Posted: 18 Aug 2011 08:18 AM PDT
By Barry Rubin
This isn’t just another terrorist attack—it’s a major escalation, a new phase in the Arab-Israeli conflict in two ways. First, it is the bitter fruit of the U.S.-backed downfall of the government of President Husni Mubarak in Egypt. Second, it is probably the first successful al-Qaida attack on Israel. (The Palestinian Popular Resistance Committees, a Gaza-based al-Qaida affiliate is the prime suspect.)
A group of up to 20 terrorists using vehicles fired across the Egypt-Israel border and then crossed into Israeli territory. Their armaments included mortars, and an RPG as well as handguns.
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Note: This article will be revised frequently as updates become available
Posted: 17 Aug 2011 08:18 PM PDT
By Barry Rubin
Using captured Iraqi documents, Hal Brands and David Palkki, <a href=”http://www.fpri.org/enotes/2011/201108.brands_palkki.iraqnuclear.html%22%3Ehave published </a>an interesting short paper for the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), “Why did Saddam Want the Bomb? The Israel Factor and the Iraqi Nuclear Program.”
“On March 27, 1979, Saddam Hussein…laid out his vision for a long, grinding war against Israel in a private meeting of high-level Baathist officials. Iraq, he explained, would seek to obtain a nuclear weapon from ‘our Soviet friends,’ use the resulting deterrent power to counteract Israeli threats of nuclear retaliation, and thereby enable a “patient war”—a war of attrition—that would reclaim Arab lands lost in the Six Day War of 1967. As Saddam put it, nuclear weapons would allow Iraq to “guarantee the long war that is destructive to our enemy, and take at our leisure each meter of land and drown the enemy with rivers of blood.”
While an analogy doesn’t prove the point, I think that contemporary Iranian thinking is equivalent: get nuclear weapons and use them for what I call a defensive umbrella for aggression.