Monday, September 29, 2008

U.S. Deploys Radar, Troops To Israel: The Price (Updated)

This revelation on Defense News is supposed to be sending 2 messages, one to Iran and one to Israel:
A U.S. government source said the X-band deployment and other bilateral alliance-bolstering activities send parallel messages: "First, we want to put Iran on notice that we're bolstering our capabilities throughout the region, and especially in Israel. But just as important, we're telling the Israelis, 'Calm down; behave. We're doing all we can to stand by your side and strengthen defenses, because at this time, we don't want you rushing into the military option.'"
But according to Emanuele Ottolenghi, there is potentially more than a simple message that the US is sending Israel:
But knowing that the U.S. wants to reassure Israel and at the same time restrain it does not address another concern: the U.S., once it has deployed radar to monitor incoming threats, can also use it to monitor outgoing activities. It may be an additional layer of defensive tools for Israel - but it could also be a warning to the Jewish state no less than to the Iranians: we are now watching all that you are doing - please don’t surprise us with some unexpected and rash action. We’ll know about it before you’d like us to. And that is not exactly the kindest message from ally to ally.
Everything comes with a price tag.

UPDATE: Israel is aware of the implications:

According to defense officials, the IDF has asked to be allowed to station its soldiers in the radar station to be able to process the information received.

"The Americans have so far said no, but this could change over time," one official explained. "We would prefer to have complete independence when it comes to our warning systems."

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1 comment:

E.D. Kain said...

One can understand why the U.S. would want to have this capability. Israel has not always been the most forthcoming ally....though we are no better.

Ah well. It is all, likely, for the best.