Top US officials were worried that Israel could not defend itself against Hezbollah, with one National Security Council staffer warning that this could lead to a devastating Middle East war, according Bob Woodward’s new book.
In “Fear: Trump in the White House,” the veteran Washington Post journalist details how an intelligence analyst assigned to the Middle East portfolio in February 2017 expressed “deep anxiety about Hezbollah’s expanding military arsenal.”
The Lebanese group, Derek Harvey insisted, was “substantially stronger than during the Second Lebanon War in 2006,” rendering Israeli militarily “vulnerable — unable to defend itself against an onslaught of projectile attacks.”
“Hezbollah was a perfect proxy for Iran to use to pressure and attack Israel, whose air bases could be pummeled with rockets,” Woodward writes in his 357-page bombshell book.
“Israel’s defenses of Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow missiles would be inadequate.”
Shortly after taking up his NSC seat, Harvey, a former Army colonel and Iran hawk, arranged a meeting with US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
“Harvey’s number-one worry in the Middle East was Hezbollah,” Woodward writes of that conversation.
“Sensitive intelligence showed that Hezbollah had more than 48,000 full-time military in Lebanon, where they presented an existential threat to the Jewish state,” he continues.
“They had 8,000 expeditionary forces in Syria, Yemen and region-wide commando units.”
Sitting in Kushner’s small office just outside the Oval Office, Harvey pointed out that “Hezbollah had a stunning 150,000 rockets. In the 2006 war with Israel they’d had only 4,500.”
Source: Israeli media