To meet its primary deterrence objective—deterrence of enemy first-strikes—Israel must seek and achieve a visible second-strike capability with the ability to target approximately 15 enemy cities. Ranges should encompass cities in Libya and Iran,with nuclear bomb yields at levels sufficient to fully compromise the aggressor’s viability as a functioning state. By utilizing counter-value-targeted warheads for maximum destruction, Israel could achieve the optimal deterrent effect, thereby neutralizing the overall asymmetry between any enemy state and the State of Israel. Enemy targets would be selected with the understanding that their destruction would promptly force the aggressor to cease all nuclear, biological, and/or chemical exchanges.
Israel’s Strategic Future is founded on the presumption that current threats of war, terrorism and genocide derive from a very clear “clash of civilizations,” and not merely from narrow geo-strategic differences. Both Israel and the United States are unambiguously in the cross-hairs of a worldwide Islamic “jihad” that is fundamentally cultural and theological in nature, and that will not concede an inch to the conventional norms of “coexistence” or “peaceful settlement.” This threat to unbelievers” is less than comforting to Jerusalem andWashington; however, it is a threat that must be acknowledged and dealt with intelligently.
“Israel’s Uncertain Strategic Future” by Louis René Beres (from Parameters)
23 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”
I really think this is all the setup to Revelation. I never knew just how the world would get to that state.. but after the events of the past two years, I can see the road.
It’s depressing and exhilerating at the same time.
Of course, what is more likely is that those times are still far off in the future and it will just seem like the end of the world but, worse, it wont be
Given the autocratic nature of its enemies, I think Israel really only has to go for a decapitation strike. If they simply kill off the leadership or seriously damage their mechanism for internal control, they can effectively cripple any regime that challenges them. Most of the governments of the Islamic nations threatening them have no natural legitimacy. Given the chance, internal actors will spark rebellion and civil war if the central authority fails.
I cant understand why we haven’t attacked Iran by now. This troubles me more than anything. I’m fairly certain Iran and NK are holding hands in this game and that very bad secret deals have already been made.
Vladimir Lebedko, a Soviet submarine commander (who later became admiral) conducted missions off the coast of the US, gathering navigational data for a possible nuclear strike on Washington:
“During the patrol I would imagine Washington (the city was not far from us) in the evening where people were getting back home from work or going out, people were geoing to the theaters or concerts. Life was in its full swing and nobody even thought that there was a stealthy submarine just to the east collecting data for a missile launch.”
While reading this passage a couple of days ago, I wondered: Would an Iranian missile battery commander, preparing for a nuclear strike against Israel, Europe, or the US, be likely to think about the humanity of his targets as Lebedko did?
Of course, what really matters is less the attitude of the immediate commander than of the supreme leadership. As Lebedko went on to say:
“Nevertheless, had I received an order to launch the missiles, no nerve or muscle of mine would have shaken and I would have done it.”
It is very dangerous to believe that because deterrence worked for decades against the Soviets that it would also work reliably against the Iranian regime. A leader who believes with absolute certainty that military aggression will be rewarded in the afterlife is less likely to be concerned about national and personal survival in this world. And dialectical materialism posited a historical process that would inevitably lead to a Communist triumph, making it unnecessary and undesirable to bring history to an end. Also, the extreme shrillness of opposition voices in America today could easily lead an enemy leader to conclude that threats of nuclear retaliation on our part are empty.
> could easily lead an enemy leader to conclude that threats of nuclear retaliation on our part are empty
I’ve come to that conclusion a long time ago.
I thought that it’s conventional wisdom that Israel has nuclear weapons on missile subs. Doesn’t this give them the second strike capability required?
From what I read, Israel has at least three submarines with nuclear missile capibility, purchased from Germany in the early 2000s or the 1990s
Are there really 15 “enemy” cities among Israels enemies that matter, counter-value wise? After a few capitals it would seem to fall off very fast.
Read the whole article. Israel has no nuke-armed subs.
Israel is not relying on deterrance, but is actively considering preemption options.
Yes, there are 15-20 enemy cities Israel can target between and inclusive of Libya and Iran.
Lex: Yes, I realize they have to be preemptive since obviously they can’t “absbord” a first strike. I’ll have to read your doc. no time tongiht.
Warn the Arab states that an attack of large scale upon any Israeli city will result in a bombing of Mecca.
Not so sure about this. Israels nuclear capability has been decidedly ambiguous with no official “we’ve got the nukes” assertion. By creating and effectively “marketing” a nuclear 2nd strike strategy in light of current events (Iran’s nuke prof) I think Israel might well take a few steps back as surrounding states (especially the possible “target” states) point to “reason #2” (after Iran) that they need a nuke program. Remember the give/take phenomena of the cold war promised near universal annihilation of both aggressors. An even keel, if you will. While this approach mitigates nation-state aggression in the short term (neither Hezbollah or Hamas will likely be deterred) it also nearly promises an acceleration of nuke prof beyond that of the “Shia crescent” threat throughout the Sunni middle east.
Subadei, I think the Israelis are not too worried about Arabs getting nukes. If Israel releases a second strike, they are already dead. What will the Arabs do with their nukes if, say, Iran has already destroyed Israel, bomb the craters? Israel will deter them all for the cost of deterring any one of them. And if any of them are not deterrable, they will get nukes as soon as they can, anyway. But the Israelis are bargaining, I think correctly, that the governments in the region are rational actors when it comes to avoiding getting annihilated by Israeil nukes.
Also, do read the article. It is a summary of an official report prepared for the Israeli government. This is probably a foreshadowing of a change in official policy.
Lex: Do you include Iran in this:
” But the Israelis are bargaining, I think correctly, that the governments in the region are rational actors when it comes to avoiding getting annihilated by Israeil nukes”
The founder of the Islamic Republic has said:
“We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world. ”
Speech in Qom 1980
The true brilliance of Israel’s current military strategy is the efficiency and thoroughness with which it robs moderate Islam of political oxygen and fans the flames of radicalism.
The right-wing faction in Israel demonstrates daily that it will only engage radical Islam. Moderate Islamic leaders are ignored, undermined and/or lumped together with the most violent extremists, as if no such distinctions exist.
That makes it easier for “Greater Israel” to keep the relationship on a highly militarized basis, where it has a clear advantage. The moment the relationship becomes subject to geopolitics, diplomacy and politics, “Greater Israel” moves from a massive military advantage to a gaping political and diplomatic deficit.
There is no “Moderate Islam”. There are various degrees of apostate Muslims but no Moderate Islam
And besides, aren’t we told over and over, the PA is a Secular gov’t. Why would Islam need to be dealt wtih?
And the references to Greater Israel is devoid of reality.
James, read the article. Print it out. It is very detailed and my comments cannot include all the detail. The Israelis are preparing both paths, preemption and deterrance. The preemption path is directed mostly at the Iranians. Despite their rhetoric, they are probably deterrable. Mao said literally psychotic things during the 1960s when he got nukes, but he never used them. Also, there are probably non-suicidal people in the Iranian leadership who would prevent a suicidal attack on Israel. But, maybe not. The article assumes that the Iranians are serious when they threaten genocide, that they actually do want to kill all the Jews in Israel, which is realistic. The article assumes that Israel may in fact face a “suicide state” at some point.
Clive has told us that Israel has cleverly manipulated the Muslim world into a rage of hostility against it as a matter of policy, and that there are all kinds of would-be moderate Muslims whom the Israelis are desperate to keep from coming to power. Clive is delusional.
Interesting, if a bit repetitive.
I should like to have seen more on proposals for how Israel should procure an assured second strike capability.
No Lexington, Clive has told you that Israel’s right wing and its American supporters have staked out interests that compel it to engage Islamic radicals to the exclusion of moderates. (James Pacella’s state of naked denial offers a ready example of my point.)
Hostility toward Greater Israel is not limited to radical Islam. Moderate Israelis join Europeans, Americans, Africans, Japanese, Chinese–virtually the entire moderate world–in hostility toward the occupation of Palestine by Israel.
When discussing Israel, it’s important to draw a distinction between Greater Israel and the nation itself. International law and a broad global consensus denies Greater Israel’s right to exist, while confirming Israel’s right to exist within its internationally recognized borders.
Unfortunately, much of the discussion begins with blurring this distinction, so that hostility toward Greater Israel is misprepresented as hostility toward Israel itself.
So it is if someone says Greater Israel should not exist, they are dismissed as opposing Israel’s right to exist–handy as cheap rhetoric for online argument, but toxic to understanding of what’s really at stake.
Greater Israel only exists in the mind of paranoid Arabists.
“…it’s important to draw a distinction between Greater Israel and the nation itself.”
You are slicing the salami pretty thin, Clive. The PLO, for example, calls all of Israel their country and they want it back. The Iranian leadership of today want the whole place wiped out.
The paper I linked to, which you should look at, talks about the actual government and military of Israel and what they are planning to do to deter or respond to a WMD attack. The whole business about some “Greater Israel” is off topic.
This part of the report (of what I have read so far) is the part that makes me dred the future
“Facing a growing [worldwide] anarchy”
The report was interesting.
What I got out of was “We’re f’ed”
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