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Israel's military strategy needs a rethink « Previous | |Next »
July 21, 2006

Paul Rogers has a good article on the strategy of the Israeli massive bombing of Lebanon at Democracy Now. He says that the history of conflict has resulted in Israel being a very strong and militarised society with a pervasive sense of vulnerability and a culture of responding with massive force to threats to its security.

He says Israel's response to Hizbollah's rocket attacks is true to its long-term strategies, seeking not just to cripple Hizbollah directly, but to do massive damage to the Lebanese economy as a whole. On present trends this will continue until Hizbollah runs out of munitions and may well extend to exemplary raids on Syria and even Iran. Washington will not counsel against either.


It speaks that the kidnapping of two soldiers is 'an opportunity' for Israel to settle accounts with Hizbollah (and probably with Syria too) and to alter the balance of power between Israel and its two most active enemies, Hamas and Hizbollah. The region has been here before: the 1982 Lebanon war was to change the balance of power between Israel and the PLO. The result was not the abolition of the PLO, but the creation of Hizbollah.

Rogers adds that to Israeli military strategists it may appear that there is no alternative, but to a detached analyst Israel's course and strategic thinking is potentially disastrous, for two major reasons.

The first is that it will produce a wave of further antagonism across the region against Israel and the United States, leading to further radicalisations in the years and even the decades to come.

That is pretty right. Bombing--or invading--- Lebanon is making enemies not friends in Lebanon and deepens the support for Hizbollah.
Rogers says that:
The second reason is more subtle and potentially much more dangerous for Israel. In the first week of this war, we have already seen longer-range rockets hitting Haifa and an anti-ship cruise missile wrecking one of the world's most modern warships Such weapons are coming on to the world's arms markets in increasing numbers and with greater sophistication. The Israelis have long known this, and they have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into anti-missile research and development since the 1991 Gulf war. The results have had little effect against Hizbollah's capabilities and the overall international race between offensive missiles and defensive systems is very much on the side of the former.

Rogers adds that as this trend develops over the next decade or more, Israel and the United States will probably attempt to spread their zone of preventative control even further beyond the borders of Israel; but it is a race they will not be able to win, especially as the civilian destruction being experienced in Lebanon is replicated in other parts of the region.
So the old style military strategy of responding with massive force to threats to its security is self-defeating. Israel needs to embrace political options.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:39 PM | | Comments (2)


Who is this 'Ted Lapkin,' anyhow, making wild statements on news & forums that I read. My search led me here.

Ted Lapkin is the Director of Policy Analysis at The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC).The AIJAC says that it is the premier public affairs organisation for the Australian Jewish community.It is part of the Israeli Lobby in Australia