On Iran, the thing to fear might be fear itself

Overconfidence should be avoided, but an army is useless if you’re afraid to use it.

October 30, 2012 12:32
Soldiers take part in an urban warfare drill

Soldiers take part in an drill in the Negev 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

One of the most frightening things I’ve read in a long time was an interview with Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter last week in which he asserted that Israel would need American help for any military strike against Iran’s nuclear program.  “We have the capabilities of a state. But the US has the capabilities of a superpower,” he explained. “Iran is a regional Muslim power from both a military standpoint as well as from the standpoint of its scientific and technological capabilities.”

Actually, my first reaction wasn’t fear, but outrage. For while Iran today is indeed a regional power, a few decades ago, so was Egypt. In fact, by almost any measure, the balance of power between Israel and Egypt then was far more lopsided in Egypt’s favor than today’s balance of power is with Iran. Nevertheless, Israel managed to win three solo wars against Egypt from 1948-1973. So why should it be incapable of doing today what it clearly was capable of doing back then?


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