General James Jones, to be named as Obama's National Security Adviser, has advocated putting NATO forces in the West Bank, according to yesterday's Ha'aretz. "In response to Israel's claim that the Palestinians cannot be trusted with responsibility for security, Jones, a former NATO commander, proposed a NATO-based international force that would later transfer control to the Palestinians."
More on this.
Another report says, "'This plan was proposed in order to ease our concerns,' explained one [Israeli] official who had met with Jones on one of the latter's many visits to the region. 'In reality though, it isn't likely to work.'...
During his meetings with Israelis, Jones has proposed that a NATO-based international force deploy in the West Bank in the interim period between an Israeli withdrawal and the Palestinian forces becoming able to curb terror activity....The IDF is particularly wary of such a plan, a top IDF officer said, who added that the military's operational freedom in the territories was responsible for the drop in terrorist attacks. "NATO is a very bad idea," the officer said. "No other country in the world has successfully dealt with terror like Israel has. There is a need for continuous combat; NATO will not want to endanger its soldiers on behalf of Israeli citizens."
Here is my earlier posting about Jones: General James L. Jones is Obama's preferred candidate to be White House National Security Adviser. He is remembered as a strong proponent of strategic cooperation between the United States and Israel, particularly when he served as Commandant of the Marine Corps. More recently, while serving as Rice's special envoy for Middle East Security, Jones prepared a report on Israel's policies in the territories that Ha'aretz described as "extremely critical…scathing…makes Israel look very bad." The Jerusalem Post said "this document could become a source of friction between Jerusalem and Washington." The World Tribune said it "blasted Israel's role" for "hampering the movement of PA forces, blocking plans for weapons shipments and technology to the Palestinians and resisting coordination." All three reports said that Jones wanted to publish his findings, but the White House decided to keep the reports confidential.
Jones has served as Supreme Allied Commander for Europe (2003-2006), Commandant of the Marine Corps (1999-2003) and Chairman of the Congressional Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq (2007). In November, 2007, he was appointed by Secretary of State Rice as special envoy for Middle East Security.
During the final debate with McCain on October 15, 2008, Obama said this about Jones: "Let me tell you who I associate with... If I'm interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden or with Dick Lugar...or General Jim Jones, the former supreme allied commander of NATO."
In a lengthy interview with "Inside the Pentagon," Jones expresssed milder views about israel. See "Jones: New Team Must Build on Israeli-Palestinian Progress in Jenin," Inside the Pentagon, November 13, 2008.