US Military and Israel, planning for What?
DEBKAfile's sources say that the US-Israel intelligence conferences ongoing at present are the final touches to the process the Obama administration has instituted of strategic give-and-take with Israel ahead of a possible outbreak of war with Iran. The alignment has been going forward on four levels:
1. Communications between the White House and the Israeli prime minister's office, which are handled at the Washington end by Dep. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who enjoys ready access to the president.
2. An open line to defense secretary Robert Gates which defense minister Ehud Barak set up when he visited the Pentagon last week.
3. Direct interchanges between the two army chiefs, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi.
4. Frequent conferences between US and Israeli intelligence heads.
Political, military and intelligence integration between the US and Israel on this comprehensive scale has been practically unknown in recent years. It serves the dual purpose of a demonstration of close American-Israel military cooperation while at the same time safeguarding the Obama administration against Israeli surprise moves in relation to Iran.