exercises that will be carried out by the two countries.

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, who welcomed US forces arriving for the exercise in Israel, stated that “Juniper Stallion 13 is a bilateral exercise intended to improve the cooperation between our two air forces”. Ambassador Shapiro added that the exercise represented “another chapter in the unprecedented security partnership between the US and Israel.”

J.E. Dyer: Reflections on Ambassador Shapiro’s ‘We’re ready to attack’ comments in Israel

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Why in the world were these things said?

“It would have been better to solve it (the Iranian nuclear crisis) in a diplomatic way, by using pressure and without applying military force,” the ambassador clarified at the closed meeting, “But that does not mean that this [attack] option is not possible. Not only is it possible, it is ready. The necessary planning is in place to make sure it’s ready.”

Well, ok.  The question is not whether we are ready or should be ready for this option – um, of course we are; would we tell anyone if we weren’t? – the question is why our ambassador in Israel would say this.  (Read the full comments for the unnecessarily explicit flavor.)

First of all, an ambassador – or at least his top advisors – knows that bellicose comments of this kind do not accord with the conventions of diplomacy.  You don’t go around assuring other nations that you’ve been practicing to attack a third party.  Besides being operationally stupid, it’s potentially both destabilizing and destructive to your credibility.

Instead, you state what your national interests are, you clarify the outcome you’re looking for, and you assure the relevant audience that you will do what it takes to protect your interests and secure your outcomes.  The point is not whether the audience knows that you have actually tested a military OPLAN (who cares? We test them regularly), the point is for them to understand exactly what you want and the seriousness of your determination.

A warning (or, in this case, an assurance) that the US is ready to attack Iran was almost certainly given on orders from the White House, since it’s not something a diplomat would naturally be moved to say, or say without permission.  It’s a combination of operational TMI and inflammatory rhetoric: a sort of anti-diplomacy.

Second, this is a threat that can’t be convincingly conveyed in a fey, indirect manner.  If we mean this threat and we want it to affect Iran’s decisions, then say it to Iran.  (I would advise putting it in different terms.)  Putting the threat out there in the guise of an assurance to Israel just looks manipulative.

It also looks spurious and irresponsible, if we’re going to sit down with the Iranians in Baghdad later this month and “negotiate.”  What, exactly, are the Iranians supposed to assume about this threat?  What action of theirs could trigger it?  Does it clarify the US position, or obfuscate it?  With the threat of war, it is not actually a good idea to be overly clever and create doubt about triggers and your intentions. If you’re going to deploy the war card, certainty is the mindset you want your intended audience to have.

In any case, if the US and the Western powers make the offer of a sweet deal for Iran, in the hope of getting some kind of agreement – a prospect endorsed by the analysis of long-time observer Gerald Seib in this video – that signal will be at odds with the over-explicit threat of attack.  It would be hard to be convincing about a coherent position in that case.

Regarding the point on military preparations, I know many readers try to stay abreast of where the aircraft carriers are, and that’s not necessarily a fool’s errand.  It’s important not to go all “Pat Buchanan” about it – there are two carriers in the Persian Gulf region at least twice a year because they are turning over their patrol duties; it’s not a sign of the Apocalypse – but it can be a useful indicator.  That said, I advise you not to try this at home if you aren’t familiar with US Navy operations.  The presence of two or more carriers in the Central Command “AOR” (area of responsibility) is almost always an indicator of strike group turnover – or simply a coincidence due to a rare circumstance like USS Abraham Lincoln’s (CVN-72) recent change of homeport from Everett, Washington to Norfolk, Virginia, which involved an extra transit through (and deployment in) the Middle East.

The US administration announced earlier this year that it would be keeping two carriers on station in the Gulf region for the time being.  That gives the president a ready option in case he wants to ramp up pressure on Iran.  I would not obsess over the carriers, however.  They will undoubtedly participate if there is a strike on Iran – they will be indispensable for keeping the Strait of Hormuz open, and their F/A-18 strike-fighters will no doubt be used for the precision targeting of hardened sites, among other tasks for the airwings – but they may well not be the centerpiece of the operation.

If President Obama were to scope a strike on Iran as I believe he would – narrowly, striking only a limited set of nuclear-related targets – the strike may well be conducted as a “prompt global strike,” according to the doctrine and capability of the same name, which has been in development since the last year of the Bush administration.  It could involve mostly cruise missiles and “global airpower”:  B-2 and B-52 bombers launching their missions at a distance from Iran, including launches from US territory; i.e., Whiteman and Barksdale.  (I doubt that it would involve long-range ballistic missiles, which are not accurate enough for most applications in this kind of strike.)  The strike would certainly be conventional, not nuclear.

All that said, if an agreement is reached with Iran in the next couple of months, it will be because the agreement is advantageous to Iran, delaying the EU sanctions which are to kick in this summer, and requiring nothing of Iran that the mullahs were not willing to concede.  Any agreement that does not entail full, unannounced inspection of all Iran’s suspect facilities and nuclear-related programs, as well as Iran’s adherence to the “Additional Protocol” of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, is an agreement that will not stop the nuclear weapons program.  That kind of agreement, however, is what we are virtually guaranteed to get.

 

Originally published at http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2012/05/17/reflections-on-ambassador-shapiros-were-ready-to-attack-comments-in-israel/

US Senate to Consider Tougher Sanctions on Iran

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

The US Senate will consider a new sanctions package against Iran on Thursday, in which oil and economic embargos will be considered in order to force Iran to abandon its nuclear development program.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid will introduce the new legislation, to strength penalties signed into law by President Barack Obama in December.  The new legislation would close loopholes enabling trading with Iranian banks and oil and tanker companies which exist in the December legislation.  It will also include sanctions on companies supplying telecommunications equipment used to monitor opposition.

According to Reuters, the bill is a revised version of one passed in February by the Senate Banking Committee and has the support of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  That bill was brought before the Senate in March, but failed to receive a “unanimous consent” voice vote because some senators sought amdnemdnets which would sanction companies that insure trade with Iran.

On May 23, Tehran is set to resume nuclear program-related talks with representatives from the UN Security Council – US, Britain, China, France, Russia – and Germany which began on April 14.

In the meantime, Iran continues to funnel illegal weapons to Syria to assist Syrian President Bashar Assad in his crackdown on opposition in his country, according to a report on Wednesday by the Associated Press.

An anonymous UN Security Council diplomat identified at least two new illegal arms shipments to Syria, with a possible third cargo containing rockets for arming the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The U.N. Security Council imposed its first sanctions on Iran in December 2006.  Since then, Iran has continued to enrich uranium, despite increasing international pressure.

Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

According to a panel of sanctions-monitoring experts to the Security Council’s Iran sanctions committee, Iran has circumvented sanctions by routinely changing the names, ownership, and flags of seafaring vessels, as well as using front companies, falsifying documents, and obtaining contraband through Iranian nationals around the world, as well as utilizing money transfer businesses to keep business up to speed.

Israel and the United States have made frequent allusions to the possibility of  military response to Iran’s refusal to halt its nuclear program.  In a closed meeting on Tuesday, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said the United States has prepared and tested military methods to attack Iran, if it should become necessary to employ that option.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel: We Are Ready to Attack Iran

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

At a time when international sanctions seem to be getting results, and the United States appears to be avoiding public discussion of a military strike in Iran, a rare and ominous statement was made on Tuesday by a senior American official on the active preparations being taken for an operation against the Islamic Republic.

During a closed meeting held yesterday in Tel Aviv, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said that not only are all the options against Iran still on the table, but that above and beyond that, the United State has been working on getting the military option up and running, has actually completed the preparations for an attack, and has even tested them.

The closed meeting was being recorded by Ze’ev Kam of the daily “Makor Rishon.”

“It would have been better to solve it (the Iranian nuclear crisis) in a diplomatic way, by using pressure and without applying military force,” the ambassador clarified at the closed meeting, “But that does not mean that this option is not possible. Not only is it possible, it is ready. The necessary planning is in place to make sure it’s ready.”

Iranian Deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian, expressed his hope today that next week’s nuclear talks between Iran and the sextet in Baghdad will be a step toward resolving the issue, and urging the West to continue negotiation in a realistic atmosphere.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/u-s-ambassador-to-israel-we-are-ready-to-attack-iran/2012/05/16/

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