U.S. should not subcontract Iran policy to Israel

Republicans are complaining that Obama should have met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the subject of Iran’s nuclear capability. However, Netanyahu wants the U.S. to announce its “red line” for going to war with Iran. As David Ignatius points out in a recent Washington Post column,

 “Obama believes he has drawn the U.S. red line as clearly as a superpower ever should, given that some ambiguity is useful in deterring an adversary. For the record, Obama said in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic in March that it was ‘a profound national security interest of the United States to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.’ U.S. intelligence would provide ‘a pretty long lead time in which we will know that they are making that attempt …’

… Netanyahu should understand that no country can allow another to impose the conditions under which it will go to war. The Israeli leader wants a tripwire that would trigger military action. But presidents don’t turn over that power of war and peace, even to their best friends. Indeed, it’s precisely because Obama means what he says about going to war that he wants maximum flexibility in how and when he takes action.”

Should the U.S. give up all flexibility and cede its decision-making power to Israel? Ignatius continues,

“The United States needs to take control of the deadly confrontation with Iran, rather than being cajoled and buffeted by its smaller, weaker ally. Obama needs to own the policy of prevention he has declared.”

Read more here.