web analytics
April 18, 2015 / 29 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


If You Liked the Arab Spring, You’ll Love ‘Palestine’

What, exactly, can we expect from 'Palestine'?
Palestinian opposition to Israel has never really been about land.

Palestinian opposition to Israel has never really been about land.
Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi Flash90

Recognizing the considerable limits of even its best active defenses, Israel will need to improve and refine its current strategies of deterrence. At the same time, Israel’s leaders will have to accept that certain of its existential enemies might sometime not conform to the usual criteria of rationality in world politics, criteria that are always an essential pre-condition of successful deterrence. In such counter-intuitive circumstances. jihadist adversaries in Palestine, Iran, and/or Lebanon might simply refuse to back away from any contemplated aggressions against Israel. These enemies could exhibit such refusals even in anticipation of a devastating Israeli reprisal.

Barack Obama and John Kerry notwithstanding, Israel still has no reliable peace “partners” in the region. It has, still, only more or less committed adversaries. For a time, the superiority of the IDF may allow Israel to undertake certain cost-effective preemptions, but such allowances are not likely to include critical Iranian nuclear infrastructures.

Any defensive first strikes directed against specifically Palestinian targets, however feasible in operational terms, and however justifiable in law as “anticipatory self-defense,” would elicit widespread global howls of indignation and disapproval. Incomprehensibly, Israel’s “no choice” resort to force to stave off national extermination, however reluctant, would be widely termed “aggression.”

What can be done? Plainly, Israel must promptly take appropriate steps to assure that (1) it does not become the object of non-conventional aggressions, and (2) it can successfully avoid all forms of non-conventional conflict, with adversary states, and also with sub-state foes. To accomplish this vital objective, it must strive to retain recognizably far-reaching conventional superiority in both weapons and manpower.

Such retention could reduce the likelihood of ever actually having to enter into a chemical, biological, or even nuclear exchange. Correspondingly, as I have counseled often in the pages of The Jewish Press, Israel should begin to move carefully away from its longstanding and increasingly perilous posture of “deliberate nuclear ambiguity.”

By moving toward selected and partial kinds of “nuclear disclosure” – by taking its “bomb” out of the “basement” in certain calibrated and visible increments – Israel could better ensure that its several cooperating adversaries will remain suitably subject to Israeli nuclear deterrence. In this connection, Israeli planners will first have to understand that the efficacy or credibility of the country’s nuclear deterrence posture could vary inversely with enemy views of Israeli nuclear destructiveness.

However ironic and counterintuitive, enemy perceptions of a too-large and/or too destructive Israeli nuclear deterrent force, or of an Israeli force that is not sufficiently invulnerable to first-strike attacks, could render this deterrence posture less convincing and hence less viable.

It is also essential that Israel’s current and prospective strategic adversaries see the Jewish state’s nuclear retaliatory forces as assuredly able to penetrate any Arab or Iranian aggressor’s active defenses.

Israel should continue to strengthen its abundantly superior active defenses, but it must also do everything possible to improve each critical and intersecting component of its nuanced deterrence posture. In this hideously complex matter of strategic dissuasion, the Israeli task may also come to include more explicit disclosures of nuclear targeting doctrine, and, accordingly, a steadily expanding role for cyber-defense and cyber-war. Even before undertaking such important refinements, Israel will need to rigorously distinguish between adversaries that are presumably rational, irrational, or “mad.” The ultimate success of national deterrence will be contingent upon having an informed prior awareness of enemy preferences, and of enemy hierarchies of preferences.

Within a year, especially if the U.S.-led “Road Map” should become the region’s most accepted bit of cartography, Palestine will begin to look very much like some dreadful combination of post-Arab Spring Egypt and Syria. Though it is already too late to prevent UN bestowal of tentative or partial statehood status upon Palestine, Israel can still better prepare to face associated expected threats. Most urgent among these plainly foreseeable threats are certain interactions or “synergies.”

Such unprecedented “force multipliers” absolutely must be countered in time.

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.

One Response to “If You Liked the Arab Spring, You’ll Love ‘Palestine’”

  1. Lisa Kamins says:

    the other option is, that as soon as we see that they are getting ready to send missiles, we bomb them into the stone age, period. no choice. they have a history, we have given them repeated chances to prove themselves as peace partners, which they never have been, never will be. basically, obliterate them.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Daniel Lubetzky  president of V15 and CEO of Kind "healthy" bars
No Victory for V15 and Not Healthy ‘Healthy’ Snack Bars
Latest Indepth Stories
Mrs. Golda Katz a"h

She had many names and was many things to many people, but to me she was just Babineni.

ISIS terrorist carries the group's black flag.

Is ISIS in Gaza? “No, but there are ISIS loyalists here..we pray to God they unite under ISIS’ flag”

Cliff Rieders

Rabbi Portal was that great “inspirer,” changing people for the better, enriching the lives of all

MK Moshe-Feiglin

Iran knows Obama, Putin, and the Europeans don’t have a Red Line beyond which they will go to war

There is no way to explain the Holocaust. I know survivors who are not on speaking terms with G-d. I know many who are the opposite. I have no right to go there…

When a whole side of your family perishes, friends become the extended family you do not have.

“We stand with Israel because of its values and its greatness and because its such a wonderful ally”

Mr. Obama himself inelegantly cautioned members of the Senate to be careful not to “screw up” the negotiations by seeking to have input into the future of the sanctions regime that has been imposed on Iran.

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

Mitchell Bard is nothing if not prolific. He has written and edited 23 books, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East” and “The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.” Bard, who has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA, is also the executive director of both the […]

Understanding the process described in Dayenu reveals deep relevance for us today.

For Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, the tanks, planes, and uniforms of the IDF were implements of mitzvot

The only way to become humble is honesty about our experiences; it’s the only path to true humility

Obama’s approach to evildoers echoes Gandhi’s fatuous and muddleheaded pleas to his “friend” Hitler

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/if-you-liked-the-arab-spring-youll-love-palestine/2013/06/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: