Friday, December 30, 2011

The 2012 Arab Street-Driven Security Requirements

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
"Israel Hayom” newsletter, December 30, 2011

The 2012 stormy Arab Street is not heading towards a solution; it is heading towards exacerbated problems of state-sponsored terrorism, uncertainty and shifty regimes, policies and alliances. The 2012 Arab Street will not highlight the Arab Ghandis, Mandelas and MLKs; it will be dominated by the trans-national Muslim Brotherhood, which embraces Muhammad-style Islam as the sole-tolerated religious, political, social, military and moral compass. The Muslim Brotherhood aims to dominate the Abode of Islam, as a prelude to the physical subjugation of the morally-inferior Abode of the Infidel.

On December 29, 2011, Adel Al Toraifi, the Editor-in-Chief of the London-based Arab affairs magazine, Al Majalla accurately analyzed the Muslim Brotherhood's political sophistication. He quoted the former Muslim Brotherhood's Supreme Guide, Mahda Akef: "for us, democracy is like a pair of slippers that we wear until we reach the bathroom, and then we take them off.” Al Toraifi maintains that "The Muslim Brotherhood is skilled at political planning and tactics.... Those who expect – or hope – that the Muslim Brotherhood will…resemble the Islamist experience in Turkey, have no concrete evidence for this whatsoever, rather this is merely wishful thinking.” The deterioration of the Arab Street is, primarily, a derivative of the 1,400 year suppressive, intolerant monopoly of Islam over the religious, educational, cultural and, sometimes, the political and military sectors of Arab societies. Egypt was considered a relatively moderate Muslim country, but 2011 ushered in the Muslim Brotherhood in full force, awaiting the opportunity to assert itself, politically, between the Persian Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean.

The 2012 Arab Street will be further fueled by the American evacuation of Iraq. The evacuation could produce a volcanic eruption, in Iraq, consuming the pro-US regime in Baghdad, playing into the hands of Iran, which aspires to dominate the Persian Gulf and promotes anti-US regimes in the Mid-East and beyond (e.g. Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador). The US departure from Iraq could, also, wreak havoc in Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States.

While the US' strategic arm in the Mid-East is getting shorter, the Russian and Chinese Mid-East profile is growing stronger, providing a tailwind to anti-US regimes.

The 2012 Arab Street could dwarf the seismic events of 2011, impacting national and regional security and the resulting security requirements. The lower the stability and life-expectancy of Mid-East regimes, the shiftier are their ideology, policies and commitments (e.g., Egypt's and Jordan's peace accords with Israel). The higher the volatility of the Arab Street, the higher is the security threshold and requirements in the face of that volatility. Moreover, the shorter the US' strategic arm, the less effective is its posture of deterrence, the more adrenalized are rogue regimes, the more acute is the threat of war and the higher are the security requirements in the face of the stormy Arab Street.

The threshold of Israel's security requirements is rising as the threats are mounting.

According to Lt. General (ret.) Tom Kelly, Chief of Operations in the 1991 Gulf War, "I cannot defend this land (Israel) without that terrain (West Bank)... Without the West Bank, Israel is only 8 miles wide at its narrowest point. That makes it indefensible." General (ret.) Al Gray, former Commandant, US Marine Corps stated that "missiles fly over any terrain feature, but they don't negate the strategic significance of territorial depth…. To defeat Israel would require the Arabs to deploy armor, infantry and artillery into Israel…. It remains true in the era of modern missiles.”

The Judea and Samaria mountain ridges – the cradle of Jewish history - constitute the most effective tank obstacle (a 2,000ft-3,000ft slope over-towering the Jordan Valley, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and 80% of Israel's infrastructure). It is a dream platform of invasion to the 8-15 miles wide pre-1967 Israel, in the most conflict-ridden, unpredictable and treacherous neighborhood in the world, where there has never been an intra-Arab comprehensive peace, or intra-Arab compliance with most intra-Arab agreements. The Judea and Samaria mountain ridges are indispensable to Israel's survival in the raging Mid-East.

An insecure Israel would be a liability, rather than an asset, to the US. An insecure Israel would not be able to deter an Arab invasion of Jordan – which could have spilled over into Saudi Arabia - as Israel did in September 1970, when the US was bogged down in Vietnam. An insecure Israel would not be able to perform as "the largest US aircraft carrier which does not require a single US soldier, saving the US $20 billion annually (the late General Alexander Haig).”

Shabbat Shalom and may 2012 be top heavy on health, challenge and rewards,

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative"

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