Thursday, December 28, 2006

The obvious conclusions from Hizballah War, and India

From Gertz...

Mossad: Israeli deterrence diminished, Syria emboldened by war

JERUSALEM — Israel's intelligence community has concluded that the military's poor performance in the 2006 war against Lebanon has eroded Israeli deterrence.

Officials said the military's failure to defeat Hizbullah has encouraged Iran and Syria to prepare for another conflict with the Jewish state. "Israel's military deterrence was damaged in the war," Mossad Director Meir Dagan said. "As a result, Assad's self-confidence grew. They are prepared to take more risks than in the past."

Dagan's Dec. 18 testimony to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee marked the first time that a senior Israeli official reported a decline in deterrence. Over the past few months, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his aides have asserted that Israel defeated Hizbullah and bolstered deterrence.

But Dagan said Israel's poor performance in the 34-day war against Hizbullah has led to a Syrian military buildup. The Mossad chief, who dismissed reports that Assad wanted to negotiate a peace settlement with Israel, said Syria has been preparing for a massive retaliation to any Israeli strike.

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