Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rockets Above Tel Aviv

If you were in Tel Aviv yesterday afternoon you could see something never seen before in the world: one missile shooting down another directly over a major metropolis, the American funded, Israeli devised anti-missile "Iron Dome" technology in action.

Also if you were here you would be hearing what Israelis are saying: that their adversaries are practicing "permanent war", and their own strategy must take it into account. Strategy calls for the strongest and most durable defense, and periodic restriction of their enemies' capabilities to make war, referred to as "cutting the grass".

In contrast to the science fiction demonstration overhead, this thinking is something very old, in fact goes back to the times of ancient Greece. A war can be fought either as if you will be, or will never be, living on peaceful terms with your enemy. Fighting with unlimited cruelty tells your enemy something of your intentions for peace after the war, and saying you intend complete destruction of your enemy says something about how you are fighting the war.

Israelis have been hearing for decades their enemies say they intend the complete and permanent destruction of the State of Israel. And the result, the combination of what this very old theorizing tells us about waging war, and the very newest of technology, is missiles meeting over Tel Aviv.