More than 55 days since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) Gaza campaign lacks a critical component, betraying a major strategic flaw: the absence of a plan to provide security, sufficient aid, and critical services to a largely-displaced and vulnerable Palestinian population.
If the IDF’s goal is to dismantle Hamas, its current path — which leaves the Palestinian people vulnerable to recruitment by anti-Israeli forces — means it will fail. To succeed, a stabilization operation is needed to fill the vacuum created by the IDF’s combat operations.
A coalition-based military force could secure and hold territory cleared of Hamas by the IDF.
This missing stabilization operation, while critical to Israel’s success, cannot be executed by the IDF, as Israel remains resolved not to re-occupy Gaza, from which it withdrew in 2005. A UN force will prove a non-starter for Israelis, who have good reason to mistrust the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping forces, based on UNIFIL’s fecklessness in preventing Hezbollah’s military build-up on Israel’s northern border.
The only credible solution remaining is a US-led, multi-national coalition force that provides the necessary interim security and governance in the Gaza Strip to get Israelis and Palestinians to the fabled “day after.”
Read the full article from Breaking Defense.
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