Israel's Strategy after the Iraq War

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Maj. Gen. Ya'akov Amidror - Israel has long feared the prospect of a Syrian-Iraqi coalition. In 1973, the last-minute entrance of Iraqi forces almost saved the Golan Heights for the Syrians. Removing the threat of an eastern coalition alters the entire Israeli position regarding a threat of war from the east. Unfortunately, there is no expectation of change on the Palestinian front as a result of the war. Palestinian terror can only be reduced by on-the-ground containment, IDF-style, by entering and controlling all areas that accommodate terror and its infrastructure. Israel's coerced adoption of the road map would severely compromise its achievements to date in its war against terrorism, enabling Arafat and the Palestinians to emerge as the big winners of the war in Iraq. Morally, I don't see how the Americans can extract Israeli payment for a Palestinian halt to terror. A forced adoption of the road map broadcasts to the Arabs that terror will be rewarded. Israel's efforts over the last two and a half years of war have planted the first seeds of change in Palestinian consciousness. Adoption of the road map could reverse all these gains, and Israel could find itself back in a situation in which the Palestinians are convinced that force is their ultimate tool. Hizballah has more than 12,000 Katyusha rockets and missiles that can reach all the way to Haifa. Israel will not live under such a threat. Ultimately, the war against Hizballah must be waged by Israel and not America. Israel must abide by the principle that guided it during its first years of independence: Israel must defend itself by itself. Syria is now the "superpower" of chemical weapons in the Middle East with hundreds of missiles, many of them with chemical warheads. Israel will have to do whatever is required in order to protect itself from Syrian and Iranian military capabilities. Maj. Gen. (res.) Ya'akov Amidror is former head of the IDF's research and assessment division, with special responsibility for preparing the National Intelligence Assessment.

2003-04-17 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive