Versus Putin and Nasrallah: Will US destroyers anchor in Israel? – Walla! news

Source: Versus Putin and Nasrallah: Will US destroyers anchor in Israel? – Walla! news

( Translated from Hebrew via Google. – JW )

An intriguing American recommendation calls on the army to permanently deploy two destroyers in Haifa or Ashdod, and to appeal at once to the threatening shadow cast by the square cooperation north of here

The destroyer Ross? In Haifa (temporary licensed photographers, flickr)
The visits became routine. The destroyer “Ross” in Haifa

Retired Admiral James Stavardis is one of the most interesting and productive personalities in the American security community. Grandson of Greek immigrants from Turkish Izmir – they fled from fear of pogroms, a point Staveridis preferred to blur when required for military and diplomatic contacts with Turkey – who was an outstanding officer and scholar in the Navy, the military secretary of the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in George W. Bush administration. Bush, commander of the NATO and European Command forces in the US military and a close friend of Israel. He was considered close to Hillary Clinton, who considered his candidacy for vice president, but when Donald Trump sought a foreign minister, his name was also mentioned on that side of American politics.

The 62-year-old’s ties to Israel are superb. As commander of the UCOAM and NATO, until 2013, he became acquainted with the top echelons of the security forces. Last month, he visited Israel and met old acquaintances alongside standing heads. He published his positive impressions in a position paper on the Bloomberg website.

A year ago, in Time magazine, he encouraged the Special Operations Command, SOCOM, to expand its activities And praised the dismantling of the barriers between the Mossad, Military Intelligence and the Shin Bet security service, which enabled the intelligence community in Israel to advance the separate agencies of the American intelligence on various regional issues.

 Stavoridis is so pleased with Israel that he turned the tables and proposed to translate the commanders’ slogan (he attributes it to the Paratroopers Brigade) after “Follow me.” In fact, the American slogan, which comes from the sculpted mouth of a platoon commander who gestures to the force in his back, captures the imagination of four officers who visited 1954 at the Infantry School in Fort Benning, Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan, Head of the Training Department Yitzhak Rabin, In Washington, Chaim Herzog and Col. Mati Peled returned to Israel, and Dayan gave “After” the official status of a battle call that educates commanders.

James Stavridis testifies to Capitol Hill in Washington March 9, 2017 (AP)

Deterrence and influence of naval power. James Stavridis

This time, when he came home and formulated his ideas, including the use of NATO’s special forces headquarters in Belgium as a framework for Israeli involvement in “exercises, training, and perhaps operations and intelligence,” he seemed to think of his years as a naval officer and especially of his distinction as commander of the ” The US Navy’s legendary commander in the 1950s, Arlei Barak, “The US should consider putting two guided missile destroyers from the Arly Barak class in a home port in Israel,” wrote the admiral. “Their location in the eastern Mediterranean will help to stand against the increased Russian presence there.” The Fifth Fleet of the Soviet Navy, the youngest twin of the American Sixth Fleet, had at its height dozens of vessels, nearly 100 in the inter-bloc crisis of the Yom Kippur War. The Russian outpost in Syria, in the port of Tartus, and in the airbase are far away, and the quality of the tools and the operators has not been proven to be very high. But Stavridis also thinks about the deterrent and influence of naval force,

His proposal to place two destroyers in Haifa (or Ashdod) is not cut off from the resource shortage in the US Navy. There are not enough ships, enough sailors, enough money and enough time for training, especially in the field forces, that is, destroyers. According to a study by the State Comptroller, a Congressional arm, American destroyers spend three-quarters of their time in an administrative movement in the oceans, while those assigned to foreign ports are constantly on patrol, with no adequate time to train and rest enough for the captain, his officers and sailors. The result is wasteful and operational – medium.

In the Sixth Fleet, which is subordinate to the Yokom in Stuttgart through the headquarters of the naval forces in Europe and Africa in Naples, the destroyer bases are in Spain and Italy The annual cost of holding each destroyer in a foreign port is estimated at $ 55 million, Thus, more than $ 100 million per year.

Order of Honor by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael J. Mullen, to the Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi at the Pentagon, November 2010 (IDF Spokesperson)

The hostility has softened long ago. Malan and Ashkenazi (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)

The traditional hostility of the US Navy to Israel, the result of dependence on Arab oil to propel the ships and the Liberty incident, has softened in recent decades. In addition to Stavidis, Admiral Michael Mullen, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also expressed sympathy for Israel and personal friendship with their counterparts, such as Gabi Ashkenazi, and at the NATO summit in Strasbourg in 2009, Mullen and Ashkenazi met in one of the city’s hotels. Downstairs, a red-haired Colonel, James Pogo, Malan’s assistant, casually turned. Today, Pogo is also a four-star admiral, commander of the naval forces of the UCU, and he certainly will not object in principle if the Pentagon suggests that he advance the destroyers eastward, from the Spanish port of Rota to Haifa.

The close relations between the naval forces and the regular visits of commanders and vessels were launched with the Israeli-Egyptian peace in 1979. Joint maneuvers were held, sometimes with other fleets (Turkey, Greece, Germany). In certain years, 40-50 American ships visited Haifa, to the delight of locals and locals. The celebration calmed down at the end of the Cold War, with the dilution of the Sixth Fleet, and was settled after the Cole destroyer, of the same class, was severely damaged in the attack in Aden in 2000. No security officer dared to sign that a port was secure enough from terrorist attacks.

The visits were reset and returned only in 2008. Now they are routine. Some destroyers (“Ross,” “Porter,” “Lavon”) visit Haifa, or participate in missile-intercepting exercises, more than others. A spokesman for the Sixth Fleet was pleased to report that during one of Ross’ last visits last May, Malchia was sent to two community activities – gardening and maintenance for the women’s shelter “Ofek Nashi” and feeding and cleaning the residents of Haifa Zoo.

Good business for hosts

If Ross and one of her sisters are stationed in Israel, two alternatives will be examined: the families of the crews (nearly 300 officers and sailors in each destroyer, but many junior high school students) in nearby quarters and crew teams flying every six months, as is customary in nuclear submarines. In addition, there are auxiliary forces for supply and maintenance. Either way, it’s a good business for hosts.

In Haifa and in Ashdod, there are piers and docks (and dock and shipyard services) that can be used for the destroyers, armed with sea-to-sea missiles, sea-coasts (such as a barrage fired last spring) and air-to-air missiles. The destroyers, as on all bases, will defend Iron Dome. The former commander of the navy, Major General Ram Rotberg, examined the issue at the time and ruled: There is no problem. Only a political decision is needed.

Such a decision is not simple. About five years ago, the US Navy commissioned from its research institute, CNN, an analysis of the relationship between the two fleets, looking to the future and especially taking into account the Indian Ocean arena. According to the article, the American admirals have noticed an increase in the activity of the Israeli navy there, above and below the water. Dov Zakheim, a former senior official in the Pentagon during the dispute over the Lavi, whose financing has damaged the Navy’s fleet of submarines and submarines, and whose cancellation has helped revive this program, Lahav-Dolphin, was asked by CNN to analyze the needs and prospects for deepening cooperation between The IDF has learned from the former commander of the IAF, Maj. Gen. Eliezer (Mari) Marom, that Israeli vessels are indeed conducting presence patrols in the Indian Ocean and that Israel enjoys the friendship of India, wrote Zackheim, The American Sea, especially since at the end of the last century, an experiment was conducted in the Indian Ocean by launching a cruise missile from an Israeli submarine.

Launch of a Patriot missile in Tel Aviv, February 1991 (Government Press Office, Natan Alpert)

The Gulf War precedent. Patriot batteries in Israel (Photo: Natan Alpert, AM)
Israeli policy, which has been dictated for decades by ministers, officers and spokesmen, denies the will in an American military presence. Weapons and Money Yes, political support Certainly, forces are not – this is the regular refrain. The IDF will defend, American boys will not shed blood for Israel.

These statements originated in the 1950s. They reflected recognition of the separatist nature of the American public, which might be deterred if it finds out that Israel is weak, dependent and needs to be assured that its price is lethal. Since 1967, the definition of the term “Israel” has been too vague – will the Americans participate in the defense of the state only on armistice lines or secure its occupation? And will they accept a military initiative, a preemptive strike, or demand seizing first and a counter-attack, and even then – to where?

Operation “Kadesh” helped protect the skies and coasts of the country, mainly French and British air forces. An old Israeli destroyer manufactured by Britain participated in the capture of an old-fashioned Egyptian destroyer manufactured in Britain. But it was a secret, one-time, and the public and the legislators of the weakening powers in Europe were not asked what they thought. America is a different story: everything is open and requires broad support, whether in a defense pact – which would limit Israel’s freedom of maneuver and decision – or by supplying weapons, what is free, and certainly by deploying vulnerable forces. It was no small matter when the risks were realized, for example, in the bombing of the Marines headquarters at the Beirut airport, with 241 casualties – an attack that drove the Sixth Fleet from the Lebanese coast . The American battalion in the multinational force in Sinai is also like this: 35 years of risk – a casual and sunbathing face, now real, because of Da’ash – in order to separate Egypt from Israel.

The Patriot batteries for their soldiers, called for intercepting Iraqi Scud missiles during the 1991 war, set a precedent, albeit temporary: American forces with a finger on the trigger, the danger of Iraqi missiles being hit and the need to distribute work with the IAF’s control system. It was found that there is no reciprocity: the Americans are completely immune here, the Israelis and others who are not in the NATO alliance are only partially immune, because the administration is authorized to ask local authorities to give up To guests for arrest and trial, but can not impose it on them. From Boston to Houston, if a policeman or a judge insists, Major A or Corporal B. will be in jail. Israel decided to restrain itself and hope for the best.

Deterrence, but also a goal

There are already Americans in uniform (or contractors) in the radar facility overlooking the Negev towards Iran, even though the names of the places – Mount Keren and Mashabei Sadeh – have been made public, and this has become a distant and largely remote area. From Lebanon and Ashdod from Gaza: a focused effort will be required to avoid hitting naval bases there.

Faced with the Russians in Syria, the benefit to the Americans in the presence of a little south is clear. In contrast to Hezbollah , American destroyers in Haifa may provide deterrence, but they may also be targets. Moreover, it is tempting for Iran to instruct Hassan Nasrallah to direct the fire at the Americans, hoping to smuggle them out, and not only into the sea until the tension is over, but when they are between their legs.

Admiral Stavridis, who wrote his doctorate on NATO, is aware of all these nuances, and knows that Congress will not want to harm the local income of countries and towns that host the destroyers on the Atlantic coast, at most from Spain or Italy. And his conversations with senior security officials here suggest that Israel wants to see how the idea will be accepted, without commitment and without embarrassment, and would sink like a stone in the Mediterranean.

If Stavridis finds a sympathetic ear in his retired colleague, Defense Secretary James Matisse, who was his counterpart in the Inter-Agency Force Command when Stavoridis headed the Southern Command (Latin America) and Central Command of CENTCOM (Middle East and Afghanistan) NATO, the destroyers may still dock in front of the Carmel, or – just not on Saturday – in Ashdod.

(First update: 13:27, 02.02

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