Obama’s October Surprise: Largest War Games in US-Israeli History
by Richard Silverstein
June 27, 2012
Israel’s daily Maariv reported yesterday that the long delayed war games between U.S. and Israeli forces will take place in October. It noted that some commentators are calling it a “dress rehearsal” for the aftermath of an Israeli attack on Iran. IDF sources quoted in the article called the exercises “of immense importance.”
These will be the largest such military maneuvers in the history of the joint U.S.-Israel relationship. They were originally scheduled for several months ago but were canceled abruptly, according to some, at the behest of Ehud Barak, who wanted to send a message to the U.S. that Israel might be planning an attack and prefer not to have such an event interfere with it.
Three thousand U.S. Air Force personnel and a larger IDF contingent will focus on air warfare and missile defense. The primary goal is to prepare for the aftermath of an Israeli attack on Iran and the expected counterattack against Israel.
The date of the war games is no accident, coming only a few weeks before the presidential election. They will thus serve two purposes: shoring up Jewish support for Obama’s campaign and reassuring Israel that the U.S. will provide it every weapon money can buy to defend itself should it counterattack Iran. One expects that all this might be predicated on an Israeli commitment not to attack Iran quite yet — perhaps not until sometime after Nov. 4?