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Posted on: July 11th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
For Israel, and also its cross-pressured U.S. ally, there would be very difficult problems to solve if an enemy state such as Iran were permitted to go fully nuclear. These problems could lethally undermine the conceptually neat, but probably unrealistic, notion of balanced nuclear deterrence in the region.
Posted on: July 5th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Finally, after many years of effective disregard, a core irony in the matter of Iranian nuclearization can be acknowledged: For President Ahmadinejad, and also his clerical superiors, any prospect of hastening the Shiite apocalypse – a decidedly “sacred” prospect linked to war with Israel and/or the United States – could be welcomed. Naturally, this religion-driven view of a "terrible beauty" would contrast starkly with senior leadership attitudes in both Jerusalem and Washington. In these plainly more secular circles, of course, any thought of a conscious encouragement for Final Battle must always be rejected.
Posted on: June 27th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
The Genocide Convention criminalizes not only various acts of genocide, but also (Article III) conspiracy to commit genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide. Articles II, III and IV of the Genocide Convention are fully applicable in all cases of direct and public incitement to commit genocide. For the Convention to be invoked, it is sufficient that any one of the state parties call for a meeting, through the United Nations, of all the state parties (Article VIII).
Posted on: June 20th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Genocide has always been prohibited by international law. In the words of the Genocide Convention, a binding multilateral treaty that codified post-Nuremberg norms and that entered into force in 1951, the sorts of murderous acts long advocated by Arab/Iranian leaders and jihadist terror groups qualify very precisely as criminal. The “moderate” Fatah organization’s June 2009 congress even called openly for the eradication of Israel.
Posted on: June 14th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Over the past several months President Obama has generally focused his attention away from the Middle East “peace process.” It is fair to ask, therefore, whether his core preferences for a settlement – carving a Palestinian state out of the still-living body of Israel and “a world free of nuclear weapons” (a world in which Israel would no longer be able to deter certain existential attacks) – still remain a matter of reasonable concern.
Posted on: June 6th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Sculptor Alberto Giacometti's “Man Pointing” gesticulates ominously. Emaciated, skeletal, and tormented, the iconic sculpture is an artistic expression of humankind's stalwart march toward suffering and recurring annihilation. Resembling the Swiss creator’s gaunt and unnaturally elongated figure, each of us has now become both a potential observer and a prospective casualty.
Posted on: June 1st, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
With the ongoing about Syrian regime atrocities, regional and global attention has seemingly shifted from more usual concerns about Palestinian statehood. Nonetheless, the two issues are closely related, especially in their common reflection of irremediable fragmentations in the Arab world and in their resultant propensities for escalating violence and cruelty.
Posted on: May 23rd, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
“The blood-dimmed tide is loosed,” wrote the poet W.B. Yeats, “and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned.” Now, assembled in almost two hundred armed tribal camps politely called nation-states, all peoples – not only the people of Israel – coexist insecurely on a plainly anarchic planet. The core origins of this anarchy lie in the Peace of Westphalia (1648), which put a codified end to the Thirty Years War.
Posted on: May 16th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
In the past few years, on these pages of The Jewish Press, I have written several times about critical strategic implications of “chaos” and also of “irrationality” and “madness.” Still, I have never written about the fusion or juxtaposition of these seemingly distinct issues. However, because there are increasingly obvious and important potential interactions between them (military strategists would call such interactions “synergies,” or sometimes “force-multipliers”), I shall now examine these utterly core security matters with a view toward acknowledging their possible ways of coming together.
Posted on: May 9th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
What, then, might be most important to Israel's prospectively irrational enemies, potentially even more important than their own physical survival as a state? One possible answer is the avoidance of certain forms of shame and humiliation. Another would be avoidance of the potentially unendurable charge that they had somehow defiled their most sacred religious obligations. Still another would be leaders' preferred avoidance of their own violent deaths, deaths that could be attributable to Israeli strategies of targeted killing and/or regime-targeting.
Posted on: May 3rd, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
A "bolt-from-the-blue" CBN (chemical, biological or even nuclear) attack on Israel launched with the expectation of city-busting reprisals might not necessarily exhibit irrationality or madness. Within such an attacking state's particular ordering of preferences, any presumed religious obligation to annihilate the "Zionist Entity" could represent the overriding value.
Posted on: April 26th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
Over the years, in several of my columns in The Jewish Press, I have examined the critical bases of Israeli nuclear deterrence. Recently, in consequence of the growing threat of Iranian nuclearization, increasing attention has been directed toward pertinent issues of enemy rationality. With this in mind, the following three-part column will seek to explain the impact of "irrationality" on Israel's deterrence posture, and also the vital differences between prospective Iranian irrationality and "madness."
Posted on: April 18th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
It is time to look behind the news. Operation Iraqi Freedom is officially concluded; U.S. operations in Afghanistan are reportedly moving in a similar direction. More generically, however, debate about combat operations, strategy and tactics remains ongoing.
Posted on: April 12th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
In strategy and law, war, terrorism and genocide are not mutually exclusive. Now, following the “Arab Spring,” even as the usual suspects maintain their explicitly genocidal threats against Israel, certain “progressive” Jews proudly lead various rallies and publications for "peace” and “democracy” in the Middle East. Such “progress,” we might learn from Roman Polanski’s film “The Pianist,” could only be fashioned upon yet another generation of Jewish corpses.
Posted on: April 5th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
On the surface, “The Pianist” is “merely” the true tale of a talented Jewish musician, Wladyslaw Szpilman, caught up in the unfathomable depths of Nazi occupation and terror. More profoundly, of course, it is a disturbing visual microcosm of the generic human struggle between good and evil, a titanic contest that is sometimes utterly clear but at other times distressingly “gray."
Posted on: March 28th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
President Obama continues to favor the creation of a "nuclear weapons-free world." This explicit preference is more than naive; it is also undesirable in principle. For Israel, in particular, Obama's solution could likely open the doors to unendurable enemy aggressions. However unintended, therefore, it could become an utterly Final Solution.
Posted on: March 22nd, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
It would be unreasonable for Israel to draw any comfort from an argument that Iranian intentions are effectively harmless. Rather, such intentions could impact capabilities decisively over time. Backed by appropriate nuclear weapons, preemption options must somehow remain open and viable to Israel, augmented, of course, by appropriate and complementary plans for cyber-defense and cyber-warfare.
Posted on: March 14th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
For forty years I have studied the stunningly complex problem of enemy rationality, especially in certain earlier published writings concerning the particular nuclear threat from Iran.
Posted on: March 7th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
As only a distinctly last resort, Israel needs nuclear weapons for nuclear war fighting.
Posted on: February 29th, 2012InDepth → Columns → Louis Rene Beres
US President Barack Obama's sentiments notwithstanding, nuclear arms are not per se destabilizing or "warmongering." They are not necessarily anti-peace. Rather, in certain identifiably volatile circumstances, nuclear weapons can actually be indispensable to the avoidance of catastrophic war.
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