The Secret Alliance

News-not-news from StrategyPage:

For over a decade now Israel has been building relationships, often in secret, with its neighbors, especially Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Although the decades of “hate Israel” propaganda in these countries makes it difficult to openly negotiate, the growing threat of Iranian nuclear weapons has made Israel an attractive ally for the Sunni states threatened by Shia Iran. The U.S. is currently trying to broker a secret military alliance involving Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This would include giving Israel access to data from Arab and Turkish radar stations near Iran while also providing these nations with data from the Israeli missile early-warning system.

The Israeli-Turkish informal alliance was a very real thing, until Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power. Ankara even went so far as to allow the Israeli Air Force to train in Turkish airspace, which is much more plentiful than Israel’s. There’s also a much wider variety of terrain. That cooperation has all but disappeared in recent years.

Jerusalem has enjoyed back channels with Riyadh and Cairo, too, if only out of desperate necessity for all involved. Although do please notice that Egypt has been left out of this new “secret alliance,” and for good reason. What’s really new in this report is getting real, operational interaction between the Sunnis and the Jews. That complicates things for Iran, especially since A) The IAF doesn’t seem to have much problem penetrating Muslim air defenses, and B) Israel is a nuclear power already.