Three USAF C-130 Hercules aircraft are parked in front of the empty “Raid on Entebbe” terminal. The building is still pockmarked from the infamous 1976 Israeli rescue operations. From Airman Magazine’s December 1994 issue article “Will You Please Pray for Us?” -Relief for Rwandan Refugees. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Iran continues to be a hot button issue this month, not only in the US Presidential elections, but also in international politics. Apart from Iran, two of the most involved countries in the debate have been the United States and Israel. Israel has been pushing for a strong military response to the program for months, escalating the international discussion to a tenser level then it has been in months. Israel has demanded a “red line” for Iran and has called for the United States to not hinder their efforts, if they aren’t going to help. The United States, on the other hand, has been trying to focus on a calmer, more multilateral approach to the issue, relying on sanctions and international condemnation to try and force change, rather than a military approach.
Because of this divergence in approaches, the United States has been left out of much of Israel’s planning in response to Iran. Although many officials believe that there will be no strike earlier than November (if there is one at all), there are still several scenarios emerging that could be the potential choice for an Israeli strike, if the situation continues to deteriorate. The first option is the “Iranian Entebbe,” where Israeli strike teams enter Iranian nuclear facilities, steal as much uranium as possible, and then plant bombs in the facilities while they escaped. Option two is a airstrike of Iranian nuclear facilities, with support from long-range Jericho missiles. Option three is the removal of the Iranian leadership.
All of the options have their drawbacks. For option two, the limited capabilities of the Iranian air force would make a bombing campaign against the Iranian facilities unsustainable — ultimately, they would only have one shot at hitting the targets and taking out the facilities. Option three would create chaos in the country and would not remove the elements in support of a nuclear program, just the figurehead. Iran would also probably create a backlash against not only Israeli interests in the region, but United States interests as well. It would be the one surefire way to involved the United States in a conflict they’ve tried to actively avoid, however.
Option one, “Iranian Entebbe,” seems to have the best chance of succeeding, though many people seem to think that Iran and the original operation “Iranian Entebbe” is based on from Uganda are too different to successfully re-purpose. However, many experts also think it could potentially be doable, and successful:
“The operation’s success would depend on speed, secrecy, simplicity and the credibility of Israeli intelligence,” Perry writes. “According to the Pentagon war planner, Israel’s access to intelligence on Iranian military and policy planning is unprecedented, as is their willingness to share it with U.S. intelligence officials.”
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