Weekly Commentary: Tunnel fiasco was part of larger fiasco
Dr. Aaron Lerner 20 October 2016
It’s common knowledge: intelligence was clueless of what Hamas could do with
the tunnels and the security cabinet had no serious discussion about the
problem. A series of one liners about the tunnels in remarks at cabinet
meetings do not constitute a serious discussion.
Now if our conflict with Hamas was behind us then a slugfest over whose to
blame for the fiasco would most certainly be in order.
But the conflict isn’t over. The ball is very much still in play.
So the operative question isn’t whose to blame.
The operative question is what we can learn from the fiasco to avoid future
To be clear: the “lesson” isn’t recognition of the need to address the
tunnel challenge. That’s not what the fiasco was.
The fiasco was the failure of the system to think through what Hamas could
do with known potential capabilities and in turn the failure of the cabinet
to take an active and insistent role in making sure that this analysis was
being both performed and acted on.
Spending billions of shekels against Hamas tunnels may be laudable. But it
only addresses how the fiasco was manifested in the last round and not the
Tunnels are only one of a myriad of war preparations Hamas has been carrying
out as it exploits the protection of “quiet for quiet״.
The lesson of the tunnel fiasco is that we must think through what Hamas
could do with all their capabilities – not just the tunnels.
There’s a lot more than tunnels that we have to be prepared to address.
And if that risks reaching the highly likely conclusion that “quiet for
quiet” is not workable then so be it.
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