Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Advice to the State Department

My advice: encourage Israel to destroy the Hezbollah’s military capability. “Victory comes when the enemy's will to fight is broken by a specific defeat.”1 A decisive defeat of Hezbollah would be in the best interests of the US. Secondly, the US must not over-react to provocation, since Iran, Syria and Hezbollah have a disproportionately large youth cohort out of which terrorists spring. If the US can be patient, the radicals in this “youth bulge” will be killed or be too old for problem-causing. “[The Islamic youth bulge will] lose explosive power due to a general decline in the birthrate. “2

Israel can destroy enough of Hezbollah’s military capability, and cause enough suffering to civilians, to affect the resistance. Civilian casualties breed resistance to a point, but once the point has been crossed, civilians want peace more than anything else. Germany never destroyed England’s will during the battle of Britain; the US certainly destroyed Japan’s after the Nagasaki bombing. Enough suffering causes resistance to give way accommodation. In the current Gaza fight against Hamas, anger is directed toward Hamas for what they have wrought ; Hezbollah has denied they shot missiles into Israel, lest the “crazy” Israelis turn attention towards them.3

I wonder if there is anything that the US can do to "convince Riyadh to finally step up" in the context of asserting influence over Iran Syria and Hezbollah and why? Is Saudi Arabia the right choice for this role given the antipathy Iran has for Arab States? Might not Turkey, a non-Arab state that borders both Iran and Syria be a better choice?

The recent conflict in Gaza shows the value of the outstanding intelligence that Israel has gathered about the leaders of the movement. Israel has targeted the leadership cells, the rocket caches and the Iranian-trained “elite” units. Amassing voluminous, detailed intelligence and using it to kill the leadership, to diminish the terror rocket capability and to destroy Iranians and those they train seems like a pretty good op plan for going after Hezbollah.


1. Angelo Codevilla and Paul Seabury. War: Ends and Means. (Washington: Potomac Books, 2005), 94.

2. Gunnar Heinsohn. Population, Conquest and Terror in the 21st Century (Bremen: Universität Bremen, 2005), 10.

3. Dan Diker, “A Deterrent Restored?,” Powerlineblog, entry posted 9 January 2009, accessed 18 January 2009.