Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Is this How the Israel-Iran War Begins?

Experts and defense analysts agree that Iran would respond to any Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities by proxy, specifically by Hamas and Hezbollah rocketry launched at Israeli towns and cities. Indeed, this is one of the reasons beyond sheer ideological spite that the Iranian leadership has gone to such great lengths to arm both Hamas and Hezbollah.

The Iranian leadership may be coming very close to forcing Israel’s hand. If Hezbollah seeks to open a second front against Israel, then Israel could find itself in a two-front war with terrorist entities. Make no mistake, Israel would achieve its objective of destroying the majority of the longest-range and most lethal missiles supplied to Hamas and Hezbollah by Iran, Syria, and perhaps even North Korea.

This might reduce the costs to Israel of undertaking a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. After all, if Hamas and Hezbollah are temporarily neutered and if the Israeli government concludes that the elements of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who would have command and control over any Iranian nuclear arsenal would pose an existential threat, then the Israelis may decide that their window of opportunity would never be so favorable as the present. After all, Iran’s air defense is only going to get more sophisticated with time, and its missile program is advancing steadily, and so time is otherwise not on Israel’s side.

The Iranians often quip that they play chess while their opponents play checkers. Let us hope before it is too late that the Iranian regime comes to realize, despite its overconfidence, that it is not the grandmaster it believes itself to be.