Mullen: 'I Understand Israel's Concerns'

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Army, Admiral Mike Mullen, arrived in Israel last night for a one-day visit as the guest of Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi.

Ahead of Mullen's visit, the Pentagon released the transcript of a lecture he gave at the War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania November 28. Among the students is an IDF colonel.

During the question and answer session, Mullen was asked about Israel and Iran. From Mullen's answer, it can be understood the questioner, who was not identified, was an IDF officer.

"I've been to Israel more than once," Mullen said, "and I understand to some degree, obviously I'm not, I didn't grow up in your shoes but I understand to some degree, physically where you live and certainly the concerns that exist from the Israeli perspective about your neighborhood.

"So I think how Israel thinks and views the world is a very important consideration for us in the United States. And certainly from my perspective as a military leader in the U.S. of America."

Mullen also said that the "strategic decision on the part of Iran to essentially move its Navy - it's got two navies, one's IRGC [Revolutionary Guards] led and the other is Iranian Navy. And, essentially to give the entire Gulf to the IRGC over the next four or five years. That's a big deal."

The IDF said Colonel Chen Livni is studying at the War College.