Military and Defense

Biden’s Top Commander Says Israel May Have To Go It Alone If All-Out War With Hezbollah Kicks Off 

President Joe Biden’s top commander said Monday that the U.S. may be unable to defend Israel in the event of a war with Hezbollah, The Jerusalem Post reported Monday.

The Biden administration has become increasingly concerned that existing tensions between Israel and Hezbollah, a massive Iranian-backed terrorist organization, will break into a full-scale war that could send shockwaves throughout the entire Middle East, according to Axios. C.Q. Brown, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Monday that the U.S. would have limited abilities to come to Israel’s defense if such a war occurred, warning that it would put U.S. troops stationed in the region in heightened danger, per the Post.

“Think about the second order of effect of any type of operation into Lebanon (where Hezbollah is located), and how that might play out and how it impacts not just the region, but how it impacts our forces in regions as well,” Brown told reporters.

Israel and Hezbollah have been engaged in low-level skirmishes since last fall, but recent comments from both sides’ leadership have indicated that a full-scale conflict could be seen in the near future. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Channel 14 on Sunday that a diplomatic solution to the hostilities is on the table but Israel “will do what is necessary” to find a resolution.

“I can assure the citizens of Israel that if we are required to take on this challenge, we will do it,” Netanyahu told Channel 14, according to the Post. “We can fight on several fronts, and we are also preparing for it.”

Brown said that the U.S. would likely be unable to provide the same level of military assistance that it did in April when Israel and Iran got into a direct conflict with each other, according to the Post.

The skirmish saw Iran fire hundreds of drones and missiles into Israel from directly within Iranian territory — something Tehran almost never does — prompting a swift counter-response from Israel and U.S. forces in the region. The U.S. and Israel successfully shot down nearly all the projectiles fired by Iran, with only a few drones and missiles impacting uninhabited regions.

Iran “would be more inclined to support Hezbollah” in a conflict with Israel, Brown said, “particularly if they felt that Hezbollah was being significantly threatened, according to the Post.

And unlike the Iranian strike in April, it would be more difficult to intercept missiles fired by Hezbollah into Israeli territory, given the short-range rockets available to the terrorist group, Brown said, according to the Post. Iran is located thousands of miles away from Israel, while Lebanon sits directly on the country’s northern border.

Brown reiterated that the primary goal is keeping U.S. forces safe and that no attacks had been carried out against U.S. bases in the region since February, according to the Post.

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