Israel’s Options for Dealing With a Nuclear Iran

It is the summer of 2011, and even the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna now concedes the obvious. Iran is closing in rapidly on full membership in the “nuclear club.” When, probably in the next two years, such membership can be conclusively confirmed, Israel’s preemption option will, by definition, have been lost irretrievably.

At that moment, the Jewish State’s remaining strategic options will be limited to a hopefully still-optimal fusion of nuclear deterrence and active defense. One may also suppose, under the very best circumstances, that this residual fusion will be complemented by certain presumptively suitable forms of diplomacy. These could include both bilateral and multilateral international agreements.

The core of Israel’s active defense plan for Iran remains the phased Arrow antiballistic missile program. Designed to intercept medium and short-range ballistic missiles, the various forms of Arrow are expected to deal especially with Iran’s surface-to-surface missile threat. Iron Dome, a discrete and critical system designed to deal with shorter-range dangers, is intended primarily for the interception of rocket attacks from Gaza and Lebanon. For now, threats from Gaza and Lebanon do not have any unconventional or WMD elements.

From Israel’s strictly technical side, everything looks very good. Test results for the Arrow, as well as for Iron Dome, continue to be positive.

It seems, therefore, that the cos… >>>

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