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Olmert puts price tag on Iran war plan, estimates attack won’t happen

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gave an interview on Friday night to Israeli Channel 2 in which he attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the latter’s security spending and the way in which he approached a particular issue. Olmert didn’t say the word “Iran,” but his message cannot be misunderstood:

In the last two years we have spent more than 11 billion NIS (3 Billion USD) on security delusions that were not carried out and will not be carried out… it is a sum which is well beyond the multi-year budget […]

Olmert added that he

…believes that these moves will not be carried out, because 2012 was “the decision year.” During last year they scared the entire world and eventually nothing was done on this issue.

Iranian analyst: For a fair offer, Iran will compromise on its nuclear program
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    1. “In the last two years we have spent more than 11 billion NIS (3 Billion USD) on security delusions that were not carried out and will not be carried out… it is a sum which is well beyond the multi-year budget” : where did all that money go?

      Reply to Comment
      • Piotr Berman

        Israel would need to improve its long range aircraft capabilities and get exotic types of ammo like “bunker thruster” bombs. Those toys are very expensive.

        Reply to Comment
        • I haven’t heard anything about such upgrades. I have doubts that is where the money went. A budget larger than (and independent of) the standard budget? That’s a lot of power without oversight.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Piotr Berman

      The decision year was not 2012 but 2006, the war with Hezbollah, which was nonsensical on its own, but had a lot of sense as a literal trial by fire of this scenario: Iran can be attacked and its retaliation by closing the Strait of Hormuz with missiles can be neutralized. Except that the result was that (a) Iranian missiles are pretty good at disabling ships (b) missile fire cannot be stopped by bombardment if there are numerous tunnels where the missiles are stored (c) sending in the Marines would be a very bloody and unpromising adventures.

      On top of that, in the aftermath of Libyan intervention both Russia and China became quite vehement in their opposition to further military intervention. Thus they support Syria and will support Iran. Iran is also more popular than USA in Pakistan, together this combination can put NATO forces in Afghanistan under siege. This scenario can be dubbed “Storm over Asia”.

      Also, any neocon dreams of escalation “parking lot” style would only magnify the disaster if both China and Russia support Iran, even nuclear umbrella can get into play. This scenario can be dubbed “Dr. Strangelove”.

      The most benign scenario is a rather ineffective attack by Israel alone and immediate declaration of victory by Iran. But putting the genie of war back into the bottle can be hard. For example, Iran could close Hormuz and declare that it will stay close until Israel pays reparation, and cargoes can leave the Gulf only to countries that cooperate with that goal by confiscating Israeli assets.

      In a nutshell, I can project a ton of different disaster scenarios, and hardly any “success” scenarios.

      Reply to Comment
    3. rsgengland

      Olmert is forever issuing statements on the poor performance of this Goverment.
      He tends to forget that he led Israel into two very costly wars.
      Israel is still suffering the diplomatic ramifications from those two events today.
      One of the few good things that resulted from his tenure as Prime Minister is the ‘Iron Dome’ system, which has proved its worth in gold.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Charles-Jerusalem

      Olmert can just shut-up. After having built this horror of holyland, which is in itself a crime against good taste and after having tasted dirty money, Olmert is not credible anymore.
      Olmert, please retire !
      We want tough and competent people at the government but not only, we want them honest and with a high sense of ethics.

      Reply to Comment
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