By Jim Kouri
With Obama getting low-marks from Jews in Israel and in the United States, the Obama State Department announced that Israel and the United States will conduct the largest-ever joint military exercise.
The stated purpose of exercise is the testing of U.S. and Israel’s defenses against ballistic missiles, but the hidden agenda, according to the intelligence source, is to have the military exercise as close to the 2012 election as possible so that the failing U.S. President may reclaim the Jewish vote.
“The anti-Netanyahu comments by Obama in his conversation with France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy more evidence of President Obama’s disdain for Israel’s career warrior and statesman,” said former military intelligence officer and police detective Mike Snopes. “Perhaps this military exercise will help to repair some of the damage to the leaders’ relationship.”
In a story on FrontPageMag.com, Joseph Klein wrote about the strained relationship between Obama and the Israeli government that sheds light on what Obama really thinks. “This is a president who has gone out of his way to visit Muslim countries in the same region as Israel, but has yet to visit Israel itself since taking office. Obama had no trouble bowing to the Saudi king, while insulting the Israeli prime minister at every turn,” wrote Klein who was later quoted by Accuracy in Media.
Meanwhile, the U.S.-Israeli drill is scheduled to take place in May 2012, and will simulate Israel’s ballistic missile defense in action. “It will be the largest and most significant joint exercise in the allies’ history,” Andrew Shapiro, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, said at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Shapiro said that joint exercise will allow the U.S. military “to learn from Israel’s experience in urban warfare and counterterrorism.”
Over the years, many U.S. police and law enforcement officers have undergone special training in counterterrorism and public safety in Israel. Several officers who visited Israel for training have told the Law Enforcement Examiner that there are two places where excellent training in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency is routine: In Britain, due to its experience with IRA and other militant groups; and in Israel, which has been fighting for survival since its Independence in 1948.
According to the White House, about 5,000 Israeli and U.S. troops are due to participate in the maneuvers, in which the Israel Air Force will test a full gamut of aerial-defense systems, including Iron Dome — a system that has already successfully shot down short-range rockets fired by Gaza militants; the upgraded version of the U.S.-made Patriot for intercepting hostile aircraft; Magic Wand — a system designated to counter medium-range rockets; and Arrow 3 — a system still under development for intercepting ballistic missiles high in the atmosphere.
Meanwhile, the Americans will bring along THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) system — a key element of the nation’s Ballistic Missile Defense System and aimed at intercepting missiles in the final stage of their trajectory. Its high-altitude capabilities are designed to complement the lower-altitude mission of the Patriot anti-missile system.
News of the joint drill came amid recent local media reports that Israel is planning to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities in the near future. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak were reportedly seeking to secure cabinet majority for such an attack, sparking the ire of senior government officials who accused the media of causing “tremendous damage.”
On Wednesday, the IAF test-fired a projectile from the Palmachim Air Base near Tel Aviv, further raising conjecture that the Jewish state is gearing up for a potential attack.
Senior Israeli officials over the past week have reiterated their call on the international community to enforce tighter sanctions against Iran, saying it poses a danger to many other countries besides Israel; while U.S. officials have expressed concern that Israel might attempt to independently attack the Iranian facilities without letting the U.S. in on its operational plans.
Iran has threatened that it would “fiercely respond” to any attack.