The first rule of strategy is to keep your opponent busy attending to your agenda so he has no time to advance his own. Unfortunately, Israel's leaders seem unaware of this rule, while Iran's rulers triumph in its application.
Over the past few weeks, Israel has devoted itself entirely to the consideration of questions that are, at best, secondary. Questions like how much additional assistance Israel should provide Hamas-controlled Gaza, and how best to fend off or surrender to the international diplomatic lynch mob have dominated Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's and his senior ministers' agendas. Our political leaders - as well as our military commanders and intelligence agencies - have been so busy thinking about these issues that they have effectively forgotten the one issue that they should have been considering.
Israel's greatest strategic challenge - preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons - has fallen by the wayside.
In the shadow of our distraction, Iran and its allies operate undisturbed. Indeed, as our leaders have devoted themselves entirely to controlling the damage from the Iranian-supported, Turkish- Hamas flotilla, Iran and its allies have had a terrific past few weeks.
True, Wednesday the UN Security Council passed a new sanctions resolution against Iran for refusing to end its illicit uranium enrichment program. But that Security Council resolution itself is emblematic of Iran's triumph.
It took a year for US President Barack Obama to decide that he should seek additional sanctions against Iran. It then took him another six months to convince Iran's allies Russia and China to support the sanctions. In the event, the sanctions that Obama refers to as "the most comprehensive sanctions that the Iranian government has faced," will have no impact whatsoever on Iran's nuclear weapons program.
They will not empower the Iranian people to overthrow their regime. And they will not cause the Iranian regime to reconsider its nuclear weapons program. They won't even prevent Russia from supplying Iran with S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to protect its nuclear installations from air assault.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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