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U.S. Scales-Back Military Exercise with Israel, Affecting Potential Iran Strike

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Exclusive: U.S. Scales-Back Military Exercise with Israel, Affecting Potential Iran Strike

A smaller U.S. contingent may make it more difficult for the Israeli government to launch a pre-emptive strike on Tehran’s nuclear program.
By KARL VICK AND AARON J. KLEIN
Israeli soldiers are seen during a military exercise in Golan Heights
ABIR SULTAN / EPA
Israeli soldiers are seen during a military exercise in Golan Heights, Aug. 21, 2012. Israeli Armed Forces have been conducting maneuvers amid raising tensions in the region.

Seven months ago, Israel and the United States postponed a massive joint military exercise that was originally set to go forward just as concerns were brimming that Israel would launch a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The exercise was rescheduled for late October, and appears likely to go forward on the cusp of the U.S. presidential election. But it won’t be nearly the same exercise. Well-placed sources in both countries have told TIME that Washington has greatly reduced the scale of…

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