Since Iran would “likely be aware of its limited space of maneuverability,” it could be more responsive to Israeli military threats, rendering “following through on those threats unnecessary.”
CAP’s support of Israeli military strikes contrasts sharply with the reported attitude of the Obama administration, which is widely portrayed in the news media as staunchly opposing any Israeli attacks on Iran.
Major Strike Against ISIS In Coming Weeks?
A coalition led by the U.S. is planning a major surge of counter-attacks against ISIS in coming weeks, but informed Middle Eastern security officials say the strategy is partly dependent on cooperation from Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
The officials note that both countries have asked the U.S. for an understanding that strikes will also target the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in exchange for Turkish and Saudi cooperation.
The Obama administration seems unlikely to acquiesce to any requests to target Assad’s forces as part of the fight against ISIS.
According to reports, Chuck Hagel’s departure as Defense Secretary may have come amid disagreements over whether to target Assad. Hagel reportedly raised concerns that the U.S. strategy against ISIS did not fully address the issue of the Syrian regime.
Last month, Hagel refused to confirm reports that he had sent a letter to National Security Adviser Susan Rice documenting his concerns about the lack of a strategy on Assad. He did tell Pentagon reporters at a briefing, however, that “Assad derives some benefits” from the U.S.-led coalition’s exclusive focus on ISIS.
Earlier this month, Hagel told the House Armed Services Committee, “There is no change and there is no different direction” regarding the decision to not target Assad’s regime.
Meanwhile, Middle Eastern defense officials described a planned “big counter attack” against ISIS by the end of this year or the beginning of 2015. The officials said the strategy includes coalition air strikes against ISIS plus an increased number of deployed U.S. and Western advisers to train Iraqi Army and Kurdish fighters.
The officials described numerous U.S. and Western requests to Turkey and Saudi Arabia to help train and direct thousands of rebels to fight ISIS.
The descriptions of a planned surge against ISIS mirrors reports that President Obama has authorized additional troops to join the 1,400 already deployed in Iraq, with the number expected to grow to 3,100 as part of an advisory and training mission. Further, the Obama administration has outlined a plan to train up to 5,000 Mideast rebels to fight ISIS.