Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim men from the Iranian-backed group Kataib Hezbollah wave the party's flags as they walk along a street painted in the colours of the Israeli flag during a parade marking the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in Baghdad.
(photo credit: THAIER AL-SUDANI/REUTERS)
A former senior adviser on Middle East policy to US President Donald Trump was preoccupied by the growth of Hezbollah and the threat it poses to Israel, according to Bob Woodward, a veteran journalist whose book Fear: Trump in the White House was released September 11.
The official, Derek Harvey, reportedly brought his concerns to Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser tasked with jumpstarting the Middle East peace process.
“Harvey’s number-one worry in the Middle East was Hezbollah,” according to Woodward, who noted Hezbollah’s massive stockpile of Iranian precision-guided rockets amassed since its 2006 war with Israel. Should war break out, Harvey warned that Israel’s airfields would be targeted, and that “Israel’s defenses of Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow missiles would be inadequate.”
Israeli officials and defense contractors, which provide batteries for the missile defense systems, privately acknowledge that a war with Hezbollah would likely lead to an overwhelming and indefensible barrage of rocket fire deep into the country. Such a war would escalate quickly, they say, as Israel sought to destroy Hezbollah's missile stockpile
Harvey was convinced that level of violence and destruction in such a conflict would existentially challenge Israel, potentially compelling US forces to intervene. “An Iranian-Israeli conflict would draw in the United States and unhinge efforts to bring regional stability,” Woodward writes.
Harvey left the White House in the summer of 2017.
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