All eyes are on the war in Ukraine and Russia. The U.S. and other NATO countries are pouring weapons into Ukraine while considering bids by Finland and Sweden to join. What isn’t being talked about is another war that could break later this year. And this time, I’m not talking about China invading Taiwan. I’m referring to Iran and Israel.
Iran continuously fails to answer questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and reportedly has refined materials to 60 percent of the level needed to make a nuclear weapon. Israel says Iran is “weeks away” from creating a nuclear device. Israel is small enough that it would not take many nukes to destroy it or a majority of its population.
As Iran moves closer to producing a nuclear weapon, Israel moves closer to launching a pre-emptive strike on Iran. Last week, the Israeli Prime Minister’s office released a statement saying it “reserve the right to self-defense.”
Considering how many times Iran has threated to destroy Israel, the argument for self-defense is difficult to deny.
My questions are, when will Israel attack? Will it use nukes of its own? Will the U.S. assist Israel? If we do help, will it be by providing refueling, or will we actively attack Iranian targets?
I expect Israel will not use nukes if the U.S. participates in the attacks on Iran. I think the odds of the U.S. providing assistance are high, especially as a way to distract Americans from the inflation and poor economic conditions. They may also see it as a potential way to strengthen Biden and the Democrat’s hand going into the election season.
Besides refueling support for Israeli aircraft, this assistance could include cruise missiles launched from U.S. B52s, ships, and submarines. We might also seek to sink Iranian submarines. I don’t think the U.S. will put its own aircraft in immediate danger unless Iran counterattacks U.S. assets.
Any kind of action by Israel will cause a full-on war between Israel and Iran, and Iran will use Hezbollah and its other allies in the region to rain rockets down on Israel. Israel’s best chance is to avoid this is a decapitation strike that takes out important figures in the Iranian leadership, disrupting any kind of response and potentially sparking a civilian uprising. The chances of that being successful, however, are low.
My guess that Israel won’t use nuclear weapons is subject to change if Russia uses them in Ukraine. If Russia lets the cat out of the bag, then all bets are off.
Another Potential War
In 2022, North Korea has launched 18 rounds of missiles. That, in and of itself, is not a big deal. The American and South Korean response, however, is.
In the past, when North Korea launched missiles or tested a nuke, American would say something like “we are monitoring the situation and keeping all our options on the table.” Earlier this week, South Korea and the U.S. launched eight missiles in response to eight missiles launched by North Korea. South Korea described this as an attempt to show North Korea that there will be a rapid response if they attack South Korea.
On Tuesday, the U.S. and South Korea jointly flew “dozens” or fighter jets off the coast of South Korea. This included the F-35A stealth fighters. Separately, the U.S. and Japan held an exercise involving F-16s in the waters between Japan and Korea. Instead of repeating our “nothing is off the table” response, the U.S. said if North Korea held a nuclear test, there would be a “swift and forceful” response.
Diplomatic relations have obviously deteriorated since Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un met, a diplomatic effort that led to a significant drop off in missiles tests and nuclear weapon development by North Korea. But to promise a swift and forceful response to a nuclear test by a country that has already performed nuclear tests? That’s an escalation.
What is Biden Thinking?
President Biden ran on being the adult in the room and stabilizing the country’s foreign relations, but he has been anything but since he’s taken office. He offended Saudi Arabia to the extent where they didn’t take his phone calls, screwed up the Afghanistan withdrawal turning Afghanistan over to the Taliban, gave up the agreements we had with Mexico to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, and set the stage for Russia to invade Ukraine. His international standing has fallen so far he can’t even get the President of Mexico to attend his “Summit of the Americas.”
Thanks largely to Biden’s foreign policy, the nuclear threat is higher than it has ever been and we are facing a potential war on multiple fronts. Here’s a quick summary: Russia could attack NATO or European countries with conventional or nuclear weapons.
- China could invade Taiwan
- Iran and Israel could go from cold war to hot war
- North Korea could attack South Korea, or could launch nukes at a U.S. territory, Japan or another target of interest
- Pakistan and India, both of whom have nuclear weapons, could see their decades-long conflict intensify.
- Do you notice that every one of those parties has or is developing nuclear weapons with the exception of Taiwan?
It would not surprise me to see at least one of these could break out before we get a new president.
Are you prepared for that?