Friday, August 11, 2006

Deterrence

Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Brig.-Gen. Doron Almog, who was head of the IDF's Southern Command from 2000 to 2003, expresses the view that the research and development efforts of the State of Israel must concentrate on devising missile defence systems that expand the present capability to include the interception of the majority of missiles launched at the country. The enemy's missile technology is likely to evolve during the next 10 years to a point where the whole of Israel will be vulnerable to missile attack.
Deterrence is closely linked to the operational abilities of the military and its weapons systems, as well as to the willingness to use them and to exact a very high price for the unrestrained rocket attacks being carried out against the State of Israel.

If Israel currently had arms capable of intercepting 90% of the rockets, and with the IAF attacking Hizbullah as it has been doing until now, there would be no need to send in ground forces and the entire debate we have witnessed over the offensive in South Lebanon would be irrelevant. In such a situation, Hizbullah would understand the ineffectiveness of its missile arsenal and would likely be reluctant to use it.

But in the absence of this type of weapons system, Israel has no choice but to gain deterrence and a decisive outcome through a combination of massive ground forces in south Lebanon supported by the air force and navy, and a more massive attack on Lebanon's infrastructures.

The collective memory of all those living in the Middle East - especially Iranians, Syrians and the Palestinians - must be seared by the sight of the terrible price that Lebanon is paying for the destruction caused to Israel during this war, to create a psychology of deterrence.
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