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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Goals and how to attain them

You have to feel sorry for Caroline Glick. On her first summer vacation in four years, she chose to go to Northern Israel rather than abroad. She was in Meggido when Hezbullah kidnapped two IDF soldiers last Wednesday, and found herself in Nahariya two hours after the first civilian casualty of the war was killed there. In this column, Glick outlines what she believes the goals of the current action should be, and why it doesn't look like the Olmert government will attain them:
ALTHOUGH IT is impossible to deter Hizbullah, there are parties in the current conflict that can be deterred. Specifically, Israeli officials have rightly pointed their fingers at the Lebanese and Syrian governments as central enablers of Hizbullah. Although both governments are also Iranian proxies, unlike Hizbullah and Hamas, they have interests beyond the destruction of Israel and therefore, they can be deterred. To date, because Lebanon is weaker than Hizbullah, Iran and Syria, successive Lebanese governments have cooperated with Hizbullah rather than fight it.

The Lebanese army cannot disarm Hizbullah. It can however be deterred from assisting Hizbullah. If Israel is able to credibly assert to the Lebanese that IDF forces will not end their operations in Lebanon until Hizbullah is completely destroyed as a fighting force, then it can persuade the Lebanese government to stay out of the conflict and deploy its military along the border with Israel after the fighting is ended.

Syria too has interests unrelated to Israel. Bashar Assad wants to maintain his grip on power. Israel can weaken Syria's bond with Iran by threatening his regime. In the first instance, this should involve targeting Hamas headquarters and Hamas chief Khaled Mashal's home in Damascus.

By targeting Hamas in Syria, Israel would be making clear that national borders are not sacred for states that sponsor terrorism. If attacking Hamas in Damascus is not enough to make Assad recalibrate his national interests, then Israel should attack the headquarters of the regime's secret police as well as Syria's Scud missile bases and its chemical and biological weapons arsenals.

By destroying Hizbullah and peeling away its client states, Israel would be striking a serious blow at Iran which is directing all the violence in Lebanon and Gaza as well as in Judea and Samaria and Iraq. Iran has made destroying Israel a central plank on its agenda because by attacking the hated Jews, Iran is successfully raising its stature as the leader of the Muslim world. By leading the war against Israel, Iran has rendered itself immune to attacks from Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Egypt that, while objecting to Iran's power grab, cannot condemn aggression against the same Israel they have indoctrinated their people to despise.


Disturbingly, several indicators lead to the conclusion that to the contrary, the government does not have the will to accomplish its declared goals. First, by Sunday evening, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was signaling that he was ready to start negotiating a cease-fire through UN or EU intermediaries.

Since both the UN and the EU are organizations dedicated to ensuring the survival of organizations like Hizbullah and Hamas, Olmert's willingness to use these groups as intermediaries exposes his willingness to stop far short of destroying Hizbullah.


Second, Olmert's strategy in the south against Hamas and Fatah in Gaza shows that he does not understand that Israel's terrorist adversaries are by their nature undeterrable.


Third, the Olmert government's continued insistence on going forward with its plan to retreat from Judea and Samaria and partition Jerusalem indicates that the premier has not accepted the now obvious fact that Israeli withdrawals strengthen our enemies. Since the central policy of the government contradicts its stated objective of denying operating bases to terrorists, it is difficult to see how the government will muster the necessary enthusiasm to see its campaign in Lebanon to a successful conclusion.

FINALLY, THE fact that the government has limited the IDF campaign in Lebanon to aerial bombardment indicates that it is not willing to take the necessary actions to secure the country from Iranian-Hizbullah attacks. The IDF campaign recalls the NATO bombing campaign against Kosovo and Serbia in 1999. Yet the situation on the ground in Lebanon is more analogous to the situation in Afghanistan in 2001. It was possible to limit the campaign in Kosovo to aerial bombardment because the Serbian government was deterrable. Yet, like the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan, Hizbullah is not open to persuasion and so must be destroyed utterly. This can only be accomplished with ground forces.
Read it all.


At 4:06 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

I agree completely - but then I still hold out hope for this succeeding.

At 5:43 AM, Blogger M. Simon said...

Glick is an imbicile. Fortunately she is only an ankle biter. She has only the power to confuse. She can't act.

Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab League have sided with Israel. The Global Order is Breaking Up.

America signaled Israel that it was not yet time for negotiations. Thus, such talk has ceased.

Third, no move will be made against Syria until Syria makes an overt move. Encourage your government to goad them.

Always keep in mind Hasbara.

At 5:54 AM, Blogger M. Simon said...

BTW in modern warfare you first soften up the enemy then bring in ground troops.

Glick is a military ignoramus.

I will admit she is only half bad on politics. However, whenever the subject veers to the military she is totaly out of her depth.

The Sharon Plan.

She only understands military cation as force. It is politics. AS such one must consider how it looks as well as what it does.

At 5:56 AM, Blogger M. Simon said...

She only understands military action as force. It is politics. As such one must consider how it looks as well as what it does.


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