"The security aid package the United States has refused to give Israel for the past few months out of concern that Israel would use it to attack nuclear facilities in Iran included a large number of "bunker-buster" bombs, permission to use an air corridor to Iran, an advanced technological system and refueling planes.
Officials from both countries have been discussing the Israeli requests over the past few months. Their rejection would make it very difficult for Israel to attack Iran, if such a decision is made.
About a month ago, Haaretz reported that the Bush administration had turned down an Israeli request for certain security items that could upgrade Israel’s capability to attack Iran. The U.S. administration reportedly saw the request as a sign preparations were moving ahead for an Israeli attack on Iran." Ha’aretz
"Harper" pointed out this article in today’s Ha’aretz.
We have repeatedly made the point that Israel lacks the capability to make an effective set of air strikes against Iran without American help.
Among the elements of help they would need:
– USAF air refueling tankers.
– Enough heavy ordnance.
– Enough attack airframes.
On the political side they need
– Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) boxes and code settings to avoid being engaged by US aircraft.
– Overflight clearance for Iraq if they are taking the shortest routes.
When they asked for overflight clearance for Iraq they were recently told to request it from the sovereign Iraqi government. The request for IFF codes got the cold shoulder as well.
Needless to say, this reponse came from the military and Gates. Cheney must be enraged by his lack of control over this.
Until the Russioan intervention in Gerogia, the Israelis had been trying to devise an alternative to an Iraq route. The alternative was to use Georgian airfields as staging points. They were undeterred in this scheme by the prospect of overflying SE Turkey to get to Georgia. The Russians have frightened them out of that idea. Even the Likud knows that Russia is more important than Georgia, or Iran.
If you have been following the series of articles in the Washington Post about Bob Woodward’s newest study of the Bush White House, you should have noticed that retired Army general Jack Keane has been running his own foreign and military policy at Cheney’s behest. To do such a thing is deelpy subversive of the statutory chain of command. This is astonishingly bad behavior. In this particular case he does not seem to have been an effective "player." pl