an urgent warning from vanessa beeley

US integrates Israel into CENTCOM
Vanessa Beeley, The Wall Will Fall, Feb 25 2021

General Kenneth ‘Frank’ McKenzie

This is the formalisation of the more covert military relationship between Israel and the US. The recent normalisation of relations with UAE and Bahrain demonstrates that this road map was on the table under the Trump administration but has been completed under Biden. “We do a lot of business” translates as Israel is the satellite state of the US in the Middle East. While Israel’s security is paramount for the US, Israel represents the primary US military base in the region, providing the US with security for its assets stolen from the prey nations. Paving the way toward a “collective regional approach to common Middle Eastern threats” translates as creating a new front against the enemies of US/Israeli supremacy in the region by co-opting mercenary, aligned nations like the UAE into the alliance which will target perceived Iranian influence and, of course, Syria. This is all about increasing pressure on Syria militarily and economically. It’s also a perfect demonstration of the blurring of lines between Israel and US military complex.

This is all about US/Israeli pre-emptive aggression, which they label “self-defence” to cover up their violations of international law and rogue state criminality. The ramping up of threats and provocations is a dangerous tipping point in the region, and the recent sparring between Iran and Israel have shown the extent to which this could lead to a much higher intensity conflict in the future with Syria, yet again, being in the eye of the storm. It gives us an indication of the direction the increased multi-spectrum war will take in the future. Trump’s war was the economic war, the theft of resources and destruction of infrastructure, the burning of essential agricultural produce and terrain. Now, the war will begin in earnest under Biden, with Iran in the crosshairs, but the war will be fought in Syria. Israel is no longer excluded by the Arab states in CENTCOM’s region; in fact, it is becoming a central member of the regional anti-Iranian alliance. The move to CENTCOM is a reflection of this historic shift.

As JINSA’s report states, the move will ultimately facilitate collective regional action to roll back Iran’s footprint in CENTCOM’s AOR, while also preparing for a looming potential war and smoothing over day-to-day operational cooperation. An open question raised by the move is whether the US will now be encouraged to position precision munitions on Israeli soil, which could serve both the IDF and CENTCOM in the event of a potential conflict with Iran. JINSA noted that EUCOM has no interest in replenishing this stockpile, as it wants munitions in Europe in case of conflict with Russia. CENTCOM might take a different view. It is preparing for war against Iran in Syria. Effectively, US will have missile, air and military bases in the north-east, south-east (Al Tanf) and the south in Israel. Effectively, Syria will be surrounded on 3 sides by hostile state militaries with Turkey holding a malevolent position in the north. A weakened, divided and distracted Lebanon will, potentially, not be able to react as effectively as before inside Syria and the Resistance will be fighting their own battles in Lebanon. Peter Ford, former UK Ambassador to Syria had this to add to my analysis:

You have done here a great piece of research and analysis. It remains unclear what this development will mean in practical terms but it might include drawing Israel into anti-Iranian activities in Bahrain where CENTCOM has its regional base.

Aside from anything else, Israel’s move into CENTCOM could boost deterrence against Iran by signaling a major step in the crystallization of a regional collective military partnership that recognizes the Israeli-Sunni alliance in the face of the radical Shiite axis. The formalisation of the Isaeli-Muslim Brotherhood/Wahhabi partnership that has been instrumental in destabilising Syria and the region. The future is bleak for this region and war is on the horizon.

Here is the Israel ha-Yom story:

US brings Israel into CENTCOM
Yaakov Lappin, Times of Israel, Feb 23 2021

US-POLITICS-SENATE-CENTRAL COMMANDGen Kenneth F McKenzie. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP

Though the move will take some time to go into effect, the Pentagon’s recent decision to relocate Israel to the area of responsibility (AOR) of the US military’s Central Command (CENTCOM, which operates in the Middle East) is a direct operational reflection of the Abraham Accords, in which Israel normalized relations with the UAE and Bahrain, with Saudi support. The head of CENTCOM, General Kenneth F McKenzie, recently told the Middle East Institute:

We do a lot of business with Israel now just as a practical matter of fact because their threats generally emanate from the east. In a certain way, this is just a natural recognition of that at the operational level.

In comments reported by Defense News, McKenzie said bringing Israel into CENTCOM will enable the US to place an “operational perspective” on the Abraham Accords, setting up “further corridors and opportunities to open up between Israel and Arab countries in the region” on a military-to-military level. This, in turn, will pave the way toward a collective regional approach to common Middle Eastern threats. McKenzie stated that the move also lines up with a US vision in which “our friends in the region do more for themselves” and in which neighbors work closely together, adding that the CENTCOM move is “a step in that direction.”

Prior to the Pentagon’s decision, a detailed report released by the pro-Israel Washington-based Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), which includes a number of former high-ranking American military officials as members, made the case for bringing Israel into CENTCOM’s area of responsibility. According to JINSA’s director of foreign policy, Jonathan Ruhe, the idea initially received mixed responses from both defense establishments, but the feedback has grown consistently more positive over the past three years. JINSA argued that such a network could lead to the creation of a region-wide missile defense network with shared early warning alerts. The cooperation could include steps to disrupt the Iranian proliferation of advanced weapons to its proxies, which target Israel and US forces, and pragmatic Sunni states alike.

In the face of these threats, CENTCOM can also initiate joint exercises and contingency plans for Iran-specific threats, thereby boosting cooperation, while Israel can find a new framework within which to share critical information from its “war between the wars” to disrupt Iranian force build-up in the region. The report explained that each US military geographic combatant command is in charge of implementing US defense policy in its area of responsibility (AOR) while exercising unified command over all forces in its jurisdiction. Each combatant command works with and coordinates with partner militaries in its region, making them a “primary mechanism for US-led regional cooperation on strategic planning, training, doctrine, logistics, intelligence, technology, procurement, operations and other critical military activities.” In this context, moving Israel to CENTCOM formalizes regular military exercises among the US, Israel and Arab states. The report said:

Such training would be crucial for developing effective theater missile defenses, as well as boosting readiness and interoperability in cyber, counter-terrorism, special operations, and maritime security.

Israel is no longer excluded by the Arab states in CENTCOM’s region; in fact, it is becoming a central member of the regional anti-Iranian alliance. The move to CENTCOM is a reflection of this historic shift. As JINSA’s report states, the move will ultimately facilitate collective regional action to roll back Iran’s footprint in CENTCOM’s AOR while also preparing for a looming potential war and smoothing over day-to-day operational cooperation. Israel has been under EUCOM AOR since the latter’s creation in 1952, an arrangement that proved beneficial to both sides for decades. That arrangement enabled the US and other NATO members to partner closely with Israel, particularly post-9/11, as well as to develop close missile-defense cooperation, which saw EUCOM forces arrive in Israel for Juniper Cobra missile-defense drills every two years. Both EUCOM and CENTCOM are undergoing changes, as JINSA’s report outlines. Preparations reflecting such changes could be found as far back as Mar 2018, when CENTCOM released a posture statement that for the first time listed Israel in its area as a partner for theater security cooperation and partnership in light of rising threats from Iran (and Daesh).

That same month, CENTCOM forces took part in the Juniper Cobra exercise held between the IOF and EUCOM, and Gen Joseph Votel became the first CENTCOM commander to officially visit Israel. At CENTCOM, there is now an acute need to create a regional cooperation network that connects the US military, the IOF and the Gulf States to one another to face common threats from Iran (as well as from Daesh). Meanwhile, EUCOM is keen to return its primary focus to great-power competition with Russia. An open question raised by the move is whether the US will now be encouraged to position precision munitions on Israeli soil, which could serve both the IOF and CENTCOM in the event of a potential conflict with Iran. JINSA noted that EUCOM has no interest in replenishing this stockpile, as it wants munitions in Europe in case of conflict with Russia. CENTCOM might take a different view. Aside from anything else, Israel’s move into CENTCOM could boost deterrence against Iran by signaling a major step in the crystallization of a regional collective military partnership that recognizes the Israeli-Sunni alliance in the face of the radical Shiite axis.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.