DEBKAfile Special Report January 11, 2013
At a joint news conference Friday, Jan. 11, retiring Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs, Gen. Martin Dempsey, cleaned the Pentagon’s Syrian desk ready for incoming Secretary Chuck Hagel. Boiled down to essentials, their triple message was that Bashar Assad could not be stopped from using chemical weapons if he chose to do so, that securing the CW sites after Assad’s fall was the job of the “international community,” and that no US ground troops would be sent to Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis October 13, 2012
An Iranian cyber offensive has hit US banks, Israeli military defenses, Saudi oil and Qatari gas websites. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the US will retaliate for a “cyber Pearl Harbor.” The Wall Street Journal reports 100 Iranian hackers are conducting the offensive. debkafile: Tehran is telling Washington that US-led sanctions will continue to be punished and further pressure on Syria’s Bashar Assad will be met with assaults on Israel’s military or even nuclear sites. Without a response, Iran will keep going.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 11, 2012
French President Francois Hollande convinced President Barack Obama to reverse his position against intervention in the Syrian with all possible speed to prevent Assad winning the war against the rebels. Turkey was given the green light to pursue steps against Syrian flights and airspace with a view to clearing a no-flight zone.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 29, 2012
The sabotage of the Fordo uranium enrichment facility’s power lines on Aug. 17, gave Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu the extra leeway to move his original red line for Iran from late September 2012 – now – to the spring or early summer of 2013, debkafile reports. But Tehran hit back fast with two aggressive actions on Israel’s doorstep: an al Qods military buildup in Syria and Lebanon, and Assad’s withdrawal of chemical weapons from storage and likely transfer to incoming Iranian units.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 11, 2012
President Barack Obama’s refusal Tuesday Sept. 11 to see Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu because “the president’s schedule will not permit that,” left Jerusalem thunderstruck – and Washington too. At one stroke, round after round of delicate negotiations on Iran between the two governments collapsed. By rebuffing Netanyahu, Obama turned the clock back to the nadir in relations marked by Gen. Martin Dempsey when he said on Aug. 30: “I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it” – meaning attack Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 24, 2012
Obama shuns advice to stay Israel’s hand against attacking Iran by offering a solemn pledge of a US strike or by presenting Tehran with a credible US threat. US-Israeli dialogue is going around in circles.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 15, 2012
US Gen. Martin Dempsey said Tuesday, Aug. 14 Israel could “delay but not destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities.” debkafile: Israel's leaders and military chiefs don’t pretended otherwise, because even a US strike could no longer destroy those capacities. Today, an Israeli attack could delay Iran for a couple of years; an American strike, for 4-5 years. 2007 was the last moment for totaling the program. But the longer action is held off now the shorter the delay achievable in Iran’s bomb-building time table.
DEBKAfile Special Report July 31, 2012
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, July 31, that he hasn’t yet reached a decision on attacking Iran, but added: “The ayatollahs have inscribed Israel’s destruction on their banner.” He stressed his personal commitment “not to permit Israel to come under Iranian atomic threat.”
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly July 31, 2012
US, Israeli, Saudi and Iranian war preparations are on fast forward, as the coming issue of DEBKA-Net-Weekly discloses in detail next Friday. All their leaders face agonizing decisions in the weeks ahead. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is on a tour of inspection to make sure US Middle East military forces are ready for an operation against Iran. Its timeline is now pared down to weeks because Iran's ongoing mega-fortifications threaten to make its nuclear facilities indestructible - even by American super-weapons.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 30, 2012
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta commented Monday, July 30 on his way to the Middle East that the assault on Aleppo, “will ultimately be another nail in Assad’s coffin.” He spoke after the Free Syrian Army’s Saudi and Qatari intelligence backers based in Apaydin, Turkey, admitted that the ferocious Syrian government onslaught had derailed for now their safe haven scheme for the Aleppo region which was to have housed the FSA forward command and a Benghazi-style transitional government. Rebel-held Salaheddin has fallen.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 11, 2012
Binyamin Netanyahu, freed from the shackles of an election campaign, is more empowered by his new expanded coalition tackling Iran’s nuclear threat by military measures. The Obama administration must think up new devices for holding him down.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 25, 2012
Israel’s prime minister and defense minister were harshly criticized on the eve of Israel’s 64th Independence Day for too much speechifying and no real action against a nuclear Iran. In contrast, the US finally acted, creating a new Pentagon spy agency against the Islamic Republic. The Israeli street has stopped listening to its leaders intoning that Iran will not be permitted to acquire a nuclear weapon. Some military and intelligence sources believe Israel and the US have missed the boat for stopping it, especially concerning a dirty bomb.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 20, 2012
Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak arrived in Washington Thursday, April 19 with tough questions for US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about the administration’s dialogue with Iran, on the lines of, “What’s going on? Is there a deal? Don’t tell me what you have settled with the Iranians, just your minimal demands, your bottom line.” Because Israel was in the dark about the dialogue, Barak sought the truth about Obama’s concessions, especially on IAEA inspections, directly from Panetta.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 20, 2012
Israel is fed up with being kept in the dark, doesn’t trust American diplomatic maneuvers to stop a nuclear Iran and is getting ready to make its own decisions after the May 23 Baghdad talks between the P5-1 and Iran. That is the message coming from Binyamin Netanyahu and top Israeli figures.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 9, 2012
The slogan “Israel must be master of its fate” was born of the intelligence reaching Binyamin Netanyahu that Washington had promised Tehran to restrain Israel from an attack on its nuclear sites behind his back. At that point he resolved not to give Obama a heads-up on a coming strike.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 2, 2012
Washington suspects Saudi Arabia and Israel have revived their intelligence cooperation. The Obama administration will bend over backwards to prevent Israel using Saudi or other Gulf bases for an attack on Iran, even to providing refueling planes for Israeli bombers conducting the attack.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 10, 2012
The masters of Egyptian intelligence, who are still in power, disguised their anti-US sentiments as long as Hosni Mubarak was president. Today, they prefer to deal with the Islamists who expect to win power in Cairo and are ready to ditch Egypt's ties with America.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 3, 2012
NATO allies dismayed by US Defense Secretary's cutting the Afghanistan war short by one year without notice. Taliban is playing hard to get over peace talks while Pakistan retaliates for being cut out by letting an Al Qaeda front-man run for parliament.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 23, 2012
Three weeks after Tehran threatened action against any US aircraft carrier entering the Strait of Hormuz, Washington made two moves: US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta disclosed Sunday, Jan. 22, that the USS Enterprise Carrier Strike Group would steam through the strait in March; a few hours later, the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier transited Hormuz without incident. Defusing the Hormuz dispute set the scene for resumed US-Iranian nuclear talks and the suspension of tough sanctions as Israel was preparing to strike Iran's nuclear facilities.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 19, 2012
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disclosed Thursday night, Jan. 19 that Iran had opted to become a nuclear state. He called for action to stop Iran before it is too late and iran completed the construction of a nuclear weapon. . His statement at the end of talks in Holland gave Gen Martin Dempsey, on his first visit to Israel as Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, the message he will be asked to take back to President Barack Obama.