We need the Israelis to impose their will on their enemy, the Palestinians. The Palestinians need to accept the permanent existence of a Jewish state. The U.S. government should encourage the Israeli government to do everything within the bounds of the practical, the moral, and the legal to effect that victory.
This doesn’t mean murdering people but taking steps to compel Palestinians to give up, to cry uncle, to say, “The jig is up. We can’t continue this. We need to coexist with our neighbor.” At that point, liberated from their foul, irredentist goal of eliminating their neighbor, Palestinians can begin to build their own polity, economy, society and culture.
Ironically, the Palestinians will win even more from their defeat than will the Israelis. Israelis won’t get blown up on the way to the pizzeria, but they basically a good life economically, legally, culturally, and so forth. The Palestinian live in oppression and poverty. They can only leave that once they give up the monstrous goal of eliminating their enemy.
Edward Luttwak argued the same thing ten years ago in general terms
An unpleasant truth often overlooked is that although war is a great evil, it does have a great virtue: it can resolve political conflicts and lead to peace. This can happen when all belligerents become exhausted or when one wins decisively. Either way the key is that the fighting must continue until a resolution is reached. War brings peace only after passing a culminating phase of violence. Hopes of military success must fade for accommodation to become more attractive than further combat.
Since the establishment of the United Nations and the enshrinement of great-power politics in its Security Council, however, wars among lesser powers have rarely been allowed to run their natural course. Instead, they have typically been interrupted early on, before they could burn themselves out and establish the preconditions for a lasting settlement. Cease-fires and armistices have frequently been imposed under the aegis of the Security Council in order to halt fighting. NATO’s intervention in the Kosovo crisis follows this pattern.
But a cease-fire tends to arrest war-induced exhaustion and lets belligerents reconstitute and rearm their forces. It intensifies and prolongs the struggle once the cease-fire ends — and it does usually end.
Edward Luttwak in his essay Give War a Chance speculated that if there was a United Nations in the 1860s, there would still be UN peacekeepers stationed between the warring Union and Confederate troops on the Mason Dixon line as of this day.
If you can work out a way in which ceasefires would have shorten World War II in either the European or Pacific theatres, you have got a better crystal ball than me.
There were long interludes on the Western front; several years in which the Nazis fortified the French beaches while the Allies built up their invasion force in England. For all practical purposes, there is a land-forces ceasefire from Dunkirk to D-Day across the English Channel.
Luttwak wrote that cease-fires permit space for both sides to heal while only intensifying and prolonging the struggle once the cease fire ends — and it almost always ends.
This was true in the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-1949. It is true of the dozen of ceases fires in Gaza negotiated by the Security Council. It was true of all the cease-fires that failed in the fall of Yugoslavia with Serbs, Croats, and Bosnians who negotiated month-long cease fires where
John Stevenson studied 170 ceasefires. He pretty much vindicated the position that each side uses the lull in the fighting to regroup, rebuild and reinforce when for when the fighting starts again.
Ceasefires are perplexing in the many sided civil war in Syria. Aside from the Kurds, it is hard to work out who you want to win.
The Kurds just want to be left alone with their own country.
But Turkey is not happy about that prospect nor is Iraq.
You can work out who you want to lose territory but as for who might replace them, maybe the free Syrian army is a bit of an improvement.
There will be a bloodbath in reprisals if any of the other sides win apart from the Kurds. The Kurds are only willing to fight as far into Syria as they need to defend their own territory.