Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Targeted Killings, Targeted Invasions

The Washington Post has a fascinating article exploring the Israeli policy of assassinating terrorist leaders inside Palestine and other neighboring areas -- the so-called policy of "targeted killing." You may be surprised to see just how thoughtful the Israeli military and security services are before they strike, especially in comparison to another government I can think of. Here are the Israeli rules of engagement:

"That arrest is impossible; that targets are combatants; that senior cabinet members approve each attack; that civilian casualties are minimized; that operations are limited to areas not under Israeli control; and that targets are identified as a future threat."

Interestingly, the Israeli guidelines could be used as a template to craft a defensible policy of "liberal intervention" within sovereign states:

Containment and diplomacy is impossible; the head of state is a ruthless dictator; the international community (the U.N. or NATO) approves of attack; civilian casualties are minimized and reconstruction provided; limited to areas of severe depridation; and state is identified as a future threat.

In contrast, I present the Bush guidelines:

Containment and diplomacy should be relegated to the sidelines; the dictator should be an evil doer who's military is weak and/or have attempted to assassinate a Bush family member; civilian casualties will not be counted, and reconstruction will be promised but incompetently planned for (and will ultimately fail to be delivered); limited to areas that will act as magnets for jihadists and terrorist to acquire weapons and learn sophisticated methods of delivery; and information suggesting state may not, in fact, be a future threat . . . should be willfully ignored.


Post a Comment

<< Home