With Iran Strike Looming, Obama Distances from Israel
The U.S. has scaled back participation in a pending joint military exercise with Israel because officials believe Israel will strike Iran sooner rather than later.
This same joint military exercise was postponed seven months ago, when the U.S. believed Israel was going to go ahead with an attack on Iran's nuclear project. Now, the U.S. has drastically cut the number of troops that will take part. Five thousand U.S. troops were originally slated to take part in the exercise, but reports now indicate the Pentagon may send as few as 1200.
The Obama administration doesn't trust the Israelis to wait until after the November elections before attacking Iran. And should Israel attack Iran soon, the administration doesn't want to give the impression that they prepared "something together with the Israelis against Iran."
As if to teach Israel a lesson, the U.S. is sending Patriot anti-missile systems to Israel but has decided not to send crews to operate them. And instead of sending two Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense warships for Israel as previously agreed, the Obama administration is sending only one.