Can Hamas and Hizbullah Be Effectively Deterred?

(Jerusalem Post) Yaakov Lappin interviews Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh - Israel's enemies care only for their own physical survival. Hence, to deter Hamas and Hizbullah from attacking Israel, Jerusalem has to make it clear it is prepared to target their leadership, their senior command level, and to systematically eliminate their military capabilities, former IDF deputy chief of staff Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yair Naveh said on March 23. If deterrence breaks down, Israel can influence the conduct of its enemies by taking precisely those steps. "What is deterrence? It's when the fear of harm by the other side is so big that the fear removes their desire to realize their interests to escalate." Referring to Israel's conflict with Hamas last summer, he said, "There was a leak from the cabinet that said Israel had no desire to defeat Hamas....If you tell someone you will not threaten his survival, from that moment he has no fear for the future and no restraint regarding a direct conflict....The moment Hamas' survival was not under threat, it was not concerned with how many casualties it sustained, or how many it inflicted on us." Ultimately, Naveh said, factors that led Hamas to agree to a truce included reaching a critically low supply of rockets, and the solving of an internal feud between Hamas in Gaza and Khaled Mashaal, head of the organization's overseas branch. Naveh is disturbed by Tehran's recent actions. "In a few years we might...see Iranian brigades in Syria and to the east, in Iraq, on the Jordanian border." Moreover, Iran has reached the status of a nuclear breakout state. "It has the deterrence of a nuclear state. If it is unhappy with someone, within a year it goes nuclear. [Other states] will not want to anger them - they could reactivate their nuclear program; that level of threat is not far below one posed by a nuclear country."

2015-04-02 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive