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Monday, April 15, 2024

Who Is Robert Greenway?

My VIP for this week is Robert Greenway, a former member of the National Security Council and current director of the Center for National Defense at The Heritage Foundation. As most Americans know, Iran sent more than 300 drones and missiles toward Israel Saturday night/Sunday morning Israeli time.

Together, the Iron Dome, David’s sling, and fighter planes from the United States, Great Britain, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia shot down 95 percent of the drones and missiles. The only injury reported is a 10-year-old girl who was hit by shrapnel.

Leaders in Israel say the nation will respond to Iran’s attack but will do so in its own time and in its chosen way. As the world waits to see what Israel does, Greenway offered his ideas.

I can see a number of scenarios in which this does escalate to a regional and potentially even a global conflict…. I can see fewer ay in which we prevent that from occurring….

[If a larger conflict is to be avoided in the Middle East, the U.S. will need] to radically alter its policy and approach toward Iran and Israel….

[U.S. policy changes toward Iran should include] to deny it the resources necessary, and to restore deterrence, with the support of Israel and our partners and allies.

In a podcast with Virginia Allen at The Daily Signal, Greenway explained the options that Israel has as it considers its response to Iran’s attack over the weekend. He included how U.S. Middle East foreign policy is affecting the conflict. When asked the response that he expects from the White House, Greenway replied:

Well, I don’t know that this administration has a long range of options to consider against Iran. It’s this sort of policy that it’s pursued remarkably consistently and unfortunately, ill-advised, is to appease Iran and attempt to encourage them toward better behavior. The “don’t, don’t, don’t” which again and again, as we’re watching them do, do, do.

And so, in this case, I don’t think the administration is going to take action other than to constrain Israel, unfortunately, who has now been attacked in an unprecedented way for the first time from Iran and has to respond publicly because the attack was public. What that looks like, I think we’ll find out in the coming days, perhaps weeks, before the full range and decision is made on their end.

But I think the U.S. decision and the announcement to say so publicly doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I think at this point we ought to be preserving our communications for our enemies and providing support and assistance to our friends. In this case, we’re warning Israel not to act any further as opposed to Iran that just launched an unprecedented number of missiles, drones at our closest ally in the region.

And so I think what we can expect is Israel’s response will come. I think it may take the other side of Passover for that to happen, but there’s no question that they have to respond because this was done on an international stage. And their response has to be equally visible to all in order to restore deterrence so that you don’t have a new red line, which is that any time Iran feels like it’s been slighted or it’s been attacked, then it has the right to launch hundreds of projectiles across several countries into a sovereign state without risking a response.

And I think the U.S. role here is ill-advised, it ought to be to discourage Iran and to encourage Israel to restore deterrence. We ought to be supporting them in that effort.

Allen asked several other questions about what Israel’s response might be and how it would affect the United States. You can find the rest of the podcast here. 

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