"..in exchange for assistance, Washington would naturally (and rightly) demand a very strong say in Israeli policies. A misstep, after all, could embroil it in a nuclear exchange. Within a very short time, Israel’s sovereignty and autonomy would come to resemble Minnesota’s. This is not a bad thing if your country happens to border Iowa. It works less well in Israel’s neighborhood.
I’m not questioning American friendship. But even friendship has practical limits. Presidents change and policies change. George W. Bush, the greatest friend Israel has had in the White House, hasn’t been able to keep a (relatively easier) commitment to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It is a good thing that Israel didn’t build its deterrence on that commitment.
What’s more, it is fair to say that Israel is not a weak country. It has developed a powerful set of strategic options. In the best case, it would be able to act on its own to degrade and retard the Iranian nuclear program as it did in Iraq (and, more recently, Syria). In a worse case, if the Iranians do get the bomb, Iranian leaders might be deterred by rational considerations. If so, Israel’s own arsenal — and its manifest willingness to respond to a nuclear attack — ought to suffice." Chafets
"Commitment?" To Israel? When was this commitment made? I was under the impression that Bush’s opposition to the putative Iranian weapons program was sui generis. (irony alert) In other words, I thought that this was a policy decided on in the context of internal American debate. Does this mean that that this policy was a concession to Israel?
Chafets doesn’t believe that the US is a reliable ally. In other words he agrees with De Gaulle’s opinion that America could not have been relied on to go to war against the Soviet Union in order to save Europe. That is why France withdrew her forces from NATO command. The Germans and the other NATO countries did not agree with De Gaulle’s view in this.
Chafets also thinks that Israel can deal with its security issues alone. If that is so, then why is the US providing Israel so much budgetary support at present?
Chafets specifically rejects Krauthammer’s idea of a written American commitment to retaliation on behalf of (or perhaps in memory of) Israel.
There will be opinions here I am sure. pl