In response to:

T-Ball War in the Middle East

Doug4749 Wrote: Nov 29, 2012 12:20 PM
‘Proportionate response’? In 2006, Gilad Shalit was kidnapped and held by the Palestinians for 5 years. When a prisoner exchange was finally brokered, Israel gave up 1027 prisoners (over 200 had been sentenced to life terms) in exchange for Shalit. Both sides had tacitly admitted that one Israeli is worth 1027 Palestinians. This should be the benchmark for ‘proportionate response’ when the Israelis are attacked. Israel is fighting for its survival. It is surrounded on every border by nations who wish to see it annihilated. Israel has the right to defend itself. Why does anyone criticize her retaliation for civilian deaths?

Classical explanations of conventional wars run something like this: An aggressor state seeks political advantage through military force. It has a hunch that the threatened target will likely either make concessions to avoid losing a war, or, if war breaks out, the resulting political gains will be worth the military costs to achieve victory.

Wars then are prevented only by a balance of power and military deterrence: aggressors have to be warned that it would be stupid to start a war they will likely lose. If there are miscalculations or if emotions run high and logic is ignored, then the...