Hamas as Hinge

Laura Rozen passes on some analysis on background from a “well known Arab American analyst” on the broader strategic stakes of the Israel-Hamas escalation that’s worth reading, especially in light of this, from Marc Lynch (a.k.a. Abu Aardvark), on the high anxiety sweeping through Jordan’s royal family.

Setting aside who’s right, for a moment, to concentrate on who’s making sense, I have trouble understanding how anyone can believe Hamas might be defeated militarily, mainly because, like all asymmetric adversaries, Hamas begins at a point already beyond military defeat. Its only hope is to provoke conflict in the hope that it eventually widens to a point where the regional chaos overwhelms the exponential military advantage Israel enjoys.

Israel has obliged by taking the bait, but its disproportionate riposte seems unlikely to serve its actual strategic interests.

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