This NY Times article, “Iran Raid Seen as Huge Task for Israeli Jets,” discusses the technical obstacles facing Israel if it were to try to take out Iran’s nuclear installations. It implies that Israel may not have the capacity to carry out a successful attack, let alone face the military consequences of such an attack.
At the same time, an editorial in the NY Jewish Week, “A War That’s Hardly Phony” takes Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, to task for warning against an Israeli attack on Iran, instead of warning Iran against going nuclear and continuing to threaten Israel:
Iran can rest easy, the general seemed to be saying. … Usually, the way to prevent war is to convince the enemy — it is Iran, isn’t it? — that threatening Israel is not just something for Israel to fear but for Iran itself to fear, for such is the confidence and willingness of the United States and Israel to do something about it.
Instead, what was heard in Israel, according to one Jerusalem Post writer, is that the Americans “seem to be trying to undermine Israel’s confidence…”
This last item points to the obvious lack of accord between the US and Israeli governments on Iran. A war with Iran would represent enormous security and economic risks for the world. But it’s Israel that would feel the brunt of the risk if Iran were to become a nuclear-armed state.
It’s a pity that the US and Israel cannot more closely coordinate their approach to Iran, so that Iran might feel increased pressure to make a face-saving deal not to go for the bomb. This could mean communicating the threat of military means to forestall Iran, with a secret understanding between Israel and the US that Israel would not engage in a rogue attack, considering how unlikely such an assault by Israel alone would be to succeed.