Disproportionate Force: Israel's Concept of Response in Light of the Second Lebanon War

[Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University] Col. (res.) Gabriel Siboni - Now, more than two years after the Second Lebanon War, Israel faces two major challenges. The first is how to prevent being dragged into an ongoing dynamic of attrition on the northern border similar to what developed along the border with Gaza. The second is determining the IDF's response to a large-scale conflict both in the north and in Gaza. These two challenges can be overcome by adopting the principle of a disproportionate strike against the enemy's weak points as a primary war effort, and operations to disable the enemy's missile launching capabilities as a secondary war effort. With an outbreak of hostilities, the IDF will need to act immediately, decisively, and with force that is disproportionate to the enemy's actions and the threat it poses. Punishment must be aimed at decision-makers and the power elite. In Syria, punishment should clearly be aimed at the Syrian military, the Syrian regime, and the Syrian state structure. In Lebanon, attacks should both aim at Hizbullah's military capabilities and target economic interests and the centers of civilian power. The closer the relationship between Hizbullah and the Lebanese government, the more the elements of the Lebanese state infrastructure should be targeted. Such a response will create a lasting memory among Syrian and Lebanese decision-makers, thereby increasing Israeli deterrence and reducing the likelihood of hostilities against Israel for an extended period. The writer is a Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies.

2008-10-03 01:00:00

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