Friday, May 11, 2018

Targeting civilian flights transporting IRGC to Syria

In my previous post, I had mentioned that Iran could simply reciprocate the Israeli interference in the JCPOA by ramping up pressure using proxies and irregulars in Syria.  This would impose an asymmetric challenge to the IDF as they would be essentially swatting these low threshold irregular attacks using expensive air support and guided munitions.  While the initial results of such IDF operations in the near term would seem good - over time a law of diminishing returns would set in and marginal costs of each IDF operation would rise.

A key part of this strategy would be to transport IRGC irregulars to Syria for use in such operations. The most expedient way of doing that is use civilian air flights to move these people from Mehrabad to Damascus.

It is tempting to suggest that these flights be treated as military targets but unless Bibi wants to declare open war on Iran or on Syria - it is exceedingly unwise to target civilian airliners with Iranian or Syrian flags.

Bluntly put - the idea of Israel going to war with Iran is absurd. It is not cost effective to indulge in this kind of nonsense. The damage to Israeli national security goals is too high and it is much cheaper to ask for Bibi's resignation.

Attacking Iranian airliners suspected of carrying IRGC operators is an open invitation to Iranian attacks on ELAL flights. A number of ELAL flights routinely transit within shooting range of Iranian guns. It is fantastically stupid to believe that Iran will not reciprocate an attack on it's civilian airliners.

From a global perspective - this Iran-Israel-US conflict is largely about keeping Bibi-Trump and their IRGC business partners free of accountability for mistakes. It is best not to add to that list of mistakes by starting wider conflicts that kill more innocents.

It is reasonable to declare unacknowledged IRGC/Al Qods irregulars who actually attack Israeli positions in Golan and elsewhere as enemy combatants. In the same fashion IDFAF air assets physically attacking Syrian territory are legitimate targets for SYAAD and IRGC air defense.

It is beyond unreasonable to declare mass transportation infrastructure as part of the target list.

There have to be some boundaries in this madness otherwise we are going to have a war NO ONE wants on our hands.

I understand there are significant challenges facing Israeli military planners when it comes to defining productive goals in the context of the Syrian civil war, but for the sake of the rest of the world, please don't do things that are obviously stupid.

It is bad enough that Bibi did whatever he did in the context of the JCPOA - there is no sense in making it much much worse.


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