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where is the center of gravity

Reader comment on item: Lessons of the War in Gaza

Submitted by myth (Germany), Aug 18, 2014 at 07:33

I disagree that the center of gravity moved to public relations. The military success of ISIS provides the argument. The Iraqi army is reluctant to fight regardless of American weapons in their hands. The combination of a will to fight along with actual victory defines the center of gravity.

Israel depends on success on the battlefield and cannot afford to lose a single war. Israel has territory to defend. The will to fight within the Israeli population is delicate and not a given certainty.

The importance of public relations manifests itself in Israel rather than in the rest of the world watching.

As the IDF depends on conscription in a free society Israel must make the convincing promise that their soldiers enjoy a superior position on the battlefield. Israelis could easily take a flight and sit out a war outside of Israel. On the other hand the IDF must avoid to be experienced as a morally repulsive military by its own population and potential soldiers.

I would even connect the ISIS closer to the performance of the IDF. Who other than the IDF does deter ISIS to attack the Lebanon or other territories just across the Israeli border?

My personal advice to the Israeli government would be this: Highlight the impressive success that Israel had 48 67 73. The word to use here is "victory". Never mind the "right to defend" vocabulary. Israel's narrative of glorious victories wins over more people.

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Daniel Pipes replies:

The ISIS war on the governments of Syria & Iraq is a traditional one where the battlefield is the center of gravity. In other words, one does not know in advance who will win on the battlefield.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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