There is a Sword of Damocles hanging over the city of Tel Aviv and Israel. Hezbollah has a stockpile of 150 000 missiles and it is only growing by the day as Hezbollah is industrially producing missiles. Hezbollah is already capable of causing massive damage and possibly thousands of casualties in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel’s economic capital in the upcoming conflict which may happen sooner rather than later. There is also the possibility that Iran may use weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) against the city of Tel Aviv.
What is Israel supposed to do about the Hezbollah missile threat? Just wait and see? The Hezbollah missile program is modeled on the North Korean projectile threat against Seoul as North Korea has the capacity to raze Seoul to the ground and destroy its population along with it without even invading South Korea. This is the only reason why South Korea allowed North Korea to develop nuclear weapons as preventing North Korea from developing nuclear weapons (which would have been perfectly possible militarily) would have required the permanent evacuation of Seoul. There would have been nothing to return to since the North Koreans would have completely destroyed Seoul from a distance.
There has not been a major armed conflict between Israel and Hezbollah since the 2006 war. Israel has so far not taken action while Hezbollah has amassed massive amounts of missiles and built up its increasingly vast missile stockpile. However, we are now reaching an inflection point. What will be the situation a decade from now if Israel does not take timely and decisive action? Hezbollah will have the capabilities against the city of Tel Aviv that North Korea already has against the city of Seoul. This is a wholly unacceptable situation which must be prevented at all cost. Syria and Lebanon freely allow the Jihadist Hezbollah to operate on their respective soil and fully sponsor Hezbollah militarily and in the intelligence field and they must be made to pay the price for supporting terrorism.
Khomeinist Iran is rapidly advancing towards nuclear threshold status. This means that Israel will have no choice but to destroy the Iranian nuclear weapons program from the air. Hezbollah will no doubt be ordered by Tehran to take revenge on Israel by unleashing massive barrages of tens of thousands of missiles against the city of Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities. What will be Israel’s response? A mere tactical, Gaza-style “restoring-the-deterrence-style” operation will not suffice since Hezbollah takes orders directly from Tehran and how can Ali Khamenei be deterred in Lebanon? This is not in the realm of the possible. Israel and its strategic ally the AANES (Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria) will need to launch a joint strategic operation against the Iranian axis in the northern Levant. The SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) is the army of the AANES and will with IAF (Israeli Air Force) air support advance southwards from Aleppo towards Damascus. Israel will occupy Lebanon for several months while rooting out Hezbollah, destroying Hezbollah’s missile stockpile and detonating its extensive tunnel system. Israel will establish an Aramean Christian state as the successor state to Lebanon, which will be officially bilingual in Aramaic and Arabic. Israel will annex Median Jewish (Alawite and Druze) regions of Syria and Lebanon to Israel and will retain the Golan. The new PYD (Democratic Union Party) government in Damascus will annex the remainder of Lebanon. All border changes will take place strictly as per international law under an international agreement between Jerusalem and the new governments in Beirut and Damascus. All Palestinians in the northern Levant will be enfranchised and receive citizenship where they permanently reside whether under the jurisdiction of Aram, Israel or Syria.
The nuclear threat is relatively easy to take out although it is indeed a complex operation. There will need to be a US no-fly zone in place over Iran for the foreseeable future so as to enable pinpointed bombings of Iranian nuclear installations on regular basis so as to ensure that the Iranian nuclear weapons program never recovers.
Dealing with the threat in the northern Levant in contrast requires major war, the largest in Israel’s history. The Iran nuclear threat can be destroyed with multiple air strikes, yet the missile threat is far more difficult to defeat and requires a vast military effort as unprecedented in Israeli history. Missiles will continue to fall over the city of Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities for some time until the missile threat is brought to an end. This is a war of no choice or Hezbollah will eventually impose a war of extermination on the city of Tel Aviv and the State of Israel generally. There is no way of destroying Hezbollah without also dismantling the Syrian and Lebanese regimes in the process since these are inextricably intertwined with Hezbollah. Israel must act timely to impose a new reality and new borders of perpetual peace.
The international community must understand that Israel has no choice in the matter as Israel is fighting for its life. Israel will as always act diligently to minimize civilian casualties yet there is no doubt that there will be numerous civilian casualties as indeed in all modern wars. The international community must understand that Israel is no exception to modern warfare and that there is no way of fighting modern wars without in the process causing significant collateral damage although there are always unrealistic expectations that Israel alone should be able to act somehow magically without causing a single civilian casualty. There is a triple standard in place. One for dictatorships, one for democracies and one for Israel. The world must understand that this war will not be over with some quickie ceasefire that will just lead to just another war with the Hezbollah terrorist organization. There needs to be a clean break with the “postmodern” paradigm in military science according to which it is somehow no longer “possible” to win wars but rather only possible to achieve stalemates. This war is most definitely winnable strategically speaking but it must be completed or its would be utterly pointless, yet it must be allowed to run its course and it will take time to complete mainly because the SDF is not heavily mechanized and it will therefore take more time for the SDF to advance throughout Syria even with full IAF air support.
Official Israel describes the Iranian nuclear weapons program as the major existential threat to Israel’s existence and that is true except that Israel is capable of destroying the Iranian nuclear weapons program and America is capable of preventing the the Iranian nuclear weapons program from ever recovering by indefinitely imposing a no-fly zone over Iran that would allow the US to intermittently bomb Iranian nuclear installations as of need. The real existential threat that is much more difficult to defeat is the Hezbollah missile threat. Official Israel is wrong in not properly preparing the homefront and world for the protracted military campaign that is required for undoing the Iranian axis in the northern Levant. This is a much more difficult task and is certainly not achieved through surgical strikes. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the TEVEL envoys need to mount a discreet diplomatic campaign to explain to the world the need for a major war in the northern theater to once and for all establish peace for the generations.