Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Netanyahu's mind

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is ultimately the man who will decide if and when Israel bombs Iran.

Today, the NYTimes carries an article on Netanyahu's relationship with the Israeli Defense Minister (and former Israeli PM), Ehud Barak. The NYT piece has some value - it outlines the differing political backgrounds of the two men. 

Still, it concludes with a seriously silly quote... an Israeli columnist's statement that Netanyahu is ''a coward''.

Let's be clear, whatever one thinks of Netanyahu's politics, labeling him a coward is absurd. Netanyahu is a former Tier One special forces soldier. Paying heed to this military service provides a critical insight into Netanyahu's personality. Specifically, it helps us to understand how he frames the Iran issue- through a character that is aggressive, clinical and comfortable with risk.

As analysis of the Israel-Iran showdown continues, it is important that this analysis be rooted in pragmatic assessment of fact and not born of emotionally charged ideology. Astute leadership assessments are of paramount relevance.

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