Ephraim Halevy, the former chief of Israel's Mossad intelligence service and the
current national security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, says
plans have been made for a substantial U.S. military presence in the Middle East
"The U.S. campaign in Iraq was perceived [in the Middle East and Washington]
as a signal of long-term American commitment to do whatever is required and
to 'stay in the neighbourhood' for as long as needed," Halevy stated in
a lengthy op-ed column in the April 24 issue of Ha'aretz.
High-ranking U.S. policymakers have "raised the idea of establishing an
American trusteeship regime in the areas of the Palestinian Authority, if it
should turn out that the Palestinians are not ripe for self-rule. That arrangement
would require an American operational military presence along Israel's border
with the Palestinian territories."
"Speaking in a semi-closed forum during a visit to Israel a few months
ago," continued Halevy, "Bill Kristol, one of the most influential
'neocons' in the United States, noted in this connection that the American presence
in Europe after World War II lasted for nearly 60 years. Israelis who are trying
to promote a role for NATO in the region, in one form or another, are actually
promoting a generation-long American presence."
U.S. entanglement in the Middle East in the name of "democracy" has
further destabilized the region and made more likely violent revolutions to
occur, especially in countries such as Saudi Arabia.
"In [an early April] visit to the United States," comments Halevy,
"I was told by several well-informed observers that should one of the more
severe scenarios come to pass, the United States will have no choice but to
deepen its presence in the Middle East. To that end, it will have to renew the
draft, to ensure that there are enough forces to deal with developing situations
in countries like Saudi Arabia."