The recent fighting in Lebanon may have looked like yet another Arab-Israeli battle, but it also pitted Jerusalem against Tehran for the first time. Why did Israel strike when it did? What did it accomplish? And what should it do now to prepare for the next showdown with Iran?
"Now that the Gulf War is over, Israel will have to take a hard look at its security doctrine and ask itself a number of key questions about its future security" (1) whether its passive acceptance of the Iraqi Scud missile strikes has not damaged the credibility of its deterrence (2) whether it would not have been faced with a Pyrrhic victory, or possibly even defeat, had Iraq directed its invasion against Israel: "many Israelis, including senior army officers, know that... Saddam Hussein's mistake was to turn on Kuwait first" (3) whether it can safely rely on its links with the USA for adequate intelligence of the region, or should expand its own capabilities, especially in respect of satellites (4) what to do against the long-term threat of proliferation of missile and warhead technologies to potential enemies. The central defence policy goal must be to repair Israel's power to deter a future aggressor in the Saddam Hussain mould.