Skip to comments.Mowing the grass in Gaza
Posted on 07/23/2014 6:11:17 AM PDT by SJackson
Those who forlornly ask when is this going to end? and use the cliché term cycle of violence have psychological difficulties digesting the facts that there is no solution in sight. Gaza Israeli soldiers stand atop a tank at a staging area, near the border with the Gaza Strip Photo: REUTERS
The Israeli military offensive in Gaza reflects the assumption that Israel is in a protracted intractable conflict.
It is unlikely that Israel can purge Hamas from Palestinian society, nor is a political solution likely to be achieved.
Instead, Israel is acting in accordance with a mowing the grass strategy. After a period of military restraint, Israel is acting to severely punish Hamas for its aggressive behavior, and degrading its military capabilities aiming at achieving a period of quiet.
Hamas left Israels government no choice but to order the Israel Defense Force (IDF) to launch a land incursion.
Hamas refused to accept Israels government offer of calm for calm, rejected the Egyptian cease-fire proposal, and violated the humanitarian cease-fire initiated by the UN. It fired over 10 days more than 1,500 missiles towards towns and cities of Israel, hoping to kill as many as possible Israeli civilians. Moreover, it uses tunnels in the attempt to kill Israeli civilians and/or kidnap them.
Israels goal continues to be the establishment of a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety without constant indiscriminate terror, while striking a significant blow to Hamas terror infrastructure.
The Israeli government wisely has defined limited political and military goals for this offensive.
Israels current strategy against hostile non-state actors such as Hamas reflects the assumption that Israel finds itself in a protracted intractable conflict. The use of force in such a conflict is not intended to attain impossible political goals, but rather is a long-term strategy of attrition designed primarily to debilitate the enemy capabilities. Only after showing much restraint in its military responses does Israel act forcefully to destroy the capabilities of its foes as much as possible, hoping that occasional large-scale operations also have a temporary deterrent effect in order to create periods of quiet along Israels borders.
As the ground phase of Operation Protective Edge progresses, Israel must be realistic about what can be achieved.
Destroying the terror tunnels along the fence around Gaza is an attainable military goal. In the process terrorists can be killed and a part of the terrorist infrastructure demolished. The Israeli ground advance might create unrest within the Hamas organization, causing some of its military leadership to move around and make mistakes that could result in better intelligence and opportunities for targeted killings from the air.
An expansion of the ground operation might exact an even higher price from Hamas. Continuous shelling of Israel by Hamas may inevitably lead to Israels conquest of all of Gaza. Yet, the strategic calculus should always focus on cost-effectiveness.
Despite the calls from the political Right in Israel, the demise of Hamas rule in Gaza is not an attainable military objective. Hamas is well-rooted in Palestinian society, particularly in Gaza. A recent Pew poll shows 35 percent of the Palestinians view Hamas favorably, and in Gaza the level of support is always higher. Eradicating Hamas and the subsequent political engineering of Palestinian society is not something outsiders can do. Even if Hamas rule can be terminated, the alternatives are Israeli rule, the rule of more radical groups, or chaos.
None are good options.
Similarly, calls from the Israeli Left for reaching a political solution are totally unrealistic. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Salafist groups see Israel as a theological aberration, and despite reluctant acceptance of temporary cease-fires, reject any diplomatic course of action intended to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The fanatic commitment of these groups to a radical ideology and to a long-term strategy of violence turn the situation into an intractable conflict.
As the rounds of violence with Hamas continue, the frustration with lack of clear military decision or with the absence of a peaceful resolution is understandable.
Nevertheless, employing military force is useful in such limited wars. Hamas needs to be punished for its aggressive behavior and reminded of the cost it must pay for continuing the violence against Israel. A period of calm can be achieved by destroying capabilities that are hard and expensive to rebuild.
Buying time is a legitimate goal. Additionally, in the current strategic situation Hamas is isolated, making the rebuilding of its military assets a longer process.
Moreover, other actors in this Middle East neighborhood are watching, and they also need a clear reminder that aggression against Israel is costly. Inaction would be perceived as weakness, harming deterrence and inviting aggression.
Israels greatest achievement in this conflict so far was its missile defense system, which allows the home front to maintain a great deal of normalcy. Israel has also signaled determination by its readiness for ground operations, despite the potential casualties.
Those who forlornly ask when is this going to end? and use the cliché term cycle of violence have psychological difficulties digesting the facts that there is no solution in sight and that the violent struggle against Hamas is not going to end anytime soon (not as long as the enemys basic ideological motivations remain intact). But still, important periods of quiet are attainable via military action, and this is what explains Israels current offensive.
The Israeli approach described here is substantively different from current Western strategic thinking on dealing with non-state military challenges.
Western thinking is solution-oriented.
This explains part of the lack of understanding in the West for what Israel is doing.
Against an implacable, well-entrenched, non-state enemy like the Hamas, Israel simply needs to mow the grass once in a while to degrade the enemys capabilities. A war of attrition against Hamas is probably Israels fate for the long term. Keeping the enemy off balance and reducing its capabilities requires Israeli military readiness and a willingness to use force intermittently, while maintaining a healthy and resilient Israeli home front despite the protracted conflict.
This is a mistake.
Hamas is the elected government of at least Gaza. As such, they should be DESTROYED, their land taken, and the people who elected them to commit genocide against Jews should be permanently displaced to the wind.
Israel should take the dirt of Gaza and eject it's genocidal inhabitants.
There is no other permanent fix.
Such a “permanent fix” would result in a global conflagration against Israel. No. The only way to stop the maniacal homocidal policy of Islamicists is to reduce their ability to wage terror. Bush achieved this in large measure.
Tragically Obama, himself an Islamicist, has reversed those gains and created a wilder, more violent world.
Ridding our nation of the plague of liberal socialism with all its attendant insanity is a vital step toward substantially reducing the ability of the mad Muslims to create chaos.
I wonder why Israel just doesn’t turn off all the power to Gaza. They can’t survive long with just standby diesel sets..not enough fuel. This would be an immense hardship on the people, but maybe the people would rise up against Hamas.
“Reduce their ability” <> “permanent”.
Israel prospers while the Gaza Strip festers. Israel invests in their own infrastructure and making it better for their people. Hamas on the other hand invests in weapons to attack Israel while not only leaving their people to live in squalor but using them as shields for their terroristic activities. One (Israel) is civilized while the other (Hamas) is barbaric.
Sometimes the yard is just too far gone and impossible to improve without application of a broad spectrum herbicide and then tilling and replanting good seed.
It IS going to happen.
The BOOK says so...
hamas deserves death...theirs. Go Israel!
...”the people who elected them to commit genocide against Jews should be permanently displaced to the wind. “
This has long been a key issue in the conflict - who will accept or govern the Arab population of the West Bank and Gaza? When their refugees went to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, the PLO attempted to take over their host countries, resulting in harsh repression and the permanent destabilization of Lebanon. The Arab bloc has long worked to keep Palestinians stateless as a weapon against Israel, with an unique refugee status with the UN.
They have shown that they can not, or will not govern themselves responsibly. Israel cannot grant them citizenship, without being voted out of power and having Jews expelled/killed.
In Gaza, Israel could pursue a strategy of “mowing the grass” until their enemies finally figure out how to defeat them, or they could pursue one of these options:
1. Israeli rule of Gaza. Painful, expensive, but effective.
2. Egyptian rule of Gaza, or acceptance of large numbers of refugees. Great if they would take them, but not likely without a mountain of money.
3. Regime change in Gaza. Probably only Fatah could replace Hamas in the near term, if Hamas is first defeated in detail, and Fatah is supported strongly by Israel and Egypt with money and in violently rooting out Hamas over the course of the next months and years. Hamas has taking over most of the economy, so they must be rooted out racket by racket.