The U.S. Biden administration recently offered to help Israel with joint military planning regarding Iran, according to unnamed U.S. and Israeli officials who leaked the information to the Axios news outlet.
A U.S. official revealed that Washington’s proposal would “significantly upgrade U.S.-Israeli military cooperation,” however, emphasized that it did not include “…planning any kind of joint US-Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear program.”
The United States is by far the Jewish state’s most important ally and while the Israeli government has not rejected the offer, Jerusalem is reportedly concerned that such joint military planning could potentially tie Israel’s hands to independent military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The U.S. proposal reportedly came after recent visits to the Jewish state by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff Gen. Mark Milley and CENTCOM Commander Gen. Erik Kurilla.
Israel has reportedly requested clarification whether the American proposal is limited to intelligence sharing or if it also expands “into the realm of joint operations.”
Pentagon Spokesperson Lt.-Col. Phillip Ventura confirmed that senior U.S. defense officials “have made repeated public statements regarding our interest in expanding military cooperation with the Israeli Defense Forces, to include by increasing joint participation in military training exercises in order to improve interoperability and promote a common understanding of regional security challenges.”
While Biden clearly prefers diplomacy, his administration has reportedly not removed the military option from the table, as it has vowed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
In January, U.S. and Israeli military forces held an unprecedented drill, dubbed ’Juniper Oak,’ to test the countries’ preparedness and improve the interoperability of the combined forces against Iran.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.