Did American leak have to do with Friday's successful missile test?
Photo: Ronen Karmi

Secrets and missiles

Op-ed: Pentagon officials selling Israeli secrets know they are jeopardizing clear Israeli interests

Something is not right in the relationship of trust between Israel and the United States. It's illogical and unforgivable that in such an intimate relationship – as it is known to us, at least – between two defense establishments, the secrets of one side will be given away by the other side's mouth.


Those sources in the Pentagon who are selling the Israeli secrets for cheap to the American media know that they are jeopardizing clear Israeli interests in the region and putting the lives of Israel's citizens in danger, as bad as it may sound.


When it happens once, it could be someone's slip of the tongue. When it happens twice – it's a work plan.


On May 5 at dawn, warehouses containing Hezbollah-bound Iranian Fateh-110 missiles were attacked in the Damascus area. Only several hours after the bombing, American government workers rushed to point a finger at Israel as the country behind the attack.


At the time Israel was still looking for excuses to explain to itself why the Americans got mixed up. After all, at the time President Assad did not want – just as he does not want now – an open conflict with Israel. At the time He was ready – just as he is now – to hide behind public declaration that the attack was carried out by the rebels. The American informing put him under huge pressure by the generals surrounding him, who demanded a response. And indeed, Assad, in a serious of public and aggressive statements, vowed that Syria would no longer practice restraint over damage to its sovereignty.


This time, after the attack on a military base north of Latakia, the Americans managed to control themselves for one week. On Friday night they once against pointed a finger at Israel as the country responsible for the attack on the weapons depot, which is believed to have contained Yakhont coastal missiles. Now, Assad is in a dilemma. When the Americans insist it was Israel, what is he supposed to do: Practice restraint and demonstrate weakness? Israel shouldn't bet on that.


Strategic partner revealed as unreliable

After May's leak the Americans apologized, explaining that it was the work of low-ranking officials, saying there was a commission of inquiry. Israel swallowed the lie. Two months have passed and the big mouths in Washington speculated with state secrets once again, proving that the allegedly close relationship between Hagel and Ya'alon has nothing to do with the secretary of defense's ability to control his people.


The odd thing is that Russian weapon systems have been damaged, and the Russians appear unfazed. What they care about is the deal. Once they have transferred the arms and received the money – Israel can do what it wants. With the Russians, the rules of the game are clear. On the other hand, the American government, our strategic partner, is revealed as unreliable.


And perhaps the American leak has to do with Israel's successful test-firing of a propulsion system of a long-range ballistic missile? Both reports include a game of hidden messages and psychological warfare.


Friday's test is part of a series of tests on the missile and propulsion system which have been taking place for a while now. When Israel wants to conceal its missile tests, it knows how to do it. On Friday it had an interest in publishing the test's success. The message is clear: Let no one have any illusions – the cuts in the defense budget are unrelated to the State of Israel's strategic abilities.


One the contrary, when it comes to its long arm, Israel has no intention of saving a penny. A ballistic missile with a propulsion system like the one tested on Friday could accurately place a satellite in space and could also accurately lead a lethal warhead as well.


There is no better "promo" for renewing the campaign against Iran than a successful ballistic missile test. The Israeli government is opening the Iran festival these days in light of the option that Rohani's presidency, which begins this coming month, will reduce the global pressure on Tehran.


The Israeli message is clear: We have the ability to act on our own. Experience shows that the Americans take Israel's threats seriously only when it demonstrates concrete military abilities. So could it be that this test irritated several Pentagon officials, who decided to "spoil things" for Israel on other fronts?



פרסום ראשון: 07.14.13, 20:00
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