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Monday, January 19, 2009

Deterrence - An Idea

So the war is over and Israel is pulling out of Gaza, having apparently won this round.

The following days and weeks will show whether Israel indeed succeeded in the main goal of this war: creating enough deterrence vis-a-vis the Hamas, to make the terrorists think twice, and three times, before launching rockets into Israeli cities. Within this context, I have an idea of a deterrence system that, whilst might seem a little harsh at first, might just do the job.

Israel set up an early warning system (EWS) so that every time a rocket is launched from the Gaza strip, a siren (known as "Red Colour") is sounded in the cities and villages of southern Israel where the rocket is likely to land. Depending on the distance from the Gaza strip, this warning gives people 15-60 seconds to find a shelter. I'm proposing that this automatic EWS be connected not only to the siren system but also to an unmanned, computer-operated, artillery battery that has its cannons aimed at the Gaza strip. Every time the "Red Colour" siren goes off, the computer will point the battery cannons to a random point in Gaza and fire a salvo of shells to that point.

The system will not be operated by Israel. In fact, Israel will guarantee that there isn't a single soldier within a radius of one kilometer from the battery (except for routine, scheduled maintenance). The system will be operated de-facto by Hamas itself, every time a rocket is launched from Gaza. It will be Hamas' decision whether it wants to shell its own population.

Despite its harshness, I am confident that this Pavlovian contraption will serve as an effective deterrent against the cowardly bastards that hide among Palestinian innocent civilians to fire rockets at Israeli innocent civilians. It might take a while, as the Hamas' learning curve seems to be longer than that of a dog, but eventually they too will learn.

The only question is: will Israel have the guts to use such a deterrent? I think the answer is obvious.

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