The Iranian nuclear weapons program is racing to enrich enough uranium for an atomic bomb. In parallel is Israel racing to rapidly build a capacity to strategically degrade the Iranian nuclear weapons program. Israel will not allow Iran to amass enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon and is ready to preemptively attack Iran. Iran will respond by unleashing massive barrages of tens of thousands of missiles against Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities. The Israeli government will have little choice but to order the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) to launch a war in cooperation with the allied SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) to liberate Syria and Lebanon from the totalitarian forces of Khomeinism and Ba’athism in order to destroy Hezbollah and its patrons in the northern Levant. Israel will establish a Christian Aramean state as the successor state to Lebanon and annex the Median Jewish (Druze and Alawite) regions of Syria and Lebanon while the new PYD (Democratic Union Party) government in Damascus as brought to power by the SDF will annex the remainder of Lebanon.
What are the alternatives to such a war if any? Hezbollah operates a missile industry which is arming Hezbollah as based on the model of North Korea. Seoul is under such a severe threat of North Korean projectiles that North Korea in practice is capable of destroying South Korea’s capital along with its population. Such a threat against Tel Aviv, Israel’s economic capital, would be intolerable. Yet, that is precisely the threat that Hezbollah seeks to develop. Hezbollah seeks to develop the capacity to raise Tel Aviv to the ground and destroy its population along with it.
Israel would thus be foolish if it were to wage a Gaza-style “restore-the-deterrence” war in response to Hezbollah’s massive missile barrages. There is no such thing as deterring Hezbollah which receives its instructions through the IRGC chain of command and ultimately from Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah is not an independent entity and is an integral part of the IRGC command and control structure.
There is no strategic alternative to the joint IDF-SDF defensive-offensive war as outlined above or the Hezbollah missile threat against the city of Tel Aviv, Israel’s economic capital, will only continue to grow until it becomes an existential threat against the State of Israel itself. There is a need for a root canal treatment, it is not pretty but it’s necessary and there is no alternative because inaction will eventually lead to the destruction of the State of Israel. There is no sense in deferring the treatment as the pathology and the threat are only set to grow worse. Israel will face tremendous pressure both domestically and internationally to prematurely terminate the war in Syria and Lebanon before the war’s goals have been met in their entirety. Yet heeding such ignorant advice would only lead to yet more wars. Heeding calls for “restraint” would only prolong the war as escalation will in contrast shorten the war. Escalation is indeed the only thing that will halt the massive missile barrages against Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities. Israeli “restraint” will only prolong the missile barrages and will generally prolong the war itself.
The war will not be popular internationally and probably not domestically and will last for months but Israel has no choice and deferring the war for later is not an option as the price to be paid in Israeli civilian lives will be substantially higher. Until when should Israel defer the comprehensive elimination of Hezbollah and its regional patrons? “If not now, so when?”