Photo: US Navy
The war game “Internal Look” has been performed twice a year, every year, by the U.S. military since the height of the Cold War.Back in the day, U.S. Central Command used the exercise to understand how best to thwart a Soviet seizure of the Iranian oil fields, for instance. This month, Pentagon brass used Internal Look to understand what might happen if Israel were to attack Iran on its own.
Mark Mazzeti and Thom Shanker at the New York Times report that this go-round of the huge war game showed that an Israeli attack would be the first step in a regional war that may pull in the United States and leave hundreds of American soldiers dead.
While not a rehearsal or a forecast, the outcome is troubling to Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East who says an Israeli strike could produce drastic consequences throughout the area and for American forces in the region.
Israeli defence Minister Ehud Barak has a different take. “A war is no picnic,” he told Israeli radio in November, “but if Israel feels itself forced into action, the retaliation would be bearable. There will not be 100,000 dead or 10,000 dead or 1,000 dead. The state of Israel will not be destroyed.”
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