Donate

Ten Years Ago, Israel Stopped Bashar al-Assad’s Syria from Becoming Another North Korea

Sept. 12 2017

On September 6, 2007, Israeli jets destroyed a nuclear reactor in the Syrian desert, provoking neither international condemnation nor significant retaliation. By coincidence, just after the tenth-year anniversary of this bombing, the IDF appears to have destroyed another Syrian installation producing dangerous weapons. Gabriel Scheinmann revisits the dramatic story of Israel’s bringing intelligence about the reactor to President George W. Bush, the Bush administration’s choice not to act, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s decision to solve the problem without U.S. support—a story that has significant implications for today’s concerns about Iran and North Korea. (Interview by Jonathan Silver. Audio, 57 minutes.)

Read more at Tikvah

More about: Ehud Olmert, George W. Bush, Israel & Zionism, Nuclear proliferation, Syria

 

In Dealing with Iran, the U.S. Can Learn from Ronald Reagan

When Ronald Reagan arrived at the White House in 1981, the consensus was that, with regard to the Soviet Union, two responsible policy choices presented themselves: détente, or a return to the Truman-era policy of containment. Reagan, however, insisted that the USSR’s influence could not just be checked but rolled back, and without massive bloodshed. A decade later, the Soviet empire collapsed entirely. In crafting a policy toward the Islamic Republic today, David Ignatius urges the current president to draw on Reagan’s success:

A serious strategy to roll back Iran would begin with Syria. The U.S. would maintain the strong military position it has established east of the Euphrates and enhance its garrison at Tanf and other points in southern Syria. Trump’s public comments suggest, however, that he wants to pull these troops out, the sooner the better. This would all but assure continued Iranian power in Syria.

Iraq is another key pressure point. The victory of militant Iraqi nationalist Moqtada al-Sadr in [last week’s] elections should worry Tehran as much as Washington. Sadr has quietly developed good relations with Saudi Arabia, and his movement may offer the best chance of maintaining an Arab Iraq as opposed to a Persian-dominated one. But again, that’s assuming that Washington is serious about backing the Saudis in checking Iran’s regional ambitions. . . .

The Arabs, [however], want the U.S. (or Israel) to do the fighting this time. That’s a bad idea for America, for many reasons, but the biggest is that there’s no U.S. political support for a war against Iran. . . .

Rolling back an aggressive rival seems impossible, until someone dares to try it.

Read more at RealClear Politics

More about: Cold War, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Ronald Reagan, U.S. Foreign policy