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  1. 1. Exclusive: U.S. Scales-BackMilitary Exercise with Israel,Affecting Potential Iran StrikeABIR SULTAN / EPAIsraeli soldiers are seen during a military exercise in Golan Heights, Aug. 21, 2012. Israeli Armed Forceshave been conducting maneuvers amid raising tensions in the region.Seven months ago, Israel and the United States postponed a massive joint military exercise that wasoriginally set to go forward just as concerns were brimming that Israel would launch a strike on Iran’snuclear facilities. The exercise was rescheduled for late October, and appears likely to go forward on the
  2. 2. cusp of the U.S. presidential election. But it won’t be nearly the same exercise. Well-placed sources in bothcountries have told TIME that Washington has greatly reduced the scale of U.S. participation, slashing bymore than two-thirds the number of American troops going to Israel and reducing both the number andpotency of missile interception systems at the core of the joint exercise.(PHOTOS: The Ultra-Holy City of Jerusalem)“Basically what the Americans are saying is, ‘We don’t trust you,’” a senior Israeli military official tellsTIME.The reductions are striking. Instead of the approximately 5,000 U.S. troops originally trumpeted forAustere Challenge 12, as the annual exercise is called, the Pentagon will send only 1,500 service members,and perhaps as few as 1,200. Patriot anti-missile systems will arrive in Israel as planned, but the crews tooperate them will not. Instead of two Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense warships being dispatched to Israeliwaters, the new plan is to send one, though even the remaining vessel is listed as a “maybe,” according toofficials in both militaries.(MORE: Will Iran’s Third-World Jamboree Hasten an Israeli Attack? Probably Not)A Pentagon spokesperson declined to discuss specifics of the reduced deployment, noting that planning forthe exercise was classified. But in an e-mailed statement, Commander Wendy L. Snyder emphasized thatthe Israeli military has been kept informed of the changes. “Throughout all the planning and coordination,we’ve been lock-step with the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and will continue to do so,” Snyder said.(PHOTOS: Land of Stories and Myths: Yaakov Israel Photographs His Homeland)U.S. commanders privately revealed the scaling back to their Israeli counterparts more than two monthsago. The official explanation was budget restrictions. But the American retreat coincided with growingtensions between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations on Israel’s persistent threats to launch anairstrike on Iran. The Islamic Republic would be expected to retaliate by missile strikes, either through itsown intermediate range arsenal or through its proxy, the Hizballah militia, which has more than 40,000missiles aimed at Israel from neighboring Lebanon.(VIDEO: 10 Questions for Shimon Peres)In the current political context, the U.S. logic is transparent, says Israeli analyst Efraim Inbar. “I think theydon’t want to insinuate that they are preparing something together with the Israelis against Iran – that’s themessage,” says Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University.“Trust? We don’t trust them. They don’t trust us. All these liberal notions! Even a liberal president likeObama knows better.”The U.S. anti-missile systems are important because while Israel has made great strides in creating anti-missile shields that protect its population, it doesn’t have enough of them to deploy around the entirecountry, even with the U.S. aid specifically dedicated to building more (as well as crucial offensivecapabilities, such as mid-air refuelers and possibly bunker-busting bombs). That makes the presence of thePatriots – first deployed to Israel during the First Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein fired Scuds toward the
  3. 3. Jewish State — and other U.S. anti-missile systems extremely valuable. Austere Challenge was billedby assistant secretary of state Andrew J. Shapiro last November as “by far the largest and most significantexercise in U.S.-Israeli history.” A stated goal was to “improve interoperability” between American andIsraeli anti-missile systems – which are already significantly linked. The U.S. maintains an X-band radarinstallation in Israel’s Negev Desert, pointed toward Iran and linked to Israel’s Arrow anti-missile system.(MORE: Is Israel Angling for a Commitment from Obama on Iran?)The radar is extraordinarily powerful, so sensitive it can detect a softball thrown into the air from thousandsof miles away. But as TIME reported earlier, only Americans are allowed to see what’s on the screens, asituation that likely serves to inhibit any Israeli decision to “go it alone” against Iran, because the U.S. arraycan detect an Iranian missile launch six to seven minutes earlier than Israel’s best radar. Difficult as it maybe to imagine U.S. decision-makers holding back information that could save Israeli lives, both by givingthem more time to reach a shelter, or their interceptors to lock onto and destroy an incoming Shahab-3, therisk looms in the complex calculus of Israeli officials mulling an attack on Iran.Inside Israel, reports persist that prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense chief Ehud Barak aredetermined to launch a strike, and American officials continue to urge restraint. Israeli analysts sayNetanyahu wants Obama to send a letter committing to U.S. military action by a specific date if Iran hasnot acceded to concessions, but the U.S. administration does not appear to be complying. U.S. Joint Chiefschairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told reporters in London this week that a military strike could damage butnot destroy Iran’s nuclear capability, and added, “I don’t want to be complicit if they choose to do it.” Call or email me… Everyone else does… 845.213.4337 OR Log In FREE for more infoI can help you get real results with my proven system…
  4. 4. Ethan The Marketing ProRead more: http://world.time.com/2012/08/31Exclusive: U.S. Scales-Back Military Exercise with Israel,Affecting Potential Iran Strike Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/08/31/exclusive-u-s-scales-back-military-exercise-with-israel-affecting-potential-iran-strike/#ixzz25Irf5q3B/exclusive-u-s-scales-back-military-exercise-with-israel-affecting-potential-iran-strike/#ixzz25Irf5q3B