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Trying to make sense of a meshuga planet

Do military solutions work?

This could sound like a strawman argument, but these days it seems fashionable to insist that all problems can be solved through “talk”.

Has force worked for Israel? by Bruce Jentleson (MESH)


Is it the case that the lessons of the last 10-15 years are that force has worked, both as compellence and deterrence, and diplomacy has not?

1. The Gaza war was intended to impose substantial costs on Hamas and to deter further attacks on Israel. It achieved both; e.g., attacks from Gaza are down since the war.
2. The same regarding Hezbollah and the 2006 Lebanon war: Look at the northern front and how quiet Hezbollah has been, and how weakened the recent elections showed it to be in Lebanese politics.
3. Oslo didn’t work; Camp David 2000 was another instance of the Palestinians never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity; unilateral withdrawals, both Barak in Lebanon and Sharon in Gaza, gave land but didn’t bring pace; plus the recent stories swirling about Olmert ostensibly offering even concessions on Jerusalem. Arafat was an essentialist; his successors may have more will but lack capacity; Hamas is ideological.
4. The status quo is not great for Israel, but it’s tolerable. Risk aversion, both security and politics, says keep relying on military power. Be sufficiently willing to negotiate to check off that box for the United States and the international community but not much more. Don’t antagonize the political coalition on which your power (read Netanyahu’s) depends.

Read the entire article, it is not as simplistic as this short excerpt and offers an alternative analysis and interesting comments.

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July 13, 2009 Posted by | Arab-Israeli Conflict | | Leave a comment