Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Israel Gets Advanced U.S. Defense Capabilities

International news sources reported on the Pentagon's approval of an Israeli purchase of twenty five F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets and the deployment of an advanced defensive radar system in the Negev Desert. The Jerusalem Post reported:

A Pentagon official said Wednesday that the sale of the stealth jets to Israel was essential to American national interests and was meant to ensure that Israel maintained its qualitative edge over armies of neighboring countries.

The BBC had this to say about the radar system:

The US has deployed long-range radar in Israel to give early warning of any missile strike by Iran, officials say.

The radar has been set up at an air base in the Negev desert and will be operated by 120 US military personnel.

Other developments on containing the Iranian threat include:

1. A six-year probe has not ruled out the possibility that Iran may be running clandestine nuclear programs, the chief UN nuclear inspector said Monday, urging Iran to reassure the world by ending its secretive ways.

Arab members - backed by Iran - this year have again asked conference organizers to include an item on Israel - a move being protested by Israel.

A draft of the document made available to The Associated Press "expresses concern about the Israeli nuclear capabilities" and urges Israel to throw its atomic activities open to full IAEA view.

2. In a last-minute bid to pass Iran sanctions legislation before the end of the congressional session, the US House of Representatives approved a bill late Friday tightening trade restrictions and asset freezes on the Islamic Republic.

3. On September 25, 2008, the United States Department of Commerce issued guidance to the U.S. exporting community designed to encourage exporters’ vigilance on Iran’s efforts to procure items for use in Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

4. Iranian support for Shiite militia groups poses the biggest threat to long-term stability in Iraq, where recent improvements in security are ``fragile,'' the U.S. Defense Department said. Iran continues to ``fund, train, arm and direct'' groups intent on destabilizing its neighbor and its influence in Iraq is ``malign,'' the Pentagon said in its quarterly report to Congress.

5. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that Iran will stand beside the Hamas government in Gaza and that Israel is weakening and on the path to eventual destruction, state television reported.

6. House leaders shelved a bill endorsing a blockade of Iran, but shortly afterwards V.P. Dick Cheney was seen slinking around the Capital.

Stay tuned, folks! Weapons have one use and Senator John McCain said, "There will more wars, my friend!"