According to three U.S. and Israeli officials who spoke to Axios, the Biden administration recently put forward a proposal to Israel regarding joint military planning focused on Iran. This proposition is seen as unprecedented and has the potential to significantly upgrade the level of U.S.-Israeli military collaboration.
While U.S. officials emphasize that the proposal does not involve planning a joint military strike against Iran’s nuclear program, Israeli officials have received it with suspicion. There are concerns that the proposal might aim to limit Israel’s ability to take independent action against Iran, especially concerning its nuclear facilities, if the United States objects.
Israeli authorities have not rejected the idea outright but have sought clarification on the practical implications of “joint military planning.” They specifically want to determine whether it would remain limited to intelligence sharing and scenario development or extend into the realm of joint operations.
A senior Israeli official stated that Israel seeks a better understanding of the proposal’s intentions and whether it could restrict their freedom of action. The U.S. official, on the other hand, emphasized that the proposal aims to provide reassurance of continued U.S. military support for Israel and is not intended to limit its autonomy.
The concept of joint planning, as explained by the U.S. official, involves both sides sharing their respective plans for various contingencies. The goal is to facilitate discussions on enhancing strategies to effectively address different scenarios that may arise from Iran’s activities in the region.
The proposal signals the Biden administration’s intention to strengthen cooperation with Israel on matters related to Iran. It aims to foster closer coordination, information exchange, and strategic alignment between the two countries, while ensuring that Israel’s security interests are duly considered.
As discussions continue, both the United States and Israel will seek common ground and a shared understanding of the proposal’s scope and objectives. This collaborative approach intends to enhance preparedness and enable more effective responses to potential challenges posed by Iran, while maintaining Israel’s ability to protect its interests and regional security.
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