America’s Top Gun Scouts out Israel

Gen. John Shalikashvili, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Israel this week for talks with Israeli army officers about possible security arrangements should Israel and Syria reach a peace agreement.

Shalikashvili, who was the guest of the outgoing Israel Defense Force chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Ehud Barak, told Israel television after he arrived Monday that “the purpose of my trip is to learn as much as I can to understand Israel better.”

He and Barak met Monday to discuss security arrangements in the Golan Heights – including the possible deployment of American forces as part of a peacekeeping mission there – that would go into effect if Israel withdraws from the area as part of a peace settlement with Syria.

Marking his first visit to Israel, Shalikashvili was scheduled to visit Israeli military bases and field units, as well as northern Israel.

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