Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Openness-Value Vs. National Security Barriers: Both Can't Be Right

As found here: 06/15/08 - Israel Proves Border Fences Work—But Candidates/Congress Don’t Want To Know, by Donald A. Collins , which quotes Israel’s Security Fence by Mitchell Bard as follows...
“Since construction of the fence began, the number of attacks has declined by more than 90%. "
The fence, together with 3% of its length in high anti-sniper walls, is smeared by the dishonest as a Berlin wall. Such deceit is presumably aimed at the unthinking, with hazy concepts of freedom, somewhat like: unconstrained faculty of locomotion. If there were a rational argument for valuing openness to such as the Palestinians, there would be no need for pretending that defense is Berlin wall-building. Keeping hostiles out, is exceedingly different from keeping people in your territory, by ruthless force. When the concept of freedom is equivocated, though, such that freedom-for-aggression is left undistinguished from freedom-from-aggression, distinctions of great importance get deceitfully obscured.
Valuing openness to rocket attacks sounds unreasonable, but when you're looking to develop your own anti-missile system, immediate deployment of someone else's can take away from that.
From Haaretz:
Ballistic expert: Israel ignoring option of U.S. anti-rocket system
"A Phalanx battery includes four 20mm-wide shells and radar that tracks the missile, assesses its trajectory and intercepts it from a range of up to 1.5 km. Unlike any other system, Phalanx is capable of firing up to 6,000 shells per minute, which are twice as fast as a Qassam rocket (with a speed of more than a kilometer per second). As of today, the system is installed in some IDF battleships. Farber claims that five batteries will adequately cover the western Negev, and will not cause environmental damage. 'Because of their exceptionally high speed, the shells that don't hit Qassams will land in the sea,' he said, 'although the chances of a direct hit are high.' "
JB resumes:
Offensive capacities and, quite often, their actual use, are no doubt indispensable.
The defensive capacities are unfairly treated as taking away from offensive ones, though, when there is no necessary relation. A nation which is committed to the upbuilding of defensive capabilities will be found also developing its offensive ones. (cont. in comments section)
Added 6-28-08: "In fact, throughout the "al-Aqsa intifada" that began in 2000, only one such attack originated in Gaza,[...] The IDF had simply erected a fence to surround Gaza, preventing untold numbers of suicide attacks. " Quoted from here: The Mistakes...- Richard A. Baehr
The success of the Gaza fence relative to suicide bombers, resulted in the West Bank fence being argued for several years later. So this is another data point.


John S. Bolton said...

(cont.)The lack of commitment to military capacities is what takes away from both offense and defense.
The irrational valuing of openness, though, would take selectively away from defense capacity relative to offense, and this is dangerous, even perhaps pathological.
In an extreme case, there can occur a stance like a caricature of that of the current Bush administration: Nearly all offense and against multiple countries at once, and a tendency towards negligible defense, grudgingly given.
Posted by John S. Bolton at 1:47 AM

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