A US strike on Syria will reinstate American deterrence in the region and will
dissuade other leaders contemplating an unconventional attack on Israel, a
security expert said on Sunday.
Former Military Intelligence chief and
the director of the Institute for National Security Studies, Amos Yadlin, and
INSS researcher Avner Golov published a paper outlining where Israel’s
short-term and long-term interests lay in the context of a possible US strike on
The most important Israeli interest in terms of a strike “is that
it creates an unequivocal clarification that the price of unconventional weapons
is high. This interest is important for the deterrence of all Middle Eastern
leaders who are contemplating the possible use of unconventional weapons against
Israel,” Yadlin and Golov wrote.
From a broader perspective, it’s
important for Israel that the US once again positions itself as an actor with
strategic influence in the Middle East, and improves its regional credibility
and deterrence in the region in relation to conventional and unconventional
conduct by its rivals, they added.
American credibility and deterrence
suffered an erosion throughout the period of Arab unrest in the past three
years, the paper said, and cited “public declarations by administration
officials, who called for decreasing American involvement in the region, as well
as a strategic shift towards east Asia” as causes.
deterrence will strengthen Washington’s status and the status of its allies,
Israel among them, within the context of the struggle between the moderate camp
and the radical camp in the region, it continued.
Israel has a supreme
interest in safeguarding the quiet on its borders and with its neighbors, the
former military intelligence chief stated. “Continuing the calm security routine
with Lebanon and Syria… is a moral, security, and economic interest. Israel must
avoid as much as it can being dragged into the Syrian civil war.
Israel is attacked, the decision on an Israeli response does not have to be
automatic, and as long as there is no significant harm to Israel, the attack can
be contained,” the paper said.
Meanwhile, Iran is observing events in
Syria and is examining the American response, according to Yadlin.
Israel, it is very important that Iran sees high determination in Washington to
keep presidential promises on red lines, as Tehran weighs its policy on the
American red line against it, meaning preventing Iran from going militarily
nuclear. The actions of [US President Barack Obama] and the cooperation he will
obtain with his Western and regional allies will have implications for the
Iranian nuclear issue,” they wrote.
In the long run, “it is vital for
Israel that the fighting in Syria does not end with a victory for the
Tehran-Damascus-Hezbollah axis,” they added.
Furthermore, they stated, an
Assad victory with strengthen Israel’s enemies in the region, chief among them
Hezbollah, and encourage the isolated Hamas to once again loyally serve the
Iranian patron. Israel has a clear interest in safeguarding the trend that is
seeing these terrorist organizations grow weaker.
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