The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Moshe Arens to the rescue: The QME balance is the key

Former Israeli Defense Minister Arens always makes the clear case – his recent warning is critical because this is the redline policy which Hizbullah was pursuing – we thought – up until the Syria unrest.

Hizbullah can goad Israel into a preemptive attack if it continues challenging the QME – the qualitative military edge…. one thinks that the Syria issue has caused a deceleration in this movement – but has it? for how long?

There may come a time when the situation in Syria and possibly in Lebanon moves just enough for Hizbullah to push over the QME redline and the Israelis will “have to” attack a la Arens below.

I personally think this time will come int he next few months – notwithstanding the short term moderation likely being practiced right now by Hizbullah re: these issues.

It is an open question what this will mean but I am fairly certain it will answer at least ONE OF TWO QUESTIONS: is this the end of zionism or the end of hizbullah?

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Lebanon is sitting on a Hezbollah powder keg

The Lebanese missile crisis, with missiles continually increasing in number and quality, has developed gradually and has been repeatedly ignored by Israel’s leaders.

By Moshe Arens

The riots in Syria have focused attention in Israel on our neighbors to the north – Syria and Lebanon – and especially on Hezbollah, which has deployed around 50,000 rockets in Lebanon that can reach every corner of Israel and threaten its entire civilian population. If these rockets are launched they could cause incalculable damage.

This constant threat hanging over Israel’s civilian population decisively affects Israel’s strategic position; it’s a tiebreaker. For many years, a fundamental element of Israel’s defense doctrine was that the civilian population’s safety would be assured in time of war. With the deployment of these rockets in Lebanon, this has ceased to be the case.

U.S. President John F. Kennedy faced a similar situation in September 1962, when American U-2 reconnaissance planes discovered that Soviet ballistic missiles had been deployed in Cuba. It was clear to Kennedy that the strategic balance between the United States and Soviet Union would be substantially altered if Soviet missiles were pointed at the United States from Cuba. In what has come to be known as the Cuban missile crisis, U.S. threats to act forcefully resolved the crisis, and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev ordered the missiles shipped back to the Soviet Union.

The Lebanese missile crisis, with missiles continually increasing in number and quality, has developed gradually and has been repeatedly ignored by Israel’s leaders. But now this intolerable situation must be faced. It’s a threat that will have to be removed. The threat to Israel’s civilian population has grown, and the missiles are an escalation of the terror war against Israel. There is a great danger to Israel.

This situation should also be of concern to the Lebanese people. Israeli military action to destroy Hezbollah’s missiles – something that seems bound to happen sooner or later – would bring considerable destruction to Lebanon. In other words, as long as these rockets are in Hezbollah’s hands, all Lebanon is sitting on a powder keg. Hezbollah, while posing as Lebanon’s defender, is actually creating a grave danger for that country and its people…”

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Written by nickbiddlenoe

May 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Posted in ANALYSIS

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