Long-time Iran Hawk Ledeen Says Israeli Strategy was to Push the US to Attack

by Jasmin Ramsey

Michael Ledeen, a neoconservative historian and long-time Iran hawk who joined the hardline Foundation for Defense of Democracies after leaving the American Enterprise Institute in 2008, summarizes Israel’s strategy with the United States and Iran:

…Israel does not want to do it.  For as long as I can remember, the Israelis have been trying to get U.S. to do it, because they have long believed that Iran was so big that only a big country could successfully take on the mullahs in a direct confrontation.  So Israel’s Iran policy has been to convince us to do whatever the Israelis think is best.  And while they’re willing to do their part, they are very reluctant to take on the entire burden.

Just read what Israeli leaders are saying and you’ll see that, I think.

But if you’re the prime minister, and your head of military intelligence comes to you and says “time’s up,” and you’ve failed to convince the Americans, then you’ve got to act.

Is that the situation today?  I don’t know, and I don’t know if anyone around here — including Petraeus and Panetta — knows.  The one thing I do know is that in order to answer the “will they or won’t they?” question, you’ve got to know what the Israelis think they know about the Iranians.

Which you don’t.  Nor I.  So shut up and stop sucking your thumb.

Jasmin Ramsey

Jasmin Ramsey is a journalist based in Washington, DC.



  1. Absolutely true.Israelis policy is to push the United States into serious confrontation with Iran and the sit back and enjoy the scene without much of expenses.For Israel such an option is a win-win solution to Iran problem.Nevertheless,neith the United States nor Tehran would like to see Israel have the whole cake and eat it alone.In fact Iran’s military strategy is to keep Israel too involved.Iranians have determined that they need to hold the system in place for 2-3 weeks.That is the estimated period of time that Israel can function as effevtive as the first week of involvent,after which they’ll begin to need to keep distance from the battle.That is the time that Iranians can then function at their best and carry on for some months.If the US attacks the result will be too devastating for Iran but even then the immidiate target for Iranians will still remain Israel.This is how the Arab and Muslim world will begin to support Iran.

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