Thursday, May 21, 2009

Reaching Iran

Stratfor says Israel would have to go through US-controlled airspace in Iraq to attack Iran:

Israel would have a great deal of difficulty attacking Iranian facilities with non-nuclear forces. A multitarget campaign 1,000 miles away against an enemy with some air defenses could be a long and complex operation. Such a raid would require a long trip through U.S.-controlled airspace for the fairly small Israeli air force. Israel could use cruise missiles, but the tonnage of high explosive delivered by a cruise missile cannot penetrate even moderately hardened structures; the same is true for ICBMs carrying conventional warheads. Israel would have to notify the United States of its intentions because it would be passing through Iraqi airspace — and because U.S. technical intelligence would know what it was up to before Israeli aircraft even took off. The idea that Israel might consider attacking Iran without informing Washington is therefore absurd on the surface. Even so, the story has surfaced yet again in an Israeli newspaper in a virtual carbon copy of stories published more than a year ago.

I don't know about that. Going around Iraq doesn't seem that much longer.

Yes, as Stratfor says, Israel could not simply do this without informing us, given all our assets in the area. But while deconflicting with proper codes would make Israel's job easier, I don't think it is necessary. Israel surely must inform us they are coming. But more than that is not vital if Israel believes their security is at stake.

And ballistic and cruise missiles are not well suited to taking out most of Iran's nuclear facilities. I'm assuming that not all targets are hardened, however, so missiles could be used on some. But I could be way off on that assumption.

Israel has had many years to work on the problem of targetting Iran. I think they've worked on the problem.