The Kerfuffle Krew
Excerpts from a Sunday Times piece:
Threatened by a potentially nuclear-armed Tehran, Israel is preparing for a possible war with both Iran and Syria, according to Israeli political and military sources.Richard Perle. Creative destruction. The efficacy of air superiority. It's really become a caricature at this point, hasn't it?
The Israeli defence establishment believes that Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear programme means war is likely to become unavoidable.
"In the past we prepared for a possible military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities," said one insider, "but Iran’s growing confidence after the war in Lebanon means we have to prepare for a full-scale war, in which Syria will be an important player."
In Washington, the military hawks believe that an airstrike against Iranian nuclear bunkers remains a more straightforward, if risky, operation than chasing Hezbollah fighters and their mobile rocket launchers in Lebanon.
"Fixed targets are hopelessly vulnerable to precision bombing, and with stealth bombers even a robust air defence system doesn’t make much difference," said Richard Perle, a leading neoconservative.
"If they had acted against Syria during this last kerfuffle, the war might have ended more quickly and better," Perle added. "Syrian military installations are sitting ducks and the Syrian air force could have been destroyed on the ground in a couple of days."
Advocates of political engagement believe a war with Syria could unleash Islamic fundamentalist terror in what has hitherto been a stable dictatorship. Some voices in the Pentagon are not impressed by that argument.
"If Syria spirals into chaos, at least they’ll be taking on each other rather than heading for Jerusalem," said one insider.