Matt Towery
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This column's beginning will certainly offend those at England's Cambridge University, who lectured and tutored me on the way to helping me earn what has proved to be a relatively useless but much-appreciated advanced degree in International Relations.

But here goes.

Roll, Israel, roll. Don't stop. Don't look back. Don't let diplomatic pressures keep you from getting the job done in Lebanon.

Public opinion tells us that there is little hope among most Americans that there will ever be lasting peace in the Middle East. They're probably right.

Now many in the international community are saying that what started as Israel's reaction to the kidnapping of two of its soldiers is fast becoming either World War III -- to quote my mentor, Newt Gingrich -- or is simply the continuation of a long-standing conflict.

But I would argue that the Israelis have rightfully chosen this moment to treat the events of the past weeks not as a response to ongoing hostilities, but as the necessary management of an international crisis.

Let me refer readers to a collection of essays called "Managing International Crisis."

While the 1982 publication date may seem out of touch with the realities of the new millennium, rest assured that its fundamental ideas still apply.

In this collection of essays, the late Karl W. Deutsch, then Stanfield Professor of International Peace at Harvard University, wrote a chapter entitled "Crisis Decision-Making: The Information Approach."

Deutsch helped develop The World Society Foundation, an organization devoted to researching and advancing the idea that what often appear to be issues facing individual nation-states are actually issues that are global in their implications.

Professor Deutsch would likely disagree with my use of his essay. I'm employing his work as a way to illustrate that a legitimate nation-state -- in this case, Israel -- should use every measure at its disposal to completely destroy a non-nation-state -- Hezbollah.

The truth is that it's the traditional definition of an international crisis, as defined by scholars like Deutsch, that has consistently allowed Hezbollah and many other terrorist groups to survive, and to strike again and again. His reasoning is cited by many experts today as prima facie evidence that Israel is not justified in its aggressive actions, and that in fact no genuine "crisis" exists.

I'll use Deutsch's own reasoning to justify my rather bold premise.

Deutsch wrote that there are four characteristics of a true crisis.

First, he argued, there must exist a major turning point, so that there are strongly different outcomes possible.

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Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a former National Republican legislator of the year and author of Powerchicks: How Women Will Dominate America.
 
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