Deputy U.S. army chief arrives in Israel, amid continued debate on nuclear Iran
Admiral James A. Winnefeld makes unannounced visit, to meet Israeli security officials and discuss the countries' continued military cooperation.
The U.S. army's second in command arrived in Israel for an unpublicized visit in recent days, Army Radio reported on Thursday. He is holding a series of meetings with Israeli security officials, that will, among other issues, center on Iranian nuclear standoff.
Vice Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral James A. Winnefeld is the guest of Israeli counterpart Maj. Gen. Yair Nave, and is due to discuss the countries' continued military cooperation.
Winnefeld's visit comes amid continued debate between U.S. and Israeli officials concerning the ways in which the West should deal with Iran's controversial nuclear program, including the possibility of military action against the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities.
On Thursday, British newspaper The Guardian reported that U.S. Chief of Staff Martin Dempsey said that an Israeli attack on Iran would delay but not stop its nuclear program, adding: "I don't want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it."
On Tuesday, U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, who visited Israel last week, told a breakfast panel at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida that he believes the Israeli government is likely to wait with the decision to attack until after the elections.
Rogers said that after his trip, during which he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he’d been left with “no doubt in my mind” that the U.S. election cycle was part of Israel’s calculations.
Asked why he thought Israel would wait, Rogers said, “Because I think they believe that maybe after the election they can talk the United States into cooperating.”
Rogers’ remarks were published on the website of the Washington newspaper The Hill, which reports primarily on the U.S. Congress.