Here is the editor’s note.
We have listened to the siren call of war in the Middle East too often in the past. A “New Middle East!” we are told. But the results have been disastrous.
Here is one bit,
In 1982 it was Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon who was the self-proclaimed prophet. Israel would invade Lebanon, destroy the Palestinian movement, drive Syria out of the country, impose a pliant Maronite Christian government in Beirut, and then Lebanon together with Jordan would make peace with Israel. A New Middle East would follow. The United States would provide diplomatic cover and peacekeepers to facilitate the transformation. Washington signed up.
The author is Bruce Riedel and you can read the rest here.
Reports this morning are that Israel directly attacked Iran in Syria.
Here is reporting from the WaPo.
TIBERIAS, Israel — Confrontation between Israel and Iranian forces in Syria sharply escalated early Thursday morning as Israel said Iran launched a barrage of 20 missiles toward its positions in the Golan Heights.
Heavy military jet activity, explosions and air-defense fire could be heard throughout the night in the area. An Israeli military spokesman said the rockets were fired by Iran’s Quds Force, a special forces unit affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, marking the first time Iranian forces have ever fired directly on Israeli troops.
This is typical reckless driving by our ally Israel and I suspect a consequence of pulling out the Iran deal. Reckless driving is the unintended consequence of America assuming the defense responsibility of a foreign country. States that receive American defense guarantees will have an incentive to be more aggressive in their foreign policy had they no such assumption that America would step in if they got themselves into serious trouble.
Because these states do not burden all of the costs of their actions, they act more aggressively.
We saw this in Yemen with Saudi Arabia.
We are now seeing it with Iran in Syria.