Counter Insurgency and Competing Logics

Israel finds itself facing a tension in its National Security concept between military logic, which dictates the continued control over territory to prevent terrorism and political logic, which requires separation from the Palestinians and thus withdrawal.
In a study for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Major General (res.) Yaakov Amidror states that contrary to popular belief, conventional armies can indeed defeat terrorist insurgencies.

He details six basic conditions which, if met, enable an army to fight and win the war against terrorism. These include control of the ground where the insurgency is being waged, acquiring relevant intelligence for operations against the terrorists themselves, and isolating the insurgency from cross-border reinforcement with manpower or material.

The study also warns that if the U.S., Israel, or their Western allies incorrectly conclude that they have no real military option against terrorist insurgencies - out of a fear that these conflicts inevitably result in an unwinnable quagmire - then the war on terrorism will be lost even before it is fully waged.

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Israel finds itself facing a tension in its National Security concept. On the one hand military logic, (which Amidror refers to) dictates the continued control over territory to prevent terrorism. On the other hand, 'political logic' which requires separation from the Palestinians and thus withdrawal from territory. (See: Military Logic May Undermine National Security).

Control over territory may make it easier to fight terror, but some resistance movements see continued Israeli presence in the West Bank as a Palestinian 'card' that weakens Israel and may ultimately bring about its collapse from within. (See: Logic of Implosion; Logic of Implosion: The Resistance Network's Political Rationale).

During its Disengagement from Gaza (8/05) Israel was forced to leave the Rafah crossing so as to reinforce its aim to end of Responsibility in Gaza. While retaking control over the crossing would have security advantages, it may undermine Israel's claim that it has ceased to be responsible for the Strip's residents. (See: Rafah Policy May Reinstate the Occupation; Systemic Overview: End of Responsibility in Gaza).