I was reading an analysis of the current Israel-Hezbollah conflict by the excellent Stratfor—a private global security and intelligence company—and the question they ask is why Israel attacked now. What was the ignition point for the current conflict?
The first point to bear in mind is that the crisis did not truly begin with the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah. The kidnappings presented a serious problem for Israel, but could not, by themselves, define the geopolitical issue. That definition came when Hezbollah rockets struck Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city, on July 13. There were also claims coming from Hezbollah, and confirmed by Israeli officials, that Hezbollah had missiles available that could reach Tel Aviv. Israel’s population is concentrated in the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem corridor and in the Tel Aviv-Haifa corridor. In effect, Hezbollah had attained the ability to strike at the Israeli heartland. Hezbollah has been hitting the northern part of this heartland, as well as pounding Israel’s northern frontier.
That threat to the core of Israel could not be tolerated, according to Stratfor. While they could deal with kidnapped soldiers—it’s happened before without precipitating a wider conflict—the ability of Hezbollah to strike anywhere within the major population centers of Israel at any time constitutes a much graver threat. Imagine if al Quaeda was operating in Canada and suddenly acquired missiles that could strike Boston, New York, Albany, Buffalo, Detroit… You get the idea. If Canada could not or would not stop them, do you imagine the US would blithely sit by and do nothing? So what are Israel’s choices now? Stratfor names three of them.
Technorati Tags:Hezbollah, Israel, Lebanon, terrorism, war
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Technorati Tags: Hezbollah, Israel, Lebanon, terrorism, war
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