web analytics
September 1, 2014 / 6 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Israel, Iran And Nuclear War: A Final Summation


Beres-Louis-Rene

“It is in the thick of a calamity,” we learn from Albert Camus’ The Plague, “that one gets hardened to the truth, in other words, to silence.” Now that Iranian nuclearization is reaching the point of no return, noisy declarations from Tehran are apt to become less shrill. Reciprocally, in Jerusalem, an inaudible truth could soon yield to action.

For Israel, the strategic options are plain: strike preemptively, with or without American collaboration, or go along with the world community’s reliance upon “sanctions.” The first option, although limited to military and industrial targets, would carry substantial political costs and security risks. The second would amount to doing absolutely nothing.

The coming plague must certainly carry with it a very heavy truth. A nuclear war in the Middle East would resemble any other incurable disease. With silence approaching, Israel requires a strategic doctrine that can conveniently combine all essential protective elements of deterrence, targeting, war fighting, preemption and defense. Nothing else will do.

My readers in The Jewish Press will know that I have written about such doctrine for many years. Israel’s program for survival must carefully fashion a general strategy from which a useful array of particular operations and tactics can be drawn. If it should be determined that Iranian nuclearization is unstoppable, this Israeli doctrine would include an immediate policy shift from deliberate ambiguity (the “bomb in the basement”) to disclosure. Of course, this shift – to which I have already given considerable attention in these pages – would be only the most visible part of a much wider strategy.

In possible cooperation with Washington, Jerusalem’s political and military leadership is now likely examining diverse segments of Israel’s strategic doctrine. Fitting these discrete pieces together in a way that can prevent any enemy nuclear attack must surely be Israel’s main concern. Further, as Israel’s security is crucial to our own, such nuanced calculations will have altogether critical consequences for New York, Washington and Los Angeles, as well as for Tel Aviv and Haifa.

Unless there is an unanticipated and sweeping regime change in Tehran, that country will remain animated by Jihad and by specifically Shiite visions of “apocalypse.” Israel’s own nuclear strategy of survival, therefore, is apt to be founded upon utterly realistic assumptions of plausible enemy aggression. These assumptions will not ignore the conceivable prospect of enemy irrationality. Under Ahmadinejad, Iran could even come to resemble an individual suicide bomber writ large.

There is also the related issue of a Palestinian state. If, following still-strong support from President Bush, a 23rd Arab sovereignty was to be declared in the not-too-distant future (the explicit objective of the coming conference in Annapolis), “Palestine” would become an optimal platform for major international aggression. Here, the substantial danger posed – including nuclear war and nuclear terrorism – would affect not only Israel, but also the American homeland.

It may be difficult for us to imagine nuclear weapons as anything but plainly evil. Yet there are circumstances where a state’s possession of these bombs and missiles could be all that prevents catastrophic war or even genocide. The International Court of Justice ruled in its Advisory Opinion on July 8, 1996, “The Court cannot conclude definitively whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be lawful or unlawful in an extreme circumstance of self-defense.” Where “the very survival of a State would be at stake,” said the ICJ, so that even the actual use of nuclear weapons could be permissible.

Let us be clear: Israel is not Iran. Israel does not seek redemption through any form of Final Battle. Israel makes no threats of harm to others. Israel does not rattle the saber of its own nuclear capabilities. Israel is not in violation of any international treaty.

Not all members of the Nuclear Club are a menace. Some, like Israel, represent a distinct asset to world peace.

Should it ever be deprived of its presumed nuclear forces, Israel would become vulnerable to massive attacks from certain enemy states. Israel’s nuclear weapons are not the problem. In the Middle East, the only real problem is a far-reaching and wholly unreconstructed Arab/Islamist commitment to blot out and remove the “Zionist Entity.” This problem will not go away at Annapolis.

International treaties can have serious limitations. At least one Arab state that is now “at peace” with Israel remains effectively at war with the Jewish State. Egypt could quickly revert to a belligerent stance, participating in joint attacks against Israeli population centers and military targets. Syria, should it ever sign a comparable peace agreement with Israel, would not hesitate to abrogate that agreement if it felt the time were right for a gainful (and doubtlessly collaborative) final assault. Following recent news about Israel’s secret strike in Syria, this point is altogether sobering.

With nuclear weapons and a corollary nuclear strategy, Israel could deter a rational enemy’s unconventional attacks as well as most large conventional aggressions. With such weapons, Israel could also launch non-nuclear preemptive strikes against enemy state hard targets that threaten Israel’s annihilation. Without these weapons, such potentially essential acts of anticipatory self-defense would probably represent the onset of a much wider war. This is because there would be no compelling threat of Israeli counter-retaliation.

It is in the thick of calamity that we encounter not only silence, but also a delayed lucidity. Now is the time to call things by their correct name. Israel’s undisclosed nuclear arsenal offers an indispensable impediment to any actual use of nuclear weapons. Joined with a coherent strategic doctrine – one that would include explicit codifications of both preemption and counter-city (sometimes called counter-value) targeting – these weapons could soon represent the entire Middle East’s principal line of defense against Iranian aggression and against regional nuclear war.

Copyright © The Jewish Press, November 23, 2007. All rights reserved.

LOUIS RENÉ BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is the author of many books and articles dealing with nuclear strategy and nuclear war. Professor of Political Science and International Law at Purdue, he lectures widely in the United States and abroad on international security and legal issues. Professor Beres is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press. He was Chair of Project Daniel.

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 “Israel, Iran And Nuclear War: A Final Summation”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The Palestinian Authority has produced a brilliant piece of propaganda to sow more seeds of war.
Hamas Propaganda Video Compares 9/11 with IDF Bombing of Gaza
Latest Indepth Stories
0.5-Shekel-hatasham-RJP

The War projects to lower Israel’s 2014 GDP 0.5% but will have little influence on foreign investors

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

champions

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to “liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine.”

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz reviewing maps on the Golan Heights.

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/israel-iran-and-nuclear-war-a-final-summation/2007/11/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: