The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced this week that an upcoming biennial joint military exercise with the United States has been postponed to an undecided date.
A statement issued by the IDF Spokesman read:
“The international exercise JUNIPER COBRA conducted by the IDF and the United States Army, which was scheduled to take place in March, has been postponed due to a variety of considerations.”
This particular exercise focuses on air defense systems. It was speculated that the the drill was cancelled because the US military had to deploy all of its air defense systems to Eastern Europe amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
But Channel 12 News noted that it also suggested the US might be less willing to participate in Israel’s preparations for possible war with Iran.
The US remains committed for now to reviving the Iran nuclear deal. Israel insists that deal is a bad one, and that it will still take preemptive military action against Iran if Jerusalem deems it necessary to do so.
Should Israel strike Iran, the expected response would be a massive Iranian missile barrage on the Jewish state. The JUNIPER COBRA exercise focuses on just such a scenario, as Israel would require America’s assistance in repelling such a massive bombardment.
For America to postpone the drill precisely at this time is being taken by some as a warning for Israel to back down.