What Next, Hezbollah? Israel Holds The Key!
While all eyes are on Gaza, Israel’s military leaders are fixating on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and Syria. Suppose they are to secure the towns of the north and settlements. In that case, they will have to apply maximum diplomatic pressure on both Lebanon’s fragile government and Hezbollah to withdraw from the Litani River or face a massive air and ground invasion of their territory.
For Israel’s strategic goals, the words of Sun Tzu from the Art of War become imperative to its military planning. ‘Military action is important to the nation-it is the ground of death and life, the path of survival and destruction, so it is imperative to examine it.’ Sun Tzu also taught that ‘to sense and comprehend after action is not worthy of being called comprehension. To accomplish after striving is not worthy of being called knowing. These three are far from the way of sensing and response. Indeed, to do something before it exists, sense something before it becomes active, and see something before it sprouts are three abilities that develop interdependently. Then, nothing is sensed but is comprehended; nothing is undertaken without response. Nowhere does one go without benefit.’
Israel’s military thinkers will need to apply Sun Tzus’ words thoroughly if Israel is to achieve all its strategic and political goals. There can be no second-guessing once the die is cast. The northern border leads all the way to Teheran. In the meantime, before a new front can be opened, it will be necessary to deal with the debris of the Gaza conflict. The political reality must ensure no nationalist Arab entity is given control over the Gaza Strip. Israel must control Gaza in all aspects of societal life.
This outcome will be assured of success if Israel abandons the containment policy it has been following due to American pressure and adopts an offensive strategy towards any infringement of its sovereign borders wherever that may emanate from.