web analytics
May 27, 2015 / 9 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


War, Terror And Revolution: Israel’s Special Vulnerability to Chaos (Part II)


Beres-Louis-Rene

              For Israel, the prime inheritor of Genesis, an expanding global chaos portends a very unusual, and also ironic, kind of fragility. A relentlessly beleaguered microstate, and always the individual Jew writ large, Israel could become the principal victim of international disorder. In view of the exceptionally far-reaching interrelatedness of all world politics, this could be true even if the actual precipitating events of war and terror would occur elsewhere.
            In a strange and paradoxical symmetry, global chaos may reveal both sense and form.  Generated by explosions of mega-war and mega-terror, disintegrations of world authority could still have a discernible shape.
             How, precisely, should this shape, this particular “geometry” of chaos, be deciphered and understood by Israel? As a corollary and utterly vital question, Israel’s leaders must also inquire: “How, exactly, shall we deal with potentially irrational nuclear adversaries, both state and terrorist groups?”
            The world, like the individual nation-states that comprise it, is best understood as a system.  What happens in any one part of this system, therefore, always affects what happens in some or all of the other parts.  When global deterioration is marked, and begins to spread from one country to another, the effects can undermine international stability in general.  When deterioration is sudden and catastrophic, as it would be following the onset of unconventional war and/or unconventional terrorism, the unraveling effects could also be immediate and overwhelming.
            The State of Israel, a system of interdependent and interpenetrating parts like every other state, exists precariously in a larger world system.  Aware that an incremental collapse of world authority structures will, in one way or another, impact its (few) friends as well as its (many) enemies, leaders of the Jewish state must now advance informed expectations of collapse (social scientists would call these expectations “plausible scenarios”)  in order to prepare suitable forms of response.  Finally, recognizing that rapid and far-reaching global collapse could even spawn a more or less complete return to “everyone for himself” in world politics, what the philosopher Thomas Hobbes called a “war of all against all,” Israel’s leaders must now consider even how they should respond to possible life in a global “state of nature.”
             Such consideration will be all the more critical to the extent that the triggering mechanism of collapse would originate within the Middle East, from massive chemical, biological and, in the future, even nuclear attacks, against Israel.
            Chaotic disintegration of the world system, whether slow and incremental, or sudden and catastrophic, will dramatically impact the Israeli system.  In the clearest manifestation of this impact, Israel will have to orient its military planning and doctrine to a variety of worst-case possibilities, focusing much more on the whole range of self-help security options than on traditional forms of cooperative alliance guarantees. Within the imperiled country, any diplomatic processes still premised on outdated assumptions of reason and rationality would have to be curtailed in recognition of now fully apparent regional limits to civilization.
            Israel’s judgments about a “Two-State Solution” will soon need to be made in consequence of anticipated world-system changes.  From the standpoint of Israel’s overall security, such a reorientation of planning, from anticipations of largely separate and unrelated threats to presumptions of interrelated dangers, could provide an essential framework for facing the increasingly uncertain future.  The conceptual or philosophic origin of this framework would be a prior Israeli government willingness to extract pertinent policy implications from the emerging geometry of chaos.
             There is also an important “feedback loop” here. Israel’s particular reactions, as a system within a system, to growing expressions of worldwide chaos, will themselves impact these expressions.  Should Israel’s leaders react to unstoppable disorder by hardening their commitment to all relevant forms of self-reliance, including appropriate and lawful resorts to preemptive military force, Israel’s enemies would surely respond, individually or collectively, in similarly self-reliant ways.
            What are these ways?  How, exactly, should Israel respond to such responses?  These are primary dialectical questions that should now be raised by Israel’s most capable strategic planners. It is, therefore, now time for these planners to consider the crucial feedback implications of creation in reverse.
            By likening both the world as a whole, and their own mini-state in particular, to the biological concept of system, Israel’s leadership could learn, before it is too late, that states die not only because of a direct, mortal blow, but also in reaction to a series of distinctly less than mortal blows.  This is because, after a time, even multiple “minor” insults to an organism can produce a breakdown of “immunities” that pave the way for life-endangering “pathogens.”  Taken by itself, any one such insult; e.g., a local infection, an injury, an impediment to vision or hearing or memory, will not cause death.  But, cumulatively, over time, these attacks can be fatal, either by affecting the organism’s overall will to live, and/or by making it possible for a “major insult” to take place without any adequate defense.
            Taken by themselves, Israel’s intermittent and still-planned surrenders of land for nothing, its probable and continuing reluctance to accept certain indispensable preemption options, and its misdirected adherence to always-asymmetrical peace agreements may not bring about national disappearance. Taken together, however, these insults, occurring, as they do, within a far broader worldwide pattern of escalating chaos, could have a decisively weakening effect on the whole Israeli organism.  Whether the principal injurious effect here would be one that impairs the Jewish State’s commitment to endure, or one that would actually open Israel to a devastating missile attack, or to a calamitous act of terror, is presently still unclear.

            What is already clear is that Israel’s leaders must now ask forthrightly: What are the true sense and form of chaos in the world system, and exactly how should this discoverable geometry of chaos affect the Jewish state’s comprehensive national survival strategy?

 

              LOUIS RENÉ BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law. In Israel, he has been involved with national security, military and intelligence matters for almost forty years. Professor Beres was born in Zürich, Switzerland, on August 31, 1945. He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

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.

No Responses to “War, Terror And Revolution: Israel’s Special Vulnerability to Chaos (Part II)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat being carried in a rally last winter.
PLO Blows Up Netanyahu’s ‘Peace Process’ Renewal
Latest Indepth Stories
Ayelet Shaked

Netanyahu so disdains Shaked’s appointment he completely ignored her after the swearing-in ceremony

Tel Aviv University Insignia

Ronen Shamir’s just the latest tenured Leftist convicted of sexual misconduct with his own student

The New York Times

NY Times precious front page ink is only reserved for portrayals of Israel as the aggressor.

Mendlowitz-052215-Ruchie

Although I loved law school, I doubted myself: Who would come to me, a chassidish woman lawyer?

American Jews who go gaga for Obama are first and foremost “Liberals of the Mosaic Persuasion”

“Illinois is the first state to take concrete, legally binding action against the BDS campaign”

Many books have supported the preferability- not to be confused with desirability- of the status quo

Consider the Pope’s desperation, reading daily reports of the slaughter of Christians by Muslims

The contrast between a Dem pretending to love Israel & a Dem who truly loves Israel is CRYSTAL CLEAR

Pentecost, derived from the Greek word for 50, is celebrated 50 days after Easter.

U.S and European demands for the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank is world hypocrisy.

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai

20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse

Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

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/war-terror-and-revolution-israels-special-vulnerability-to-chaos-part-ii/2011/08/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: