Israeli unilateral strike against Iran would face same challenges as U.S. if not more so
[ Page 462-3 ]
Then, of course, there is the wild card question: Will the Israelis act militarily, much as they did against Iraq in 1981, if the United States does not? Israeli Prime Minister Ohlmert and other Israeli leaders have been clear in their public statements that Iranian possession of a nuclear weapon would represent an existential threat to the State of Israel and can not be tolerated. Yet, the military challenges for the Israelis to repeat the success of their attack on the Osirak facility in Iraq would be formidable. For one thing, the Iranians would naturally be expecting such an attack, and in all likelihood have already arrayed their air defenses accordingly. For another, there are much longer distances involved between Israel and Iran, meaning that this could well be a "suicide mission" for Israeli pilots unless they can somehow be refueled en route. Ultimately, however, the same military limitations and uncertainties exist for the Israelis as for the United States regarding the lack of certainty with regard to the location of the facilities, their degree of hardening, and the possibilities of collateral damage.
"Responding to a Nuclear Iran: A Defense Policy Perspective
." Syracuse Law Review
. Vol. 57. (2007): 457-. [ More (2 quotes) ]
Israel would face the same limitations and uncertainties that exist for the United States in any strike on Iran's nuclear capabilities, with the added risks of having far less capacity than the U.S. military and the risks of being abandoned by its fragile alliances while setting off a regional war.