The seemingly inexorable march toward an armed conflict with Iran received a fresh boost this week when the Associated Press reported that Israeli officials do not plan on warning the United States if and when they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. The rationale, according to an unnamed American official, is that Israeli officials want to keep the U.S. in the dark, so the Obama administration can’t be blamed for failing to stop the attack.
But the article, one of a slew of reports in recent weeks citing unnamed sources on the likelihood of a conflict between Israel and Iran, would seem to suggest that the machinery of war is in motion. The New York Times, for example, also reported this week that Iran is likely to launch terrorist-style attacks against U.S. civilian and military targets if Israel does indeed strike one or more of its nuclear facilities. The article seems, in a way, to be both downplaying the potential blowback of an attack on Iran and also to be softening the ground for a likely U.S. role in any Iran-Israeli conflict.