Skip to comments.What the American Withdrawal From Iraq Means for Israel
Posted on 12/18/2011 3:38:13 PM PST by GiovannaNicoletta
American allies, such as Israel, are similarly nervous about the precipitous departure. A weak and America-less Iraq will have demonstrably negative consequences for Israels security environment. First, no country with an American military presence has attacked Israel. U.S. forces stationed in Turkey, Egypt, and the Gulf States have deterred or prevented those states from embarking on military action. In fact, the presence of U.S. forces has generally signaled the strategic orientation of those countries, first as anti-Soviet and now as anti-Iranian.
Overall, the American withdrawal from Iraq portends ill for Israel. Iranian domination of Iraq is likely to increase and the Iraqi army will be American trained and armed, but outside the American geostrategic orbit. Since much of the region sees American and Israeli strength as one and the same, any American weakness, especially during such politically uncertain times, will also largely be interpreted as a blow to Israel. Nevertheless, 2012 will mark the first time in over two decades that the United States will not control Iraqi airspace, leaving it exposed to Israeli jets heading eastward. While the long term repercussions of the American withdrawal are unfavorable, Israel may find itself with its best opening to directly confront its greatest security threat: Iran.
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The Israelis have made some friendly relationships with the Kurds in northern Iraq, and should go to great lengths to cultivate this relationship.
A very tangible way to do this is to encourage and support the Kurdish effort to create a “greater Kurdistan”, because there are many advantages to doing so.
There are Kurdish lands in Syria, Turkey, and Iran. With the fall of Assad, there might be a window of opportunity for Kurdish Syria to split off and join with Iraqi Kurdistan.
The same situation also applies to Iranian Kurdistan. Less so with Turkey. However, as an autonomous part of Iraq, Kurdistan is close to having the momentum it needs to split from Iraq and form a nation of Kurdistan.
Were Israel to aid with the above in strategic ways, the far more reasonable Kurds might decide that an open alliance with Israel, while it would drive the Arabs and the Persians nuts, would be the best way for them to stay secure and advance in the world.
There are many people who are going to care about this, believe me. Even people who don't think they're going to be affected by any of it.