Indications are growing that Israel is moving toward independent military action against Iran. Tehran’s ongoing nuclear progress and regional terror, combined with a weak US response, are pushing Israeli leaders to quickly advance the military strike option.
Israel will act alone against Iran if needed, a senior official told Israel Hayom daily, noting that a massive buildup of military force is already underway. A huge budget earmarked for strike preparations will enable the IDF to enhance its firepower and capabilities in the coming months.
The Israeli objective is to keep Tehran at a distance from developing a nuclear breakout capacity, the unnamed official said, in a hint that the IDF will not wait for the last moment to act. He also admitted that Jerusalem sharply disagrees with US policy on the Iran issue.
IDF prepares for long war
The sense that America will not be taking any forceful action against Iran has been growing gradually in Israel for months now. While joint training with US troops has been expanded, Israeli requests for a major show of force against Iran, such as a large military drill in the Persian Gulf, have been rebuffed.
Israel should not count on US military action or assistance on the Iranian front, US Congress members just told Yossi Kuperwasser, a former IDF intelligence research chief. Their message was that the Israelis are on their own and should take action as they see fit, he wrote after returning from a recent US visit.
Israel is clearly investing vast resources in advancing a strike plan, as the military option becomes more plausible and urgent. A former minister warned that the IDF has five months left, at most, to destroy Tehran’s nuclear sites.
Existing plans for an assault have already been finalized, but the IDF is hoping to upgrade them with the new budget, journalist Ron Ben-Yishai said. The veteran military reporter added that Israel expects a lengthy conflict to erupt against the Iran axis in case the nuclear project is bombed.
Notably, the army boosted its war training to prepare forces for a large campaign, with a focus on combat against Hezbollah. The IDF plans to launch ground maneuvers and operations deep in Lebanon if heavy fighting breaks out, Ben-Yishai wrote.
Israel boosts defense capabilities
In parallel, Israel is intensifying its defensive preparations for a large-scale war. After testing the response to a mega-attack in a national emergency drill, the IDF is now set to dramatically upgrade air defenses against missile and drone strikes.
Innovative technological gear developed by Israel’s military industries is ready for deployment or on the verge of completion, Ynet reported. The new capabilities include laser and electronic warfare systems, advanced sensors and missiles, and cyber tools, the report said.
While an Israeli strike is not expected just yet, 2022 is shaping up as a critical year on the Iran nuclear front. As always, the exact state of IDF readiness for a military assault will remain shrouded in secrecy.