Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person
In the regional equation, there has been an immutable belief: that, at the end of the day, IDF was capable of imposing a unilateral military solution on any Arab force. Israel might have failed to achieve its political goals in its various wars, but it never failed to impose its will on an enemy force. As a result, all neighboring nations and entities understood there were boundaries that could be crossed only if a country was willing to accept a crushing Israeli response. All neighboring countries -- Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, prior to the collapses of central authority -- understood this and shaped their behavior in view of it.At the same time, he has placed Israel's security needs in the hands of the UN and a weak international force. By his actions, he has reaped neither the benefits of a military victory nor of the negotiated solution for which he waged the military campaign.
In this conflict, what Hezbollah has achieved is not so much a defeat of Israel as a demonstration that destruction in detail is not an inevitable outcome of challenging Israel. Hezbollah has showed that it is possible to fight to a point that Israel prefers a cease-fire and political settlement to a military victory followed by political accommodation. Israel might not have lost any particular battle, and a careful analysis of the outcome could prove its course to be reasonable. But the loss of the sense -- and historical reality -- of the inevitability of Israeli military victory is a far more profound defeat for Israel, as this clears the way for other regional powers to recalculate risks.
SUBDUING SYRIA is the key to managing the Lebanese crisis, to rolling back Hizbullah, and to weakening Iran and its radical Islamist influence in the Middle East. In order to attain victory in the next military engagement, Israel should target Damascus.Sooner or later this has to happen, although Israel will have to act carefully. It is not in Israel's - or the US's - interest for Assad to be overthrown. What replaces him could very well be more dangerous than the weak Assad.
Syria allows supplies for Hizbullah to pass into Lebanon from its territory and provides the channel for Iran to do likewise. Syria's use of Hizbullah as a means of bleeding Israel has gone unpunished for too long.
That being the case, the strategic address for dealing with Hizbullah and for restoring lost deterrence remains Damascus. Only military pressure on the regime of Bashar Assad can deny Hizbullah military capabilities and signal Israel's readiness and ability to respond tenaciously.