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With Washington, D.C., talking Israeli politics, National Review Online asked experts: “Going into a presidential-election year, what’s a sane, responsible Israel policy?”
MICHAEL RUBIN Response: This is no time for conciliation. Wars happen neither because America talks tough nor because the White House makes it clear that it will spare no effort to defend its allies against external threats. Rather, the most destabilizing conflicts occur because America’s enemies do not trust its resolve. It was President Truman’s exclusion of South Korea and Taiwan from his articulation of America’s defensive perimeter that led North Korea to conclude that it might wipe its rival off the face of the map. The result was a devastating war that might have been avoided had Truman understood the purpose of the military is to build strength and the purpose of diplomacy is not to downplay that strength. The only sane, responsible policy guaranteed to keep the peace is for the United States to make clear that it is completely and utterly unacceptable for the Islamic Republic of Iran to develop nuclear weapons, which threaten not only the United States and Israel, but also America’s Arab allies. The goal of U.S. policy should be to bring the Iranian regime to its knees. Only when Supreme Leader Khamenei’s regime is gone can the United States address myriad other regional problems.
Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at AEI.