web analytics
July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Eight Years Of Unheeded ‘Daniel’ Warnings About Iran: What Happens Next? (Part I)


Beres-Louis-Rene

            The views expressed in this article are solely those of Professor Louis René Beres and may not reflect the opinions of any other members of Project Daniel, or of any government.

 

            “We are often asked,” said the late Italian Jew and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi, in The Drowned and the Saved, “as if our past conferred a prophetic ability upon us, whether Auschwitz will return.” However we might choose to answer such a terrible but unavoidable question, the Jewish past seems not to have conferred the most indispensable abilities to anticipate new and still-possible genocides.

 

            Today, as my readers are already well aware, war and genocide need not be mutually exclusive. For Israel, Auschwitz could “return” with a stunningly different face. Now, it would be the grotesque face of nuclear war.

 

Oddly enough, such an unprecedented visage is already foreseeable. Soon, challenged by a still-nuclearizing Iran, the Jewish state may no longer have any realistic operational chance to preemptively destroy that country’s: (1) impending nuclear weapons, and/or (2) nuclear weapons-related infrastructures. For Israel, this means that preventing an “Auschwitz return” will almost certainly require greatly expanded and substantially refined efforts at conventional war fighting, strategic deterrence, and ballistic missile defense. Nonetheless, there would be no guarantees that even the most Herculean efforts – efforts that must now surely include advanced forms of cyber-defense and cyber-warfare – could ever fully succeed.

 

 For the past eight years, Israel’s political and military leaders have been fully aware of the strategic and jurisprudential risks of effectively ignoring Iranian nuclearization. In part, such awareness had been spawned by Project Daniel.  

 

 Our once-confidential Report was originally presented, by hand, to then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on January 16,2003.  We began our work with an overriding concern for the possible enemy fusion of WMD-capacity (especially nuclear) with irrational adversaries. Contrary to this particular policy starting point, however, Project Daniel ultimately concluded that the primary threats to Israel’s survival were more likely to arise among certain rational enemies.  In my judgment, as Chair of “The Group,” this seemingly counter-intuitive conclusion remains “spot on.”

 

Some of Israel’s national enemies might be correctly judged irrational, but this does not necessarily means that they are “crazy.” Israeli nuclear deterrence, even suitably expanded and refined, could be critically immobilized by certain enemy state behavior that is, in fact, perfectly rational, but is still reflective of what would ordinarily be construed as a fanatical preference ordering. For example, a newly-nuclear Iran could conceivably act upon a hierarchy of preferences that values complete destruction of “The Zionist Entity” and the corollary fulfillment of presumed Islamic expectations more highly than any other Iranian value or combination of values. Here, Iran would be neither irrational, nor crazy, yet still capable of inflicting existential harms.

 

            Throughout its work, The Group examined a broad variety of complex issues concerning deterrence; defense; preemption and war fighting. Combining legal with strategic analyses, we linked the concept of anticipatory self-defense to various preemption scenarios, and to The National Security Strategy of the United States of America (September 20,2002). We also closely examined the prospects for expanded strategic cooperation between Washington and Jerusalem, with particular reference to maintaining Israel’s qualitative edgeand to always-associated issues of necessary funding.

 

Project Daniel looked very closely at a recommended “paradigm shift” to deal with various low intensity and long-range WMD threats to Israel, and also considered the specific circumstances under which Israel should purposefully end its current posture of nuclear ambiguity. Overall, The Group had urged continuing constructive support to the United States-led War Against Terror (WAT), and had stipulated that Israel should combine a strengthening of multilayered active defenses with a credible, secure, and decisive nuclear deterrent. This recognizable retaliatory (second-strike) force was then recommended to be fashioned with the capacity to destroy some 10 – 20 high-value targets, scattered widely over pertinent enemy states in the Middle East.

 

            Early on, The Group had recognized a very basic and consequential asymmetry between Israel and the Arab/Iranian world concerning, inter alia, the desirability of peace; the absence of democracy; the acceptability of terror as a legitimate weapon, and the overwhelming demographic advantage of the Arab/Iranian world. With this in mind, Israel’s Strategic Future had concluded that non-conventional exchanges between Israel and adversary states must always be scrupulously avoided, and that Israel should do whatever is needed to maintain its conventional supremacy in the region. Facing a growing anarchy in world affairs, and an increasing isolation in the world community, Israel was strongly encouraged by Project Daniel to incorporate The Group’s considered recommendations into codified IDF doctrine.

 

In the end, we affirmed, Israel’s survival will depend largely upon strategic policies of its own making, and these policies will be best-informed by The Group’s proposed steps regarding deterrence; defense; war-fighting and preemption options. Today, with the still-steadily advancing nuclear threat from Iran, the preemption option has likely become far more compelling, but also far more difficult.

 

Louis René Beres is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

About the Author: Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is professor of political science and international law at Purdue University and the author of many books and articles dealing with international relations and strategic studies.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Eight Years Of Unheeded ‘Daniel’ Warnings About Iran: What Happens Next? (Part I)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
investing-in-gold_4548807_lrg
What Sanctions? Iran Receives 13 Tons of Gold From S. Africa
Latest Indepth Stories

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

Donald Trump

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.

Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel

In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Rather than asserting Jewish rights on Temple Mount or protecting Jewish lives Israel chooses soccer

Nothing in the NEW Paris Proposal differs much from what was offered by Olmert and rejected by Abbas

No longer will delegitimization efforts go unchallenged. That’s a silence we will continue to break.

Increasingly, Sweden is becoming a country where anti-Semitism & supporting terrorism is acceptable.

Rabbi Pfeffer points out that at his site, there are no one-line answers. “We want to show the people we’re interested in their questions,” he says.

The problem with US treatment of Israel did not start with Obama but with birth of Jewish State

The pathetic failure of the Marianne to reach Gaza is the best thing that has happened to Israel since Hamas mis-fired a rocket on its own civilians.

Wonder why Israel has the world’s most insane rules of engagement imposed on its military? Read on..

More Articles from Louis Rene Beres

A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.

Louis Rene Beres

President Obama’s core argument on a Middle East peace process is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Once upon a time in America, every adult could recite at least some Spenglerian theory of decline.

President Obama’s core argument is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Specific strategic lessons from the Bar Kokhba rebellion.

Still facing an effectively unhindered nuclear threat from Iran, Israel will soon need to choose between two strategic options.

For states, as for individuals, fear and reality go together naturally.

So much of the struggle between Israel and the Arabs continues to concern space.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/eight-years-of-unheeded-daniel-warnings-about-iran-what-happens-next-part-i/2011/02/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: