When Israel thinks Iran is getting close to making a nuclear weapon, they will attack. And well they should as hesitation in doing so will result in a nuclear strike on Israel. The question is will the Obama administration do something substantial before it becomes neccesary for Israel to defend itself?
If it does not, what will be the course of action be for the US should Israel find it neccesary to act. I think I know what the previous administration would have done and so did everyone else. Like the M.A.D. philosophy of the Cold War, everyone knowing that the US would go to all out war prevented anyone from going to all out war.
Wars start when one side underestimates the other or thinks it incapable or unwilling to respond.
From the Atlantic:
In an interview conducted shortly before he was sworn in today as prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu laid down a challenge for Barack Obama. The American president, he said, must stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons—and quickly—or an imperiled Israel may be forced to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities itself.
“The Obama presidency has two great missions: fixing the economy, and preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu told me. He said the Iranian nuclear challenge represents a “hinge of history” and added that “Western civilization” will have failed if Iran is allowed to develop nuclear weapons.
In unusually blunt language, Netanyahu said of the Iranian leadership, “You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs. When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the entire world should start worrying, and that is what is happening in Iran.”
History teaches Jews that threats against their collective existence should be taken seriously, and, if possible, preempted, he suggested. In recent years, the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has regularly called for Israel to be“wiped off the map,” and the supreme Iranian leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, this month called Israel a “cancerous tumor.” (more)