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Israel's Secret War With Iran

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Kwetunikwetu, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Kwetunikwetu

    Kwetunikwetu JF-Expert Member

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    By RONEN BERGMAN

    Those who leaf through the secret files of any intelligence service know what grave mistakes bad intelligence can lead to. But they also know that sometimes even excellent intelligence doesn't change a thing.


    The Israeli intelligence community is now learning this lesson the hard way. It has penetrated enemies like Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Hezbollah and Hamas. Yet despite former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's willingness to authorize highly dangerous operations based on this intelligence, and despite the unquestionable success of the operations themselves, the overall security picture remains as grim as ever.


    In 2002, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appointed his friend and former subordinate, Gen. Meir Dagan, director of the Mossad. Gen. Dagan found the organization lacking in imagination and shying away from operational risks. Mr. Sharon, who knew Gen. Dagan from his days as head of a secret assassinations unit that acted against Fatah in the Gaza Strip during the 1970s, told the general that he wanted "a Mossad with a knife between its teeth."


    Gen. Dagan transformed the Mossad from top to bottom and made the organization's sole focus Iran's nuclear project and its ties to jihadist organizations. He put tremendous pressure on his subordinates to execute as many operations as possible. Moreover, he built up ties with espionage services in Europe and the Middle East on top of Israel's long-standing relationship with the CIA.


    In tandem with Gen. Dagan's Mossad revolution, other Israeli military intelligence has also made outstanding breakthroughs. The Shin-Bet (Israel's internal intelligence service), in cooperation with the military, has made huge strides in its understanding of Palestinian guerilla organizations.
    The results have been tremendous. During the last four years, the uranium enrichment project in Iran was delayed by a series of apparent accidents: the disappearance of an Iranian nuclear scientist, the crash of two planes carrying cargo relating to the project, and two labs that burst into flames. In addition, an Iranian opposition group in exile published highly credible information about the details of the project, which caused Iran much embarrassment and led to International Atomic Energy Agency inspections.


    On July 12, 2006, thanks to precise intelligence, the Israeli Air Force destroyed almost the entire stock of Hezbollah's long-range rockets stored in underground warehouses. Hezbollah was shocked.


    In July 2007, another mysterious accident occurred in a missile factory jointly operated by Iran and Syria at a Syrian site called Al-Safir. The production line -- which armed Scud missiles with warheads -- was shut down and many were killed.


    In September 2007, Israel destroyed a nuclear reactor built by Syria and aided by North Korea in Dir A-Zur -- despite Syria's significant efforts to keep it a secret. With indirect authorization from a very high ranking Israeli official, the CIA published incriminating pictures obtained by Israel of the site before it was bombed. These photos convinced the world that the Syrians were indeed attempting to manufacture a nuclear bomb.


    In February 2008, Hezbollah's military leader, Imad Mughniyah, was killed in Damascus. In August of that year, Gen. Mohammed Suliman, a liaison to Hamas and Hezbollah who participated in the Syrian nuclear project, was assassinated by a sniper.


    In December 2008, Israel initiated operation Cast Lead, which dealt Hamas a massive blow. Most of its weapons were destroyed within days by Israeli air strikes. (Israel also knew where the Hamas leadership was hiding, but since it was in a hospital Mr. Olmert refused to authorize the strike.) In January 2009, Israeli Hermes 450 drones attacked three convoys in Sudan that were smuggling weapons from Iran to the Gaza Strip.


    These are all excellent achievements, but did they change reality? Mostly not.
    The destruction of the Syrian nuclear reactor seems to have put a temporary end to President Bashar Assad's ambitions of acquiring a nuclear weapon. However, the public humiliation caused by the site's bombing did not sway him from supporting Hamas and Hezbollah and hosting terrorist organizations.


    Even worse, the heads of Israeli intelligence are now losing sleep over recent information showing that attempts to delay the Iranian nuclear project have failed. Despite some technical difficulties, the Iranians are storming ahead and may possess a nuclear bomb as early as 2010. Hezbollah, although weakened by the 2006 war and Mughniyah's assassination, has become the leading political force in Lebanon.
    On the southern front, despite the convoy bombings in Sudan, the trafficking of weapons and ammunition into the Gaza Strip continues. Hamas's standing among Palestinians has strengthened. And if a cease-fire is negotiated between Hamas and Israel it would be perceived as a victory for Hamas.


    The bottom line is that excellent intelligence is very important, but it can only take you so far. In the end, it's the tough diplomatic and military decisions made by Israeli leaders that ensure the security of the state.


    Mr. Bergman, a correspondent for the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, is the author of the "The Secret War With Iran" (Free Press, 2008).
     
  2. Buchanan

    Buchanan JF Diamond Member

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    The secret war is not a new phenomenon to Israel. Do u remember how the Arabs were humiliated in a preamptive six day war in 1967? The only change is the new party Iran! Syria, Egypt and Jordan have learnt a lesson after they were beaten in war in 1967. Iran still want to learn that war is not the best option where there is still a chance to make peace! But Ahmedinejad has resorted to the option of attempt to destroy Israel. That will be a grave mistake! They will welcome their own destruction!
     
  3. S

    Shamu JF-Expert Member

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    Existence of Israel will depend on two state solutions Palestian state and Jewish state. Israel has to negotiate with all Arab countries in order to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear bomb or nuclear energy. To bomb Iran won't help Israel in the future. Furthermore, it will escalate the situation in the Mid East; where US does not want to happen. Diplomacy is the solution for Israel survival.
     
  4. Azimio Jipya

    Azimio Jipya JF-Expert Member

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    So strange to to accept that it is the "tough military decisions" that can ensure the security of the israel state but at the same time undermine the excellent intelligence.

    How on earth do you get a tough military without an excellent intelligence?

    How do you get tough and effective diplomatc decisions without excellent intelligence?
     
  5. Bambo

    Bambo JF-Expert Member

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    Many options has been on table for long time including the mighty ROAD MAP,Not every problem can be solved with diplomacy if the source (of the problem) is so scattered.Iran has made itself the important part of the conflict why???and it's actions are questionable it doesn't respond to any diplomacy while is the source of all military supplies...is it business? or patriotism? Palestinians themselves are not united,the two larger factions does not represent the true issue of Palestine seems each has different agendas on the same.Is easier to negotiate with ****** than with a set with idiot and a clever.The solution is to get rid of Iran.s double standards then get into mid eastern comprehensive solution.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
  6. Kwetunikwetu

    Kwetunikwetu JF-Expert Member

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    The only devil in each situation lies in the details. The position of two state solutions everyone agrees with it, but the problem is in the details of it. Look at the Oslo accord ([ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oslo_Accords]Oslo Accords - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]) and the Roadmap ([ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_map_for_peace]Road map for peace - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]) you will see where the devil lies.

    The most pressing issues includes;
    1. Status of Jerusalem
    2. Right of return of Palestinian refugees
    3. The Israel's settlements
    4. Security details of Palestinian state
     
  7. Kwetunikwetu

    Kwetunikwetu JF-Expert Member

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    Israel has launched a covert war against Iran as an alternative to direct military strikes against Tehran's nuclear programme, US intelligence sources have revealed.


    It is using hitmen, sabotage, front companies and double agents to disrupt the regime's illicit weapons project, the experts say.
    The most dramatic element of the "decapitation" programme is the planned assassination of top figures involved in Iran's atomic operations.
    Despite fears in Israel and the US that Iran is approaching the point of no return in its ability to build atom bomb, Israeli officials are aware of the change in mood in Washington since President Barack Obama took office.
    They privately acknowledge the new US administration is unlikely to sanction an air attack on Iran's nuclear installations and Mr Obama's offer to extend a hand of peace to Tehran puts any direct military action beyond reach for now.
    The aim is to slow down or interrupt Iran's research programme, without the gamble of a direct confrontation that could lead to a wider war.
    A former CIA officer on Iran told The Daily Telegraph: "Disruption is designed to slow progress on the programme, done in such a way that they don't realise what's happening. You are never going to stop it.
    "The goal is delay, delay, delay until you can come up with some other solution or approach. We certainly don't want the current Iranian government to have those weapons. It's a good policy, short of taking them out militarily, which probably carries unacceptable risks."
    Reva Bhalla, a senior analyst with Stratfor, the US private intelligence company with strong government security connections, said the strategy was to take out key people.
    "With co-operation from the United States, Israeli covert operations have focused both on eliminating key human assets involved in the nuclear programme and in sabotaging the Iranian nuclear supply chain," she said.
    "As US-Israeli relations are bound to come under strain over the Obama administration's outreach to Iran, and as the political atmosphere grows in complexity, an intensification of Israeli covert activity against Iran is likely to result."
    Mossad was rumoured to be behind the death of Ardeshire Hassanpour, a top nuclear scientist at Iran's Isfahan uranium plant, who died in mysterious circumstances from reported "gas poisoning" in 2007.
    Other recent deaths of important figures in the procurement and enrichment process in Iran and Europe have been the result of Israeli "hits", intended to deprive Tehran of key technical skills at the head of the programme, according to Western intelligence analysts.
    "Israel has shown no hesitation in assassinating weapons scientists for hostile regimes in the past," said a European intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity. They did it with Iraq and they will do it with Iran when they can."
    Mossad's covert operations cover a range of activities. The former CIA operative revealed how Israeli and US intelligence co-operated with European companies working in Iran to obtain photographs and other confidential material about Iranian nuclear and missile sites.
    "It was a real company that operated from time to time in Iran and in the nature of their legitimate business came across information on various suspect Iranian facilities," he said.
    Israel has also used front companies to infiltrate the Iranian purchasing network that the clerical regime uses to circumvent United Nations sanctions and obtain so-called "dual use" items – metals, valves, electronics, machinery – for its nuclear programme.
    The businesses initially supply Iran with legitimate material, winning Tehran's trust, and then start to deliver faulty or defective items that "poison" the country's atomic activities.
    "Without military strikes, there is still considerable scope for disrupting and damaging the Iranian programme and this has been done with some success," said Yossi Melman, a prominent Israeli journalist who covers security and intelligence issues for the Haaretz newspaper.
    Mossad and Western intelligence operations have also infiltrated the Iranian nuclear programme and "bought" information from prominent atomic scientists. Israel has later selectively leaked some details to its allies, the media and United Nations atomic agency inspectors.
    On one occasion, Iran itself is understood to have destroyed a nuclear facility near Tehran, bulldozing over the remains and replacing it with a football pitch, after its existence was revealed to UN inspectors. The regime feared that the discovery by inspectors of an undeclared nuclear facility would result in overwhelming pressure at the UN for tougher action against Iran.
    The Iranian government has become so concerned about penetration of its programme that it has announced arrests of alleged spies in an attempt to discourage double agents. "Israel is part of a detailed and elaborate international effort to slow down the Iranian programme," said Mr Melman.
    But Vince Canastraro, the former CIA counter-terrorism chief, expressed doubts about the efficacy of secret Israeli operations against Iran. "You cannot carry out foreign policy objectives via covert operations," he said. "You can't get rid of a couple of people and hope to affect Iran's nuclear capability."
    Iran has consistently asserted that it is pursuing a nuclear capability for civilian energy generation purposes. But Israeli and Western intelligence agencies believe the 20-year-old programme, which was a secret until 2002, is designed to give the ruling mullahs an atom bomb.



    (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/4640052/Israel-launches-covert-war-against-Iran.html)
     
  8. Kwetunikwetu

    Kwetunikwetu JF-Expert Member

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    The detailed Iran's nuclear ambition is found here ([ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_program_of_Iran"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_program_of_Iran)[/ame]
     
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