I just ended
writing a book on the Yom Kippur War, named “Codename:
Capital”. To me this situation on the Northern Border, it’s
seams a repetition of the same Yom Kippur scenario, only
this time some other players are factored in: the Hezbollah
with her short range missiles arsenal, Gaza, with the
ongoing conflict with the terrorist Hamas an emboldened
Iran, just in the brink of becoming a nuclear power and a
weak Syrian Government, looking for legitimization at home
Some are old
actors in the arena’s sands: the Russians, under a different
name and new management (the URSS is no more), are back
again, with money from the oil boom; the Americans, bogged
down with their finest military machines in a civil war in
Iraq; Israel, again, alone, as the French song, “seule
avec ma solitude”. Iran is aggressive under a new
important actors are out, like Iraq, Jordan and Egypt.
technology has changed since 1973 and the modernism factor
is paramount. This time the equation is more complicated,
but the result is simple: just strike first, like in the Six
days War, 40 years ago, and abort all pretensions and
Syrians ambitions. A simple, well prepared, preemptive
strike, will send a good message across the board, to many
people, many bad people in the Middle East, from Syrians to
As in 1967, 1973, 1996, the tensions in 2006-2007 are high
in the Northern border with Syria. Terrorist activities
against Israel are in a rise, and threatening our security.
For how long will Israel accept this humiliation with a
The Al-Qaeda mythology is no reason to let Assad's regime
to embark in risky business. Islamists will never be able to
fight a real war conventional war, but they can only
successfully massacre civilians which in the end will turn
against them. The terrorist need a country to do the war for
them. Assad needs to chose peace, social and economic
The tactical dimensions of the Golan are not the same as
the Sinai. The thinks here are more complicated. There is no
“espace de maneuver”, in the Golan, as the French
name it. The distance, by ground and air down the Jordan
Valley and into Jerusalem is such that a strong and
successful Syrian attack can take the City in two to three
days. Israel has no effective answer also if Syria launches
properly every missile its own. Two-three days later, Assad
would be The Arab Hero, as the Saladin, the Sultan of Egypt,
Syria, Palestine & more. Saladin, an orthodox Sunni, is the
one who ended the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Christian rule in
Middle East: he has a very nice and symbolic statue in
Damascus, where he died in 1193.
As again, the war will by certainly very bloody, with a lot
of civilian casualties on both Israeli & Syrian sides. Assad
wants to repeat the Sadat limited tactical situation of the
1973, in hopes of getting back “his land”. This worked for
Sadat, but the Sinai was expendable. The Golan was only
yours for 40 years. It’s less expendable for many social,
economic and military reasons.
One of the solutions is making a deal or arrangement with
Syria, for peace but don't cede any territory. The Syrians
minds have to change and accept the situation on the ground.
As well, Israel can draw a simple conclusion: not always
giving back ground is a way to a long lasting peace (define
peace in the actual Middles East?!), especially in a so
volatile and war torn area. Look back at the history of this
area for the last 3000+ years.
Israel has a border with a state that sponsor international
terrorism since 1945, and close ties with Iran, a young
regional power, but with a long history of wars. Syrians
need a war in order to unite their people and maybe some
other muslin in the area. They think the time is right, but
in reality is not so quite right. The “International War on
Terror” is changing the minds of many political leaders in
the Western and Eastern world.
The Syrians have to learn that they expose mare important
and valuable targets to an all-powerfully Israeli air
attack, than the deeply entrenched small contingent of
Hezbollah fighters in the villages of Southern Lebanon.
To draw a lesson from Lebanon War II that will be valid for
Syria, will be a mistake. The Scud-D missiles it received in
2001-2002 and some other 100+ ballistic missile launchers
will not be sufficient to silence Israel, but will only
assure that Syrian military and civil targets destruction
will be total.
In the Golan Heights, the Syrian military units has been
building up its new bunkers and renovating old positions
(the Yom Kippur strong points) along the border. Assad &
Military has also held exercises for the first time in
years, as defensive exercises. But this tactics, as the Yom
Kippur war demonstrated, could be turned from defensive to
offensive in a number of hours.
The volatile fuel for a military confrontation is there, in
the ground, air and in the minds of civilians, military and
politicians. Anybody and anything can ignite the conflict:
"Miscalculation" is now the term used. A terror attack
along the Lebanese border, with Katyusha or mortar fire by
Hezbollah, an IDF bombardment of southern Lebanon or the
Syrian border, a terror (read disguised military operation)
attack along the Israeli-Syrian border, anything can be
viewed as an excuse to open a second front in the Golan
The consensus in the IDF is in favor of talks with Syria.
While every politician in Israel and U.S. recognize that
Assad's peace overtures are insincere, a political maneuver
to buy time and only a smoke screen and sand in the eyes,
the IDF is preparing for a total war.
The war is not necessary,
but all of the parties want a big show and example, because
the urban-guerilla type war of the terrorist (as seen in
Iraq, Britain, Spain, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey and
Afghanistan) is difficult to win with conventional force.
This is not going to be just a side show and somehow
inconclusive as the Lebanon War II. If secret channels and
diplomatic contacts can diffuse “the complex Syrian Bomb*”,
all this will be welcomed. But they (the Syrians & co.) will
always live with the idea of a military revenge and that “maybe”
that they just have to try another time to win a war with
The Syrian involvement in support of the terrorist’s movements, involvement
in Lebanon, Iraq, Gaza and association with Iran.