Retired NATO general Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard warned Israel and the U.S. not to launch a military attack on Iran. Bouchard, who retired from the Royal Canadian Air Force four months ago, and had headed the NATO mission in Libya that overthrew the Gaddafi regime, told Ha'arez that he doesn't believe Israel would take such an illogical and irresponsible step as to attack Iran without international support, and NATO, he said, won't unanimously support a military campaign against Iran any time soon, nor will the UN Security Council.
Bouchard believes that Israel's senior military leadership would not set in motion a process that could lead to chaos in the entire region, by launching a military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. The military option, he noted, could backfire, uniting the entire Muslim world against Israel. The chance of a 100-percent success rate in a military operation is infinitesimally small, he observed, adding that Israel won't get a second chance and that it won't be a quick, lightning strike like the Six-Day War. He added that global jihad would exploit an Israeli military assault and use it to incite against the West, while Islamic fundamentalists can be expected to portray an attack as a Jewish-Christian conspiracy against Islam.
Bouchard called on whoever wins the next U.S. presidential election to look to historic groundbreaking diplomacy for examples of what could be accomplished, such as Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to China and Anwar Sadat's 1977 visit to Jerusalem. The solution, he said, has to be compromise in which each side concedes something. Russia holds the key to securing international support on Iran. The situation around the world, and in the Middle East in particular, needs to settle down first, Bouchard said, warning that Israel must not get itself dragged into hasty and premature actions.