The sum of all threats – the changing Middle East

The situation changes fast. The US is beginning to understand that the Middle East will not be the same and that the new threats are bigger than ever, not only to allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, but to its direct interests in the region.

 

The threat picture has changed dramatically and is more complex. This accumulative threat is the background for supposedly another routine military exercise scheduled for next year. But this is supposedly with a capital S.

 

If I may make an assessment based not only on common sense, the joint US-Israeli military exercise will be one of many.

 

The first such joint exercise will be held next May, and will focus on the defence of Israel from long-range ballistic missiles. It will involve thousands of soldiers and many advanced systems.

 

The exercise will begin after the US deploys its Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) and Aegis systems in Israel and the Mediterranean, and Israeli Arrow-2 ballistic missile interceptors and Iron Dome rocket interceptors are also deployed.

 

The exercise will involve the networking of the different systems and a prioritisation intercept process according to the threat.

 

The exercise, according to Israeli sources, was planned before the current talk about an Israeli operation against the Iranian nuclear programme began.

 

This is a fact, but there is no doubt that the fast-evolving threat from Iran is and will be in the air when the American and Israeli commanders begin to inject missions and targets into the system that is the skeleton of the joint exercise next May.

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