May 03, 2008

Military Success, Politcal Stalemate

Abu Muqawama is blogging from his lair in East Tennessee (so expect posting to be light for a few more days), but he wanted to draw your attention to this article in the New York Times on Israel's (successful) counter-terror strategy ... which is doing nothing to help with respect to any kind of meaningful political solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

NETANYA, Israel — Suicide bombings in Israel have dropped off so significantly that the nation’s security officials now dare to speak openly of success. But the very steps they are taking to thwart bombers appear to collide head-on with the government’s agenda of achieving peace with the Palestinians.

It is a classic military-political dilemma. The progress in stopping suicide bombers, the vast majority of whom cross into Israel from the West Bank, has brought enough quiet for Israel to resume peace talks with the Palestinian leadership there.

Question for the group: is Israel's strategy a good long-term strategy? Abu Muqawama obviously believes it is not, but he is open to dissenting views. Because perhaps -- given the historical animosities, the radicalized settler population, the rise of Islamist groups -- this is the best Israel can hope for. (Not sure where that leaves the Palestinians.) Thoughts?

(And apologies to readers who appreciate the fact this blog usually steers clear of Israel/Palestine issues. This article, though, proved too relevant to COIN/CT to resist.)