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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘panetta’

Sovereignty and Suzerainty in The Israel-U.S. Relationship

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

The recent Obama-Netanyahu conclave has evoked much media speculation: Will Israel act unilaterally to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities? Does the Obama administration really have Israel’s back as the president indicated? And where is that “red line,” the point at which an attack must occur to prevent an Iran with “secure” nuclear weapons? Despite all the diplomatic bonhomie and announcements of solidarity, questions with uncomfortable implications remain.

U.S. officials made it clear that President Obama will not go beyond the broad policy enunciated in the past: that the United States is committed to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon through diplomacy and sanctions and, as a last resort, force. Here too equivocation prevails. Secretary of Defense Panetta has indicated a reluctance to apply military force in this matter, and questioned the effectiveness of an Israeli strike, a position adopted by others in the administration.

By contrast, Prime Minister Netanyahu stated unequivocally that his primary responsibility as Israel’s political leader is to ensure that this Jewish state survives and remains the master of its own fate. But the U.S. holds many high cards in this poker hand. Several officials already suggested that should an unauthorized attack occur, the U.S. would not replenish the ordnance and advanced military technology Israel needs to maintain its superior military position in the Middle East.

These strains in the relationship may not seem apparent at the moment, but the difference in perspective will emerge on the political front in the next few months, if not sooner.

Even the U.N. – notably hostile to Israel – voiced concern that Tehran “might” be developing nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently reiterated its concern that Tehran has tested intercontinental ballistic missiles that could be weaponized.

The threat and the ominous effects of an air attack against Iran, however, is the pull and tug of sovereignty versus suzerainty. Is Israel an independent nation free of American influence? Does the president of the U.S. have a veto over Israeli military actions? Or is Israel free of outside influences, a state enjoined by what it believes to be its self interest?

At the moment, both sides hedge. Israel wants U.S. support, but if it launches an attack, the Prime Minister will provide only 24 hours of prior notice. The Obama administration seemingly fears an Israeli assault, particularly the blowback from across the Arab world, but it is obvious that the United States cannot prevent this decision from being made. This is not a test of wills, but rather a test of interests and strategic perspective.

On at least one matter, there appears to be consensus: containment, of the kind that seemingly worked during the Cold War, is not applicable in this scenario, albeit that may be the United States’ default position. But it is clear, even to the bureaucrats in Foggy Bottom, that an Iranian nuclear weapon has political as well as military consequences. U.S. interests across the Middle East would be imperiled by the Persian bomb. Moreover, it is also clear that a “Japanese solution,” in which Iran has enough fissionable material to produce several bombs and ICBM’s to deliver them but doesn’t bring the two together, is not acceptable. Presumably, with the right applications, the ICBM’s could be weaponized in relatively short order — and every nation in the Middle East will find out what is in that Iranian tent.

Clearly it is better to see Israel and the U.S. move closer on this strategic issue than they were previously, but there is a nagging feeling that President Obama will say whatever is necessary to forge ties to Jewish wealth and the Jewish Democratic voting bloc. Does he mean what he says? Based on past public commentary, the jury is skeptically out. The next months, however, could shape the future of global affairs for decades.

 

Originally published by Stonegate Institute www.stonegateinstitute.org

Bill to Impeach Obama for Bombing Syria without Congressional Authorization

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Drew Zahn of World News Daily reports that Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., R-N.C., has introduced a resolution declaring that the president’s use of offensive military force  without Congressional authorization would be considered “an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor.”

Jones cites Obama’s authorization of military force in Libya as an example for such unilateral action.

Former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo wrote in WND: “This week it was Secretary of Defense Panetta’s declaration before the Senate Armed Services Committee that he and President Obama look not to the Congress for authorization to bomb Syria but to NATO and the United Nations. This led to Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., introducing an official resolution calling for impeachment should Obama take offensive action based on Panetta’s policy statement, because it would violate the Constitution.”

Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution reserves for Congress alone the power to declare war.

Panetta: Iran Could Produce Nuke Within a Year

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, speaking on the CBS program “60 Minutes” on Sunday, said that Iran could develop a nuclear weapon within about one year.

Panetta qualified this statement by saying that it would likely take Iran upwards of three years to produce a missile or other payload that could deliver the weapon.

Panetta repeated the Obama administration’s position that it would “take whatever steps are necessary” to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, which he called a ‘red line’ for both the US and Israel.

US Sends Chief of Staff to Stop Israeli Attack on Iran

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Israel’s intensifying readiness to launch a military strike against Iran has met with a negative US response, with top government officials being dispatched to the Jewish state in the attempt to thwart an attack.

US President Barack Obama, who has made the US position against an attack on Iran known through Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as well as through private phone conversations to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, is now sending chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey to Israel to discourage the Jewish state from taking unilateral actions.  Dempsey will be in Tel Aviv next week, where he will meet with Israeli military officials including Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz .  Dempsey will attempt to convince officials that US-imposed sanctions are sufficient to protect against an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel.

Despite a growing number and degree of international sanctions, Iran has remained seemingly undeterred in its quest for nuclear capability, warning Arab states not to take part in a drive to stop Iran’s atomic development, chastising nations which have taken steps to punish the country, and relocating enrichment facilities to hidden underground locations.  It has also threatened to block oil transports through the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Now, all heads are turned toward Israel, which has stated in the past that it will take necessary measures to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, steps which it sees as potentially unavoidable for protecting the continued existence of the country. “It is the policy of the Israeli government, and the Obama administration, that all options remain on the table. And it is crucial that the ayatollahs in Tehran take this policy seriously,” said Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S.

As Iran has continued its nuclear development, an increasingly heated war of words has ensued between Israel and Iran, with Iranian officials daring Israel to attack “if the Zionists like to sit on wheelchairs”, and Israel stating that ramped up threats against it make a strike against Iran “more and more likely”.

For its part, the US military is preparing for repercussions to its operations in the Middle East as a result of an Israeli strike on Iran.  Of particular concern to the US are its various embassies and diplomatic outposts, with a staff of 15,000.

Israel and the US have planned a coordinated massive missile defense drill for later this year, called “Austere Challenge”.

US Defense Sec: Iran Could Have Nuke in Year or Less

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Iran has the capability to produce an atomic bomb within a year, according to US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in an interview on CBS News Monday night.

Panetta told CBS News anchor Scott Pelley that Iran could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year – and that is in the event that Iran does not have a hidden facility enriching fuel already.

The US will “deal with” an Iranian weapon, with “whatever steps [are] necessary to stop it” if need be, said Panetta.  “That’s a red line for us and that’s a red line, obviously, for the Israelis, he said.  “There are no options off the table,” he added.

Speaking at Washinton’s Saban Center for the Middle East on December 2, Panetta said Israel should not take unilateral action against Iran, saying that any military option should be a last resort, and taken in coordination with the United States.

To that, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak responded that “Israel is responsible for its security, its future and its existence,” and would not “wait and say ‘we will see if they have a bomb and then we will act’.”  He emphasized that “no option should be taken off the table”.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-defense-sec-iran-could-have-nuke-in-year-or-less/2011/12/20/

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