“It would be preferable to resolve this diplomatically, and through the use of pressure, than to use military force,” Shapiro said. “But that does not mean that option isn’t available. Not just available, it’s ready. The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it’s ready.”
Shaprio’s comments were not intended for public consumption, the Times of Israel reports.
The finalized attack plan arrives as Israel and the United States prepare for joint military exercises in the United States. “The exercises, to be held in the coming months, will strengthen the relationship between the IAF and the US Air Force as they practice carrying out joint operations,” the Jerusalem-based online newspaper reported. “Israeli and US air defense forces are also to take part in a major joint drill later this summer in Israel to simulate a massive attack. Thousands of US soldiers are expected to arrive in Israel for the drills.”
In January, the Stars and Stripes reported that the exercise in Israel – billed as the largest ever conducted by the two countries – is not related to tensions with Iran, according to the U.S. European Command. The long-planned exercise is “part of a routine training cycle designed to improve the interoperability of our air defense systems, and not in response to any real-world event,” said EUCOM spokesman Air Force Capt. John Ross.
“It’s a classified exercise, and we can’t release even small details about it,” Ross explained in an email to the Department of Defense newspaper.