A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Admiral Mullen Fudges a Question: Would US Shoot Down an Israeli Aircraft Overflying Iraq?

A young Air Force ROTC cadet at West Virginia U. asks the JCS chairman an awkward question: since we've declared Iraqi airspace a no-fly zone except for us and some commercial aviation, and since Israel would probably have to overfly Iraq to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, would the US shoot down Israeli aircraft?

Admiral Mullen of course said what he had to say: we don't address hypothetical questions, we have strong relations with Israel etc. etc.

I hope the AFROTC cadet enjoys doing his active duty at a radar station in northern Greenland or the South Pole, but it was a good question, wasn't it?

My own guess: they'd overfly Turkey or Saudi Arabia since their air defenses aren't as sophisticated as ours in Iraq, assuming they were doing it without informing us first and defying us. But I still doubt they'll actually do it.

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