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Yaakov Lappin on Israel's policy regarding Iranian weapons trafficking

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Yaakov Lappin on Israel’s policy regarding Iranian weapons trafficking via
Beirut International Airport

Dear Yaakov Lappin,
I read with great interest
Israel’s Strategic Goal in Syria
By Yaakov Lappin August 9, 2019

and wanted to ask you what your take is of the significance of the apparent
Israeli policy not to interfere with Iranian deliveries to Hezbollah via
Beirut International Airport.

This is of particular interest given the relatively small size of the
missile guidance upgrade kits – small enough that one large Iranian cargo
jet could deliver enough kits to convert many hundreds of missiles.

Best regards,
Aaron Lerner

Yaakov Lappin replies:
Israel’s policy regarding Iranian weapons trafficking via Beirut
International Airport – as well as the reported trafficking of dual use
equipment via Beirut’s sea port – appears to follow the pattern of
information campaigns.

Information campaigns involve the revelation – through the media and
diplomatic channels – of enemy activity. This allows sensitive intelligence
to be used to disrupt hostile build-up processes without the associated risk
of escalation that comes with kinetic strikes. It tells enemy decision
makers that their activities have been exposed and warns them to cease if
they wish to avoid firepower strikes. It also applies pressure on
international actors that are keen to avoid armed conflict in their areas of
influence. This modus operandi is appropriate for an arena as explosive as
Lebanon. The rules of the game in Lebanon are clearly different to those in
Syria, and kinetic strikes are significantly likelier to trigger a
full-scale conflict, meaning that the Israeli defense establishment
approaches its preventative objectives in Lebanon differently from the
policy in Syria. However, if information campaigns fail to achieve their
objectives, the chances of other forms of action appear to rise.
Yaakov Lappin
Military and strategic affairs correspondent, analyst. Specializes in
Israel’s defense establishment, military affairs, and the Middle Eastern
strategic environment. Author of the BESA study The Low-Profile War Between
Israel and Hezbollah
IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on
Arab-Israeli relations



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