National Security Experts

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Recent Responses

January 18, 2012 11:48 AM

The answer to that question is in Tel Aviv. Netanyahu has a long record of doing things his way: if he decides he has to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, he will. Frankly though I think he's bluffing. The threat to bomb in the middle of American election year will get him both tough sanctions on Iran and advanced weapon systems we've been holding back.

There are people who believe that if air-tight sanctions in fact are imposed on on Iran's oil exports, Iran will consider it tantamount to war - and respond. We'll see.

But what few seem to be focusing on is that the Shia-Sunni divide is opening up in a very bad way, threatening out-and-out civil war in several countries, Syria being the obvious one. another is Iraq. I've heard rumors that the Turks are sending weapons to Iraq's Sunnis. If it's true, how long can Tehran stay its hand in that country? This is the kind of escalation that could lead to a real war in the Gulf, whether Israel and the United States want it or not.

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July 18, 2011 04:59 PM

It's impossible to know what's going to happen in Iraq after we leave. But I'd imagine that's precisely what worries the Administration. Or put it this way : Obama doesn't want to go into the 2012 election with the fresh memory he's the president who lost Iraq. And, even if Iraq ultimately asks us to leave, he's slightly better off having been thrown out of the party - the Iraqi's forcing our departure - than he is running for the door.

Last week I was on the phone with a Los Angeles radio station, and made the blunder of mentioning Iran and Israel inside the same sentence. Essentially what I said was that it was a bad sign that senior Israel security officials are retiring from the government and going public that they don't trust Netanyahu on Iran, i.e. Netanyahu very well could launch a preemptive attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. I went on to speculate that if that were to happen, it very well could draw the United States into the conflict. ( I also speculated that it's a conflict that would quickly escalate. Who doesn't fear the same thing?) And here's where

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April 26, 2010 07:16 AM

At the risk of being proved a fool tomorrow, Al Qaeda appears to have been defeated. Its last major attack on the West was the 2005 tube bombing in London. Every other attempt, from the 2006 trans-Atlantic plane bombings using liquid explosives to last year’s plans by Najibullah Zazi to set off bombs in New York’s subway, have ended in complete failure. The man behind the plane and subway bombings, Rashid Rauf, was killed in a Predator attack in November 2008. Al Qaeda is safe nowhere. Its supporters in the Taliban have not been able to protect it. (They’ve even been unable to effectively retaliate against government of Pakistan for the invasion of South Waziristan.) What remains of al Qaeda is in hiding. Osama bin Laden hasn’t appeared in a videotape since 2007, and even then the quality was so bad it makes you wonder what happened to the man. If he can’t even arrange to make a half-way decent DVD, what can he arrange? In any honest accounting, we have to conclude we’re winning the ‘war on terror.’ And it has a lo

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