The Israel Factor in War

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photoThis afternoon in Washington, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon emerged from Oval Office talks to say that Israel has never had a better friend in the White House than George W. Bush.

With war on Iraq now looming, the Israel factor also looms large in the minds of military strategists and Middle East watchers. The temptation for Saddam Hussein to hit Israel in the context of war will be huge. Israel's response could determine much about the shape of war and its aftermath.

The interests of the US and Israel are linked, but not identical. If Saddam goes biological over Tel Aviv, would Israel go nuclear over Baghdad? Sharon says Israel will not be passive if attacked this time. So what might happen in the fog of this war, if and when it comes?

This hour, On Point: War on Iraq and the Israel factor.


Anthony Cordesman, Arleigh A. Burke Chair for Strategy, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Aluf Benn, Diplomatic Correspondent, Ha'aretz

Jack Beatty, On Point News Analyst and Senior Editor at the Atlantic Monthly Magazine

This program aired on October 16, 2002.


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