Observation: Questions To Address Before Opting To Putting Iran Ahead of
Hezbollah on the Operations Timeline
Dr. Aaron Lerner 16 April 2023
Its become a hallmark of Israeli policy to justify kicking the Hezbollah
"can" down the road by citing the need to give priority to the Iranian
And with Iran able to make enough weapons grade uranium in two weeks (if it
hasn't already done it in a military location which was never under JCPOA
monitoring) it doesn't look like this position will change.
This may be a terribly flawed policy.
How serious the consequences of following this "Iran first" approach depends
on many factors.
#1. What would be the consequences of launching a surprise Israeli campaign
to wipe out the current launch capabilities of Hezbollah followed by
enforcement of a "no tolerance" policy which demolishes anything they bring
in afterwards as compared to an operation after an Israeli attack on Iran
causes Hezbollah to shower Israel with everything it has?
The "edge case" is that we are able to blind the navigation technology
employed in Hezbollah's guided missiles so that they are, for all practical
purposes, no more than "statistical" like the other over a hundred thousand
rockets Hezbollah has. If that's the case then if we decide only to defend
strategically important sites then we probably would have enough
interceptors to down the rockets that beat the odds and need to be taken
down since they are actually going to hit one of the sites.
If the above "edge case" is not the situation then the number of guided
missiles possessed by Hezbollah could be a critical factor, particularly in
light of Israel's policy not to interfere with weapons build ups within
Lebanon. When the Iranian Miraj Airlines, linked to the Revolutionary
Guards, began running flights to Beirut Airport last November 14th we
reportedly warned them not to carry the GPS upgrade kits which they've flown
into Syrian airports. Did Iran heed our warning or are there many many
thousands of upgraded rockets now waiting to be launched towards
pre-programmed strategic targets within the Jewish State?
And how many more guided missiles will Hezbollah have if we kick the can?
#2. If we hit Hezbollah first, how much time would be required to restore
the capabilities which would also be used in an operation against Iran?
#3. What’s the timeline for an operation against Iran?
The publicly available assessments all have it taking more than a year for
Iran to make a deliverable bomb. It is also not clear when Iran would
actually receive the 24 Su-35 jets it ordered and their relevance to Israeli
#4. To what extent does the temporary international shortage of weapons and
ammunition play for or against Israel's favor?
#5. Would a full scale Israeli operation now against Hezbollah bolster or
weaken our standing with our "wobbling" Arab allies? What about the world
These are hard questions which cannot have certain answers even for the
decision makers. Only educated assessments.
But I can't get out of my mind the possibility that the cost of kicking the
can will be successful guided missile attacks by Hezbollah against all the
locations that the State Comptroller has warned for decades need to be
removed from within Hezbollah's range or reinforced along with a bag of
tricks from both Hezbollah and Hamas which we did not anticipate at a cost
to our dear country far beyond anything that we anticipated.
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