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Thanks. I found this article very interesting:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/2300...

The discourse that tends to swirl in the wake of events like this week’s sharp Gaza escalation generally revolves around a clichéd discussion about “the loss of deterrence.” But the gauge of deterrence, like a thermometer in a patient’s mouth, only measures a symptom; it does not explain the situation. Something deeper than “loss of deterrence” drove the event.

The Hamas leadership certainly knows the strength of the IDF relative to the strength of its own forces. But it bases its decisions not on that calculation but on its assessment of the constraints that prevent the Israeli government from making the decision to go to war. During the regular riots Hamas has led along the border since the spring, the group has learned its way through the Israeli strategic labyrinth. It understands how it can exploit the possibility of Israeli distress to advance its own interests....

Looking at the Gaza Strip prior to the IDF withdrawal, we see that although there was a fence that delineated the Strip, most of the IDF forces operated within the area based on the deployment of the Israeli villages in the south of the Strip. This created flexible operational potential for the IDF forces, which could reach enemy areas from a variety of directions. For example, refugee camps in the central Gaza Strip could be reached from the north via the Netzarim enclave, from the east via the border of the Strip, and from the south via Kfar Darom and Gush Katif. The capacity for surprise, flexibility, mobility, control of the area, and freedom of action were fundamentally different from those along the current borderline of the perimeter of the Strip.

The deployment of the IDF prior to the shortening of the lines in the summer of 2005 required Hamas to focus on fragmented defense efforts. The redeployment of forces and their reliance on a security fence in linear arrays made the fence a focal point for friction, and created the conditions for Hamas to organize its forces according to battalions, brigades, firing lines, and command and control systems. In this respect, territorial separation helped Israel’s enemies and harmed the IDF’s freedom of action.

The standard argument among “security technicians” is that shortening the lines of engagement is beneficial for security. But this claim is not only fundamentally wrong but the inverse of the truth. Friction in a multi-dimensional inner space, as exists today in the West Bank through the deployment of Israeli neighborhoods, enables more efficient utilization and wider strategic freedom of action for all components of Israeli power. The strategic maze in which the State of Israel finds itself in the Gaza Strip offers a valuable lesson on how security interests should help formulate the IDF’s future deployment in the West Bank.

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