Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

War coming in the Middle East?

How big a concern is Israel’s growing insecurity? Will it lead it to go to war? The U.S. government is turning some screws on Iran, and Israel continues to fret in public. I’ve heard talk of an attack coming but I don’t understand what Israel might gain from doing so, especially because it isn’t clear ...

Israel Defense Forces/Flickr
Israel Defense Forces/Flickr
Israel Defense Forces/Flickr

How big a concern is Israel's growing insecurity? Will it lead it to go to war? The U.S. government is turning some screws on Iran, and Israel continues to fret in public. I've heard talk of an attack coming but I don't understand what Israel might gain from doing so, especially because it isn't clear that air strikes could really take apart much of the Iranian nuclear program, or even do as much damage as Stuxnet did. On the other hand, with Egypt, Libya and Syria in turmoil and Iraq about to be stripped of any air defense capability...

Meanwhile, in Iran, satellite imagery shows stepped-up activity at an alleged nuke site. And Ahmadinejad's press guy was arrested. I wonder if that is the Middle Eastern political equivalent of fish and birds sensing an imminent earthquake.

How big a concern is Israel’s growing insecurity? Will it lead it to go to war? The U.S. government is turning some screws on Iran, and Israel continues to fret in public. I’ve heard talk of an attack coming but I don’t understand what Israel might gain from doing so, especially because it isn’t clear that air strikes could really take apart much of the Iranian nuclear program, or even do as much damage as Stuxnet did. On the other hand, with Egypt, Libya and Syria in turmoil and Iraq about to be stripped of any air defense capability…

Meanwhile, in Iran, satellite imagery shows stepped-up activity at an alleged nuke site. And Ahmadinejad’s press guy was arrested. I wonder if that is the Middle Eastern political equivalent of fish and birds sensing an imminent earthquake.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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