web analytics
July 26, 2014 / 28 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Facing A Changed Game: The ‘Obama Doctrine’ And Israeli Strategic Planning


Beres-Louis-Rene

            The high-minded centerpiece of Barack Obama’s still-emerging strategic doctrine is “a world free of nuclear weapons.” Although plainly misconceived – this presidential policy expectation is both unattainable and undesirable - Israel can hardly ignore it. On the contrary, planners in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv will now have to self-consciously fashion and possibly reconcile Israel’s own strategic doctrine with the new American ideas.

 

 

 

            Doctrine is a net. In the interpenetrating worlds of war and peace, only those who cast will catch. Without an appropriate and up-to-date doctrine that takes Washington into close account, the IDF will be unable to conform its essential order of battle to the constantly changing and increasingly lethal requirements of the regional Middle-East battlefield. At a minimum, Prime Minister Netanyahu will need to consider that the new START agreement between the U.S. and Russia effectively leaves the wider threat of nuclear terror unrelieved.

 

            What should be done?

 

            First, Israeli strategists must now look directly at their country’s principal existential threats, and identify these perils, promptly and openly, as the dominant object and rationale of their inquiries. Will the “Obama Doctrine,” with its expressly-diminished reliance on nuclear deterrence, be helpful or harmful in coping with these threats?

 

            Second, Israeli strategists must understand: (a) Israel is a system; (b) existential threats confronting Israel are interrelated (synergistic); and (c) effects of these complex threats upon Israel must be examined together. How will these effects be impacted by the new strategic doctrine in Washington? If necessary, how should Israel compensate for any expanded security vulnerabilities?

 

            Third, Israeli strategists must understand that the entire world is best understood as a system, and that the disintegration of power and authority structures within this wider macro-system will impact, with enormous and at-least partially foreseeable consequences, the Israeli micro-system.  How will this impact be enlarged or reduced by President Obama’s now-codified unwillingness to respond to lower-order (chemical or biological) attacks with nuclear reprisals?

 

            Fourth, the Obama Doctrine does not provide any real guidance on how to deal with those states and sub-state organizations that may not be subject to deterrent threats. This brings to mind the core security problem of prospective enemy irrationality. How should Israel’s own critical plans for dealing with non-rational adversaries be affected by the Obama Doctrine, especially where these adversaries (e.g., Iran) may soon become nuclear?

 

            Fifth, long-term, Israeli strategists must learn to consider seemingly irrelevant literature, real literature, not the narrowly technical materials normally generated by military thinkers, but the genuinely creative and artistic product of writers, poets and playwrights.  The broadly intellectual insights that can be gleaned from this real literature may ultimately provide a far better source of strategic understanding than the visually impressive but often misleading matrixes, mathematics, metaphors and scenarios of the “experts.” 

 

            Sixth, Israeli strategists need to acknowledge the occasional advantages of private as opposed to collective strategic thought.  They should be reminded of Aristotle’s prescient view:  “Deception occurs to a greater extent when we are investigating with others than by ourselves, for an investigation with someone else is carried on quite as much by means of the thing itself.”  There is a correct time for collaborative or “team” investigations, but in certain matters concerning Israeli security, as in all science generally, one may sometimes discover optimal conceptual value in the private musings of single individuals.  This observation refers especially to strategic doctrine.

 

            Seventh, Israeli strategists now need to open up, again, and with greater diligence and formal insight, the major policy question of nuclear ambiguity. Possibly under growing pressure from Washington’s Obama Doctrine to denuclearize (will Obama now start pushing Jerusalem to sign the NPT?), they will have to understand that re-examining the “bomb in the basement” is not just an academic exercise. Such re-examination would come at exactly the time that a new American strategic guidance would most likely condemn any Israeli disclosure.  How, then, should Israel balance its ritual obeisance to Washington with its more obvious and indisputably primary need for survival.

 

            Eighth, again with a clear view to changing nuclear doctrine in the United States, Israeli strategists will need to widen their consideration of far broader questions of nuclear weapons and national strategy.  Ideally, this would be done in consonance with all of the other above-listed strategic studies requirements.  Key issues here will be nuclear targeting doctrine, preemption and ballistic missile defense, positions that will surely be impacted by the Obama Doctrine. 

 

            For Israel, national survival is more problematic than ever. Following the Obama Doctrine and the new START agreement, Prime Minister Netanyahu should ensure that his own strategic planners take careful and immediate note of pertinent game changes.

 

            LOUIS RENÉ BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is the author of ten books and several hundred scholarly articles dealing with international relations and international law.  Born in Zurich, Switzerland, at the end of World War II, he was the Chair of Project Daniel.  Professor Beres is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

About the Author: Louis René Beres, strategic and military affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, is professor of Political Science at Purdue University. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law and is the author of ten major books in the field. In Israel, Professor Beres was chair of Project Daniel.


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 “Facing A Changed Game: The ‘Obama Doctrine’ And Israeli Strategic Planning”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
John Kerry
Entire Israeli Cabinet Rejects Kerry’s Proposed Ceasefire, Talks Continue
Latest Indepth Stories
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

More Articles from Louis Rene Beres
Louis Rene Beres

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

Louis Rene Beres

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.

An undifferentiated or across-the-board commitment to nuclear ambiguity could prove harmful to Israel’s’s overall security.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/facing-a-changed-game-the-obama-doctrine-and-israeli-strategic-planning-2/2010/06/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: