U.S. European Command (EUCOM) has deployed to Israel a high-powered X-band radar and the supporting people and equipment needed for coordinated defense against Iranian missile attack, marking the first permanent U.S. military presence on Israeli soil.
Since this deployment was publicly disclosed it’s fair to assume that the move is as much about sending Tehran a message as it is about tactical defense. A U.S. government source said:
First, we want to put Iran on notice that we’re bolstering our capabilities throughout the region, and especially in Israel. But just as important, we’re telling the Israelis, ‘Calm down; behave. We’re doing all we can to stand by your side and strengthen defenses, because at this time, we don’t want you rushing into the military option.’
The dog-trainer condescension toward Israel may seem unwarranted, but it’s not the worst idea to create the (possibly accurate) impression that the Jewish state is itching to attack. In the eventuality of a confrontation with Iran, no one will be able to say the mullahs were not given every reason to cooperate. (h/t Cuffy Meigs.)