For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Dispute on Iran between Israeli defense establishment and leadership? The bottom line.
Dr. Aaron Lerner..
24 July '12..
Technical note on the dispute on Iran between Israeli defense establishment and leadership
The Israeli defense establishment is no doubt a reliable source of information and estimates regarding the technical aspects of Israel’s military capabilities as well as the military capabilities of Israel’s enemies.
They know what equipment both sides have and how this equipment is deployed (and shielded).
And if given a set of assumptions as to how the actors will use their equipment in a given scenario, they can make reasonable assessments as to the outcome.
They can even “test” different Israeli plans to compare their outcomes.
The problem is that, at least as far as one can derive from the publicly available assessments, the Israeli defense establishment has a miserable record in coming up with a reasonable set of assumptions regarding the behavior of the actors.
And this has served to dangerously taint their recommendations.
A reminder: the very same Israeli defense establishment experts who have prepared recommendations regarding Iran only recently were recommending that Israel rush to hand over the Golan to President Assad.
They argued that Assad was a strong leader and that giving Assad the Golan would enhance stability. They fervently believed that there was no real security danger to Israel in retreating from the Golan because, the argument went, once Assad had the Golan he would never attack Israel since he would have no reason to.
Less than a year ago the Israeli defense establishment, as a fallback position to assure those who don’t share their religious belief that retreat from the Golan assures eternal peace, expressed confidence that the IDF would have more than enough time to respond to the movement of Syrian forces into the post-retreat Golan.
Today we have a situation in which Syrian troops are violating the demilitarized zone in the Golan Heights ostensibly to battle rebel forces. The UN observers confirmed the violation but nothing happened beyond some paperwork.
Imagine for a moment the nightmare we would be facing today if the Syrian army was pouring in troops to ostensibly fight rebels next to the Kinneret.
Imagine the nightmare of a rebel Syrian army deployed on the Golan.
There were similar assessment failures with regard to the Gaza Strip, with the Israeli defense establishment confident that the Mubarak regime would last forever.
Yes. People make mistakes.
It can be a learning experience.
But the folks in the Israeli Defense establishment who have pushed for retreat from the Golan, handing over security in the Gaza Strip to Egypt and earlier warmly backed every step of Oslo as well as the hasty retreat from Gaza (including the Philadelphi Corridor) have never appeared to look back.
Conclusion: The Israeli defense establishment has much to contribute to the development of policy and plans vis-à-vis Iran. But the ultimate Israeli decisions makers – the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Cabinet, etc., has to take great care to insure that policies and plans reflect an accurate assessment of how our enemies (and for that matter allies) can be expected to use their capabilities in the relevant scenarios.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"