ATTRITION, ANNIHILATION AND THE END OF ISRAEL

Strategic Reflections on Hizbullah, Hamas and the End of the Third Temple
By Louis Rene Beres

Military analysts customarily distinguish between wars of attrition and wars of annihilation. Yet, such wars need not be mutually exclusive; they can be complementary parts of a single belligerent strategy. So it is today with respect to present and future aggression against the Jewish State by Israel's multiple Islamic enemies.

Consider Iran and Syria. While these enemy states prepare patiently for an eventual unconventional assault upon Israel, they first weaken the Zionist "cancer" incrementally, bit-by-bit, by sustaining the Hizbullah in south Lebanon. As for the PLO, soon to become a full-fledged enemy state of Palestine, it works hand-in-hand with Hamas and other terrorists (including Hizbullah), assisting in breaking down Israeli will and preoccupying Israel Defense Force (IDF) attention. Once the Peace Process has "succeeded," Palestine - in concert with Iran and Syria among others - will assuredly prepare to shift military orientation from a strategy of attrition to one of annihilation.

What about Egypt and the Gulf States? Because these Islamic countries are not generally considered authentic enemies of Israel, certainly not by the United States, they are now poised to buy $10 billion in arms from Washington. All of these states are currently aiding, to a greater or lesser extent, one or more of the several different Islamic terror groups now operating against Israel. When these groups have done with their attrition work on Israeli targets, such "peaceful" sponsor states can be expected to join enthusiastically in the Final Battle. For their $10 billion in newly-purchased American arms, here is what the pertinent Arab countries will receive:

Egypt, for its expenditure of one billion dollars, will get 21 F16 jet fighters; improvements of existing F16s so that they can shoot advanced laser guided missiles; three frigates to improve Egypt's capacity for anti-submarine warfare; 24 advanced torpedoes; 1000 "HELLFIRE" missiles for use with Apache helicopters; 20 sea-to-sea "HARPOON" missiles; 180 "HAWK" anti-aircraft missiles; 8500 anti-tank TOW missiles; improvements for HAWK missiles; 400 armored carriers; 350 terrain vehicles and 31 M-1 tanks.

Saudi Arabia will spend $3 billion for 3 ORION observer planes; 12 helicopters; 2 frigates; 300 advanced air-to-air SIDEWINDER M missiles; improvements to their AWACS planes and HAWK Missiles; 14,000 bombs for the Air Force; 12,500 night vision instruments; etc, etc. The United Arab Emirates will buy 80 F15 or F16 fighter jets; the advanced weapon systems to go with these jets (including 100 long distance air-to-air AMRAM missiles); 500 anti-radar missiles; 800 bombs; 50 torpedoes; 8 HARPOON missiles; 2 radar warning systems; and two advanced missile launchers. Kuwait will purchase $1 billion worth of advanced weapons, including 16 Apache helicopters.

Israel does not face a random set of discrete and wholly separate military threats. Rather, there now exists a general threat environment within which discrete threat components fit. Presently, these components are comprised of surrogate war and direct war, of ongoing low-intensity conflict fought by proxy, and future high-intensity warfare - possibly chemical, biological or nuclear - to be fought by enemy states. Recognizing the synergies between these components, Israel's state and nonstate adversaries have learned that attrition is the optimal staging ground for eventual annihilation of the Jewish State.

In all world politics, but especially in the Middle East, we are present at the gradual unveiling of a secret, but the nucleus of meaning, the essential truth of what is taking place, is what is not said. For the remaining future, the enemies of Israel will continue their preparations for unconventional war, and will regard as an integral part of such preparations the support and sustenance of pertinent guerrilla/terrorist operations. Altogether unaffected by parallel public commitments to a so-called "Peace Process," these preparations will proceed on their own track, culminating, if not suitably obstructed, in a fully existential assault upon the Third Temple Commonwealth. It follows that Israel cannot afford to close its eyes to such enemy plans, or to the associated and interactive dangers of attrition warfare. To survive into the Third Millennium, it will be necessary for Jerusalem first of all to recognize the calculated interactions between attrition and annihilation and then to hit hard against both threat dimensions simultaneously. At a minimum, this implies a readiness to undertake life-saving forms of preemption (most plausibly against selected hard targets in Iran) and to cease immediately the devastating territorial concessions still being codified by the Oslo Agreements. As for the US-arranged "peace" with Hizbullah, it must be understood as little more than a tactical expedient, a temporary interruption (possibly until after the Israeli elections) of the war of attrition. Once resumed, this war will continue to be fought conceptually as forerunner of the long-planned war of annihilation. It is, therefore, a war that cannot be resolved by a "cease-fire."

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