Monday, June 1, 2009

The political undertones of Israel's military exercises

Israel is currently undergoing the largest and most comprehensive military exercises in its history. Five days of ground, air and navy simulation drills are tactically meant to prepare the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) for a total war scenario with Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinians and Iran. But there is a more calculated political aim to these drills.

The timing is meant to send a clear message to the Lebanese electorate about the dangers of electing the Hezballah-led coalition into a majority governing role for the first time in the militant movement's history.

On the heels of an article from germany's Spiegel magazine claiming to have inside sources implicating Hezballah officials in the death of ex-Prime Minister Rafiq el-Hariri, Israel is looking to further influence the political calculus of Lebanon's electorate and politicians alike ahead of the June 7 elections.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak has already warned, echoing statements by other top-ranking Israeli officials, that a Hezballah-led government would automatically make the Lebanese state an enemy entity. This means Israel would consider itself free to target any government and economic infrastructure it deems necessary in a future war with its tiny southern neighbour. The war games are meant to reinforce this heavy-handed policy.
(photo from PressTV)

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