Israel: In Search for Winning Strategy (Part II) – David Eshel
The Olmert Doctrine aims to secure permanent borders for the State of Israel and remove Syria and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority from the “axis of evil,” via peace treaties and territorial concessions. Olmert’s plan was to end Hamas’ Gaza regime – via a large-scale military move, once the present “cease-fire” breaks, which is expected – and bring back Mahmoud Abbas’ control under the auspices of an international or Arab force. Staunch opponents to Olmert’s plan regard this as preposterous: It would actually mean, that Israel will recapture Gaza from Hamas for Abu Mazen, with it’s soldier’s blood!
The “Barak Doctrine” also aims to finalize Israel’s northern border, neutralize the Syrian threat, and disconnect Damascus from Hezbollah via negotiations and an agreement on the Golan that is acceptable to Israel. At the same time, Ehud Barak wants to “manage the Palestinian conflict,” in the aim of preventing a Hamas takeover in the West Bank.
Both Olmert and Barak regard the Iranian threat as the most critical future problem. If not handled energetically in time it could have existential implications to the survival of the Jewish State. Barak believes that the IDF should prepare various strike options, but refrain from utilizing them as long as there is no concrete and substantial threat. His main objective at this time is in building up the military options with sufficient means, including highly sophisticated measures under development.
Prime minister contender, Zipi Livni’s doctrine, which is not completely clear at this time, seems apparently a combination of the three doctrines and have a common denominator: The aspiration to maintain a solid Jewish majority in the State of Israel and maintain America’s unqualified support for Israel’s security is her main and ultimate goal.
Most analysts, predicting a future conflict with Hezbollah and Syria, warn, that Israel’s retaliation against a massive rocket offensive will next time not spare civilian targets in Lebanon, Syria and certainly not in Gaza. In a recent interview Major General Gadi Eisenkot, commander Territorial Command North warned: “We will wield disproportionate power against every village from which shots are fired on Israel, and cause immense damage and destruction. From our perspective, these are military bases. This isn’t a suggestion. This is a plan that has already been authorized.” ( Haaretz October 11, 2008) Whether this is Israel’s new strategy or not, remains to be seen- but the warning should be dead serious.