Dagan made war more likely

Dagan brought a possible attack on Iran closer – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Dagan is the hero of the century. In the past eight years he rehabilitated the Mossad, headed daring operations and obtained rare intelligence. His biggest achievement was time. Dagan is the man who won time vis-a-vis Iran. But the shadow man’s decision to come out into the light and unleash his tongue was inexplicable. Some think it caused Israel severe strategic damage.

The prime minister responded with rage to the former Mossad chief’s statements. Benjamin Netanyahu thinks Dagan has sabotaged the diplomatic effort to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. But Netanyahu isn’t alone. Senior officials in the United States, Britain and France this week castigated Dagan for his utterances. The White House and Capitol Hill expressed shock and anger. Major allies of Israel saw the former Mossad chief’s briefing as incomprehensible and irresponsible.


Dagan probably thinks Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are dangerous people. He is afraid they might make some foolhardy move in Iran. But the things he said around the end of his term have not neutralized the military option. Rather, they damaged the attempt to impose a diplomatic-economic siege on Iran. So Dagan did not remove the possibility of an attack on Iran, but brought it closer.

Senior American, British and French officials compared the damage done by Dagan to the damage caused by the complacent, unfounded American intelligence evaluation released at the end of 2007. Senior Israeli officials compared the accuracy level of Dagan’s evaluation to that of Military Intelligence’s evaluation that determined in 1966 that no war was expected in 1967. All these officials sighed in exasperation. Dagan left many mouths open in Washington, London, Paris and Jerusalem.



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10 comments on “Dagan made war more likely

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  1. Seems like just the sort of stuff that I’ve encountered somewhere else of late.

    Every move that damages Iran’s plans and doesn’t entirely destroy their capabilities is a blow to peace and security.

    Every word spoken that deviates from the ultra-confrontational line espoused by warhawks and that merely shows hostile intent coupled with a desire to thwart Iran without open warfare invites warfare.

  2. I would say, he took a victory lap too soon, different from the 2007 NIE in this country, which just wanted ‘to declare victory and go home’, regardless of the circumstances

  3. miguel cervantes wrote:

    different from the 2007 NIE in this country, which just wanted ‘to declare victory and go home’, regardless of the circumstances

    The 2007 NIE wasn’t about going home, miggs, it was about not going any further from home, physically, legally and morally.

  4. The whole thing is a ‘wilderness of mirrors’ According to Bergmann, Dagan was certainly more proactive than his predecessor, Halevy, in fact, more like Ari Shamron, the Shamir like boss from Daniel Silva’s
    Gabriel Allon series, the parallels to the Egyptian chemical rocket program, not to mention, the pre Osirak actions, are suggestive. Now
    Shavit’s reporting suggests he may have jumped the gun in the assessment

  5. miguel cervantes wrote:

    Shavit’s reporting suggests he may have jumped the gun in the assessment

    Or that Shavit talks to a lot of NeoCons, rightwingers, and other hardliners. The only person he names is Netanyahu. Otherwise, he refers to “senior officials,” including supposed WH- and Congresspeople expressing shock and anger. I haven’t noticed any such expressions, but maybe I missed them while checking my polynomial iterative matrix algorithms. Have you run into any such expressions of shock and anger? Or reporting on it? I had the opposite impression Administration-wise, at least as far as the Seniorest Official is concerned.

  6. @ George Jochnowitz:
    He made the observation, not original to him but familiar already in the classics, that states will sometimes seek to secure internal peace or order through unified action against some external force. He also agreed with others that wars were inevitable and in some respects probably necessary for the “health” of the state, but, typically, he took the observation further. If the Palestinians had been more up on their Hegel they might have taken the following passage to heart:

    Nations which are reluctant or afraid to accept internal sovereignty may be subjugated by others, and their failure to attain honor and success in their struggles for independence has been proportionate to their initial failure to organize the power of the state from within (i.e., their freedom has died from the fear of dying)…

    As you frequently point out, if they had ever said “yes,” taken the state that was available to them at whatever point, and organized on that basis, they might be a lot further along by now.

    As, however, they more fully realize statehood, coincident with international recognition, then many things will be subject to change, and not just for them – but does anyone really believe that over the extended long-term the geographical and social-political arrangement currently available can last? One way or another the likely very different future is pulling on the present, even if few of the decision-makers or other observers will live to see it.

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