web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Palestine, Iran And Israel’s Nuclear Strategy: Critical Notes for an Essential Strategic Policy in Jerusalem (Part III)


Beres-Louis-Rene

Share Button

“For By Wise Counsel, Thou Shalt Make Thy War”

Proverbs 24, 6

 

            Pretended irrationality can be a double-edged sword.  Brandished too irrationally, Israeli preparations for a Samson Option could encourage enemy preemptions. Here, again, the specter of a nuclear Iran should emerge front and center. After all, sanctions against Iran have represented little more than a fly on the elephant’s back.

 

            Left to themselves, neither deterred nor preempted, certain Arab and/or other Islamic enemies of Israel, especially after the U.S.-assisted creation of a Palestinian state, could bring the Jewish state face-to-face with the palpable torments of Dante’s Inferno, “Into the eternal darkness, into fire, into ice.”  Israeli strategic planners and political leaders, therefore, should soon begin to acknowledge an absolutely primary obligation to: (a) strengthen their country’s nuclear security posture; and (b) ensure that any failure of nuclear deterrence would not spark nuclear war or nuclear terror.

 

             One way for Israel to partially meet this obligation, particularly after President Obama’s undimmed support for Palestine, and his equally-misguided support for “a world free of nuclear weapons” – support now manifested formally in the New START Treaty with Russia – would be to focus more openly and precisely on the Samson Option.  In so doing, considerable attention will need to be directed to the presumed rationality of enemy leaderships, both state and sub-state. How can the capable IDF strategist recognize the crucial difference between real and pretended irrationality?

 

            This will become an urgent question; indeed, the urgent question. In those rare cases where an enemy state or terror group might not value its own physical survival more highly than any other preference or combination of preferences, the standard logic of deterrence would be rendered inoperable. In such cases, all bets would be off regarding probable enemy reactions to Israeli threats of retaliation. The probability of any such case arising may be very low, but the attendant disutility of any single case could still be intolerably high.

 

            IDF planners and other interested strategists should now also consider the cumulative capabilities and intentions of Israel’s non-state enemies; that is, the entire configuration of anti-Israel terrorist groups. Such assessments should now offer more than a simple group-by-group inventory of enemy assets and intentions. These groups should also now be considered in their entirety, collectively, as they may interrelate with one another vis-à-vis Israel.

 

            These several hostile non-state organizations will also need to be examined in their interactive relationships with core enemy states. Recalling, for example, the discussion of Palestine (above), it is important to recognize and understand all possible synergies with Iran and Syria in particular.

 

            In the matter of synergies, interested strategists will also need to consider so-called “force multipliers.” A force multiplier is a collection of related characteristics, other than weapons and size of force that may make any military organization more effective in combat. A force multiplier may be generalship; tactical surprise; tactical mobility or particular command/control system enhancements.

 

            Seeking improved force multipliers for Israel, strategic thinkers should now assess well-integrated elements of cyber-warfare, and a reciprocal capacity to prevent and blunt any incoming cyber-attacks. Today, this particular force multiplier could even prove to be decisive.

 

            In a world of growing international anarchy, IDF planners should investigate all pertinent enemy force multipliers; challenging and undermining enemy force multipliers; and developing/ refining its own force multipliers. More specifically, this means an appropriately heavy IDF emphasis on air superiority; communications; intelligence and surprise. Again, recalling Moshe Dayan’s counter-intuitive injunction, it may also mean a heightened awareness of the possible benefits of pretended irrationality (Samson Option).

 

            The state system of international statecraft came into being in the 17th century, after the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. For the most part, our “Westphalian” system remains almost entirely anarchic.  Several emerging hazards to Israeli national security could be shaped by this primary condition.

 

             Nonetheless, to observant strategists, there will also be a discernible geometry of chaos, and calculating the implications of this particular “geometry” will prove to be an important and cost-effective task. Before this can happen, interested strategists must take informed steps to ensure that their analyses and recommendations are detached from any false hopes. Recalling Thucydides, writing prophetically  (416 BCE) on the ultimatum of the Athenians to the Melians during the Peloponnesian War:  Hope is by nature an expensive commodity, and those who are risking their all on one cast find out what it means only when they are already ruined .”

 

             Strategic nuclear policy is a net. Only those who cast can catch.

 


LOUIS RENÉ BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), and is the author of many books and articles dealing with Israeli security matters.  Born in Zürich, Switzerland, on August 31, 1945, he was Chair of Project Daniel, and, in Fall 2009, published “Facing Iran’s Ongoing Nuclearization: A Retrospective on Project Daniel,”International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Vol. 22, No. 3., pp. 491-514. Recent related publications include:  “Understanding the `Correlation of Forces` in the Middle East: Israel’s Urgent Strategic Imperative,” TheIsrael Journal of Foreign Affairs, Vol. 4., No. 1, 2009, pp. 77 – 88;  “Israel, Iran and Project Daniel,” a Working Paper for the Ninth Annual Herzliya Conference on the Balance of Israel’s National Security and Resilience, Israel, February 2-4, 2009; “Israel’s Uncertain Strategic Future,” Parameters: U.S.  Army War College Quarterly, Spring 2007, pp. 37-54; and “Israel and the Bomb,” InternationalSecurity (Harvard), Summer 2004, pp. 175 – 180. Professor Beres is also the author of occasional opinion columns in such newspapers as The New York Times; The Washington Post; The Washington Times; Los Angeles Times; The Christian Science Monitor; USA Today; The Boston Globe; Chicago Tribune; Ha’aretz and The Jerusalem Post. He is also Strategic and Military Affairs analyst for The Jewish Press.

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “Palestine, Iran And Israel’s Nuclear Strategy: Critical Notes for an Essential Strategic Policy in Jerusalem (Part III)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ancient skull discovered Gush Etzion
Hikers Find Human Skull and Bones in Gush Etzion Cave
Latest Indepth Stories
matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

Masked Palestinian Authority Arabs hurl blocks at Israel Police during and after "worship" at Temple Mount mosque. (archive photo)

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

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

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/palestine-iran-and-israels-nuclear-strategy-critical-notes-for-an-essential-strategic-policy-in-jerusalem-part-iii/2010/11/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: