Beyond the Cusp

March 21, 2018

Commentary on the Twin Perils, Iran and Palestine

 

We recently read Professor Louis René Beres’s article Twin perils for Israel: Iranian nuclear weapons and “Palestine” and thought perhaps we might discuss what was presented. Professor Beres wrote in his normal manner with deep thought and high reference to numerous experts and historical exposes on warfare and other pertinent subjects. There was also the almost obligatory reference to the difference between the principal adversaries and whether they are presumably rational, irrational, or mad. We figured we would relate that which we were able to discern from the article interspersed with our own ideas on this subject. We hope we can do Professor Beres, his article and thoughts justice.

 

One of the main ideas we caught was Israeli planners in the IDF, intelligence and political leadership need to weigh the threats collectively and assign the sum and realize that their collective threat could far surpass their individual parts. Quite true just as engaging two people in a fight is far more difficult than taking each one at a time on separate days, or preferably weeks. Three, four or even more starts to reach into the multiple risks and more can reach exponential level of additional risks. Professor Beres is knowledgeable and has very deep and good counsel with much of it aimed at the leadership of the IDF and intelligence community. This was where we started to take a diverging path from the good professor. Where his advice may well be very wise and even sagely, whether or not it would be of use to the current IDF command could be debated. If we have judged these leaders fairly, few of them came from infantry combat units and they are too often subjected to second-guessing by legal teams of lawyers well versed in the international rules of warfare. These legal analysts strictly interpret these guidelines and follow them to the very last letter of the law and when in doubt, they countermand orders preventing actions which could end conflicts faster and even potentially prevent future conflicts. Then there have been instances where the Israeli Supreme Court has countermanded orders given during times of war. With such strictly enforced guidelines and oversight of their every act and order, it is a wonder that the IDF manages to operate at all. The IDF is cast by military experts of the Western World, as being the most moral army in the world setting a standard well beyond what other militaries even envisage attaining in their conflicts. Below is a presentation by Colonel Richard Kemp who gave this lecture at MIFF Forum in Stavanger September 24, 2016. Colonel Kemp has given testimonies before the Human Right Commission as well as the General Assembly of the United Nations. His record with the British military in Special Forces and as a Unit on through Brigade Commander in Afghanistan and Iraq makes his testimony both valid and given from the position of an expert.

 

 

Because of the restrictions imposed by legal and moral restraints, the IDF often is prevented from taking some of the exact precautions prescribed by Professor Beres. Still, the coming predicaments which Israel might be facing are exactly what Professor Beres has postulated. Even though, perhaps it is time to examine the perils of the article. Fortunately, we hopefully will never realize one-half of the presumed threat, the State of Palestine. It is to be hoped and prayed for that even the most leftist liberal leadership have finally realized that an independent Palestinian State would be tantamount to suicide for Israel. Gaza and Southern Lebanon have proven beyond any further doubt that any lands surrendered by Israel immediately, or soon thereafter, become terrorist cesspools used to launch attacks through rockets or tunnels into Israel. There is but one question remaining to finish the currently existing puzzle, where will Trump position himself on the Israeli-Arab fourteen-hundred-year on again off again and finally on again conflict. The recent March 13 meeting in the White House with twenty nations including many Sunni Arab countries and Israel may have much to tell and potential effect on where Trump comes to rest. With the United Nations, European Union, numerous amongst the European nations, Qatar, the United States National Security Council (NSC) staff and the Department of State all having input while it is quite probable that President Trump has only requested a report and had not attended the entire meeting leaving the particulars along with the fighting, arguing, disputing, lying, abuses, ridicules, insults and general ruckus which was sure to break out, and that all before the Israeli representatives even spoke a word. There was a single bright spot in the White House confab, the PLO and Mahmoud Abbas rejected the invitation declaring President Trump unfit and far too partial to be a fair moderator between the Palestinians and Israel. Why not double down once more Mahmoud and really get Trump to hate you. Please, do keep it up.

 

As long as Israel retains military control and political ambiguity on the future of Judea and Samaria, then the threats from those areas will be hopefully mitigated. Should Israel do what is wise and annex the areas of Judea and Samaria and exile the PLO and leadership of both the Palestinian Authority and their security forces thus the Arabs being permitted to decide to sell their holdings and leave to start their lives over elsewhere, research has shown that anywhere from one-third to at least half of them would take advantage of such an opportunity. If Israel were to offer them a bonus to relocate, as they are the illegal immigrants, the estimates rise to two-thirds to three-quarters. The remainder could then be offered to remain as resident aliens for as long as they obey Israeli laws and should they or any member of their family participate in terrorism, they should understand that the entire family would be immediately deported. Once this has been made clear in as many languages as necessary, the remaining Palestinian residents should be given a final opportunity to take the financial offer to relocate. As far as Gaza, estimates have placed the estimated numbers of those desiring to relocate at seventy-five percent who also claim the only reason they remain is due to the threats made by Hamas should they attempt to leave. Apparently, the majority of the Arabs residing under the semiautonomous rule of the Palestinian Authority and even higher numbers residing under the direct rule of Hamas desire to restart their lives, most likely returning to their original home country where they have family and friends as well as a stronger governance which prefers caring for the people rather than spending the vast majority of funds to attack Israel bringing only more misery upon their people.

 

That leaves Iran which Professor Beres claims will easily become a nuclear power soon after the ten years agreement President Obama made with Iran. President Obama agreed to a ten year agreement, a Hudna, rather than a longer treaty potentially pushing Iran’s program theoretically even further into the future. Now, there are certain precepts in a Hudna which bare mention at this time. The Islamic side of such an agreement is required to live by the terms unless they feel their position is stronger than their enemy and thus they then break the Hudna and resume their hostilities. We firmly believed that the Iranians had atomic weapons which could probably be placed into warheads even before the negotiations had begun. There is even a fairly decent probability that Iran had miniaturized thermonuclear warheads capable of being placed atop missiles. Iran also had numerous different missiles fully capable of reaching Israel and beyond (see map below). The Iranians were probably stalling the nuclear agreement by extending negotiations as they produced more and more warheads before they would be required to stop production for a period of time. The actual agreement that President Obama likely reached with Iran was they would not use their nuclear arsenal until a set period, probably two to three years after he had vacated the White House. In this means, it would likely be his successor who would be blamed for any nuclear weapons use by Iran. There may have even been a sub-clause where Iran would wait for the next President had Hillary Clinton won the election. This will likely be another item blamed on Trump and the American deplorables who elected him, at least on social media, that is. Professor Beres is completely right when listing Iran as a great peril. They are already such if we are even partially correct. Even if they have not perfected nuclear weapons, a highly doubtful concept as they have very intelligent and well-trained and highly educated physicists and nuclear scientists and have been running several levels of centrifuges for quite some time before the treaty was reached, plenty sufficient to produce weapons of any sort they choose. But the world really does not care if Iran were to fire missiles at Israel regardless of the warheads. But what if Iran chose a different target than Israel, how much would the world care then?

 

Ranges of Iranian Missiles

Ranges of Iranian Missiles

 

The real problem is that Iran has others they also desire to subjugate other than Israel, who they desire to utterly destroy. Iran also has a great degree of hatred for Saudi Arabia, the Sunni giant in the Iranian mindset. Iran has all but encircled Saudi Arabia much as they are close to doing to Israel. For Israel they only need Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, another reason Israel cannot allow a Palestinian State as Iran would become their new best friend and place troops and weapons at their command to use against Israel as part of a concerted effort which would include Hamas in Gaza, Hezballah in Lebanon and Syria with IRGC troops engaging from the Golan Heights. With Saudi Arabia, they have Iraq, Qatar, Yemen and would probably also like to add Jordan, Kuwait, UAE and Oman to go with Qatar which could be a staging area for Iranian forward troops. The Iranians probably would prefer to take out Saudi Arabia before Israel simply because tactics dictate taking the weaker target out first, and even more so when it would provide staging areas and additional resources, such as captured weapons systems. Saudi Arabia has airbases in the northwest which have a close proximity to the Israeli border and would also be very useful should Iran desire taking out Egypt later on. The real problem which Professor Beres never did get to cover is the eventual intentions of Iran in the longest term. Iran has an initial desire to become the leader of all Islam and making Shia Islam the predominant form in the world through defeating the leaders of the most prominent Sunni countries which include Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan for starters. They already have a fair amount of control in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once they have conquered the Muslim World, their next target is the rest of the world starting with Europe. Iran also has a visceral desire to strike Russia but that will wait until after Russia has provided them the backing they need to take over the Muslim world and then Europe, then Iran will likely turn their attention to Russia. Where would Israel fit into their schedule, the secret for Israel is to prevent the first set of targets such that Iran never reaches the point where Israel is the next target. This may have been in the back of Professor Beres mind in writing his critique.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Advertisements

Blog at WordPress.com.