Overwhelming Force and Proportionality

[Ynet News] Uzi Arad - An established principle has been that the use of force, once its necessity was determined, should be implemented through a concentration of overwhelming force. While serving as Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Colin Powell adopted the Powell Doctrine, establishing the principle of overwhelming force as a necessary condition for waging war. Powell described this strategy as used against the Iraqi army in 1991: "First we're going to cut it off, then we're going to kill it." It is evident that this, in its simplest form, should be Israel's strategy against Hizballah. For limited objectives, proportionality may suffice. But when the strategic objectives are far-reaching, as those of the current campaign are, proportionality will defeat its purpose. The removal of Hizballah's rocket threat is not achievable through proportionality or in installments. It is achievable only through a combination of all military actions necessary to destroy the capabilities and infrastructures, including the command system, of the enemy. The entire rationale of deterrence rests on a disproportionate response. Israel must create a situation whereby no residual rocket threat capability by Hizballah remains. Any delegation of the task not completed by Israel to a multi-national force may prove to be a pipe dream. The fate of Hamas in Gaza must be the fate of Hizballah in Lebanon. The writer is the Founding Head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy of the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.

2006-08-09 01:00:00

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