"...At the U.N. last week, Obama sided with Israel by pushing against the Palestinian vote for statehood. Even more telling: behind the scenes Obama has pressed hard to secure the Israeli state—through major military support...
But what participants didn’t know was that Obama had finally authorized military deals the Israelis had been waiting for for years. It is support that has drawn the two nations’ militaries increasingly close even as their leaders seem politely distant.
“What is unique in the Obama administration is their decision that in spite of the disagreements on the political level, the military and intelligence relationship which benefits both sides will not be spoiled by the political tension,” says Amos Yadlin, former head of intelligence for the Israeli military. He declined to discuss any secret military cooperation.
Even some of the hawks from the George W. Bush administration grudgingly give Obama credit for behind-the-scenes progress...
The bunker busters were a significant breakthrough. The Israelis first requested the sale in 2005, only to be rebuffed by the Bush administration. At the time, the Pentagon had frozen almost all U.S.-Israeli joint defense projects out of concern that Israel was transferring advanced military technology to China.In 2007, Bush informed then–prime minister Ehud Olmert that he would order the bunker busters for delivery in 2009 or 2010. The Israelis wanted them in 2007. Obama finally released the weapons in 2009, according to officials familiar with the secret decision.
James Cartwright, who served until August as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Newsweek the military chiefs had no objections to the sale. Rather, he said there was a concern about “how the Iranians would perceive it” and “how the Israelis might perceive it.” In other words, would the sale be seen as a green light for Israel to attack Iran’s secret nuclear sites one day?"
Monday, September 26, 2011
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 6:41 AM