It seems that both presidential candidates support Israel’s right and growing interest in making a unilateral pre-emptive military strike on Iran, though US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is visiting to dissuade them from making any move just yet. Israel’s major concern, and hence America’s, is that Iran is not using their enriched Uranium supply simply to create civilian energy programs, as they claim but to give them the capability of nuclear war against Israel.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear that Israel will attack Iran when it is ready even if the United States does not approve.
“Right now the Iranian regime believes that the international community does not have the will to stop its nuclear program,” said Netanyahu. “This must change, and it must change quickly because time to resolve this issue peacefully is running out.”
The efforts the US has made towards this issue has been to levy sanctions against Iran, though President Barack Obama has considered this poor leverage, and the likely had that it will convince Iran to desist is “extremely low.”
Not only has Washington tacitly and openly backed Israel’s right to make the entire decision itself, but Barack has even given an additional $70 million to support Israel’s Iron Dome system, which consists of an elite air force. The announcement was timed to upstage Romney’s trip to Israel, and Romney has made his loyalty to Israeli interests one of his selling points compared to Obama’s more reserved distancing of American interests from Israeli.
Nevertheless, Obama has said that “There are disagreements [between Israel and the U.S.] but this does not affect the profound depth of our ties and we plan to keep it that way.” What this amounts to is the US’s willingness to enter a war determined by one of two other countries and its willingness to fund a war it didn’t declare.
Regarding this, Panetta is visiting Israel to discuss “various contingencies,” saying that “I think it is the wrong characterization to say we are going to be discussing potential attack plans. What we are discussing are various contingencies and how we would respond.”
“Both our countries are committed to ensuring that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to that extent we continue to work together in the effort to ensure that Iran does not reach that point of developing a nuclear weapon.” The effort so far has been increasing the severity of economic sanctions, but it hints that the efforts will soon become military.