Israel still pondering Biden’s proposal of joint military planning on Iran

The deal US President Joe Biden proposed for joint military planning with Israel on Iran is unprecedented, say US officials. It would significantly upgrade the level of cooperation. However, Israel is not rushing towards acceptance lest it would tie its hands for its own options to act against Iran, especially its nuclear capabilities.

The Biden proposal was presented to Israel and its new defenses minister, Yoav Galland, some weeks ago, during visits by Defense Secretary Austin Lloyd, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and the head of US Central Command – CENTCOM Gen. Erik Kurilla.

US officials have been offering arguments to sway Israel into acceptance. One official stressed that Washington’s proposal is “not about planning any kind of joint US-Israel strike against Iran’s nuclear program; it would only require the two parties to share their military plans, confer on ways to improve them and coordinate their actions against the Islamic republic.”

Pentagon spokesman Col. Phillip Ventura disclosed that US military chiefs had recently proposed expanding military cooperation between the US and Israeli armies by joint exercises for deepening their understanding of the region’s security problems. Cooperation is already strong, they stressed, and the US commitment to Israel’s security is “ironclad.”

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan recently joined the effort to bring Israel aboard at an appearance before the Middle and Near East think tank in Washington. He maintained: “We have made clear to Iran that it can never be permitted to obtain a nuclear weapon. As President Biden has repeatedly affirmed, he will take the actions that are necessary to stand by this statement, including recognizing Israel’s freedom of action.”

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