WASHINGTON – A recently retired US general now working for a Jewish national
security think tank cautioned Tuesday that military strikes against Iran could
“What’s really gained by doing an overt strike? And
the answer is, it’s never good. The outcomes are just not good,” retired
Lt.-Gen. David Fridovich, former deputy commander of Special Operations Command,
told The Jerusalem Post. After retiring in December, Fridovich became the
director for defense and strategies at the Jewish Institute for National
Security Affairs, viewed by many as generally taking a hawkish line on foreign
When it comes to the potential results of an attack on Iran,
Fridovich suggested that such a course would not achieve the desired result of
ending Iran’s nuclear program.
“While military [action] might give you
some short-lived response, are you really going to stop them from gaining what
they want?” he asked rhetorically.
He also spoke of an external strike
“galvanizing the people of Iran,” when international efforts should be focused
on them turning against their leaders.
“Why would you do that for them?
That’s the first part of it being counterproductive,” he
Fridovich’s skepticism echoed that of another former US military
officer, recently retired Gen. James Cartwright, who served as vice chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The former Green Beret commander assessed that the US
military is disinclined to enter another conflict that would necessitate
sustained strikes and a long-term American presence to finish the
“Does anybody really want to run Iran next? And the answer is no.
And you have to think through that before you start phase one,” Fridovich said,
referring to initial strikes.
Instead, Fridovich emphasized imposing
additional sanctions, international resolutions to increase Iran’s isolation and
“The road that we’re on [is] not doing a military
strike, because the end state of that is not going to outweigh staying with the
current program on sanctions and more resolutions and mandates squeezing the
technology and everything else away from them,” he said of the Pentagon’s
current thinking. “You just have to give these things
Fridovich, who worked with top Israeli and US commanders during
his time in the military, described close cooperation between the two countries,
especially when it came to technology and learning from one another’s
experiences in the field. He said the current Israeli deployment of the Iron
Dome missile defense system in Gaza presented another positive opportunity to
learn from Israel’s operational experience.
The new system could be “a
game-changer” if it effectively repels enough missiles to force the enemy to
resort to new methods of attack, he said.
One aspect of Fridovich’s new
role will be to strengthen connections between the two services. The Jewish
Institute for National Security Affairs described his selection as the first
time the American Jewish community has had a military officer of such a high
rank serving as a professional staff member.