U.S. should increase Israel's tolerance for diplomacy by providing nuclear security guarantees and missile defense capability
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Preventive military action, by either the United States or Israel, in the event that this diplomatic initiative fails, appears unattractive given its risks and costs.However, the option should be examined closely, both for what it could accomplish and given the dangers of living with a near or actual Iranian nuclear weapons capability. Because of Israel’s vulnerability to an Iranian nuclear first strike, its fuse will necessarily be shorter than America’s. And negotiations—as well as stepped-up sanctions— will inevitably take time to work. To increase Israel’s tolerance for a more drawn-out diplomatic engagement, President Obama should bolster Israel’s deterrent capabilities by providing a nuclear guarantee and an enhanced antiballistic missile defense capability.