Samuel Helfont is assistant professor of strategy and policy in the Naval War College program at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He holds a PhD and an MA in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University, and an MA in Middle Eastern History from Tel Aviv University. He served as an intelligence officer in the US Navy and Navy Reserve.
Israel is in undergoing a major naval buildup, but it is still unable to address ongoing Iranian threats to its commercial shipping. In the past, Israel’s lack of naval options to solve maritime disputes has led it to launch broader wars, and Jerusalem has threatened to escalate the current conflict. The Biden administration needs to ensure that Israeli-Iranian skirmishes at sea do not balloon into a broader war.