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Liberty in Western Thought,' Ethics We create a hr which proves private trading to recognize the chameleon of the principles in a computing with trading about reference codes and treaties in trading to be not primary access concepts. There are several competing definitions for the word terrorism. Terrorism can be unpredictable or systematic, but it is always meant to attract attention. They apply well to the wave of suicide attacks in the years — Incidents between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians often give rise to conf licting versions aiming to rally media attention and the support of international public opinion, and which are often resolved only well after the events, sometimes never.

Casualty statistics, for instance, are a point of contention in battle, especially in an asymmetric conf lict. Not all disputed cases give rise to investigations, either because the context does not lend itself to inquiry due to the impossibility of gaining access to witnesses in a time of violent clashes, for instance , or because it is not always easy to locate witnesses, or again because Israeli military police investigators do not all speak Arabic.

That said, many facts have fortunately been clearly established. The quality of its investigations conducted among both the Palestinian and Israeli population is such to make major international human rights organizations pale with envy. Each of its reports includes a response by the spokesperson for the army or the ministry involved.

Its findings must nevertheless be regarded with a degree of caution, for however reliable they may be, they do not always supply very precise indications on the scale of the acts the army is accused of: Are they isolated acts or a recurrent phenomenon?

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The Israeli media, too, increasingly publish more and more information, which one must nevertheless take the trouble to double-check. Legal proceedings have taken place, producing convictions or acquittals. Serious investigations, such as those carried out by Amos Harel and Avi Isacharoff or by Raviv Drucker and Ofer Shelah, shed appreciable light on the subject. Israeli society lends itself to investigation like few others in such circumstances, even when the subject remains highly sensitive and topical. It is certainly not easy to gain access to active soldiers or officers, but Israel is an open society.

With the exception of the fringe on the extreme right, I did not get the impression that this society refused to discuss the ethical issue of war in the Occupied Territories. I never met with any hostility to these questions on part of the people I approached.

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This book has its limits and its difficulties. It does not purport to know everything. The conf lict is far from over and the army still keeps many secrets to itself. Guidelines for opening fire, for instance, have been secret since the beginning of the second Intifada, as the army is wary of the use armed groups will inevitably make of them. The facts must, therefore, be reconstructed from interviews using the caution that such a subject requires. This book thus does not have the ambition to take definitive stock of the situation.

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Unlike metaphysics, it does not insist on all or nothing. For this book to be worthwhile, it is not necessary in my view that it should be assumed to embody the truth for years to come and with regard to the tiniest details. I shall be satisfied if it is credited with the modest achievement of having left a difficult problem in a rather less unsatisfactory state than it was before. Is there an appropriate way to deal with it? It is certainly one of the most difficult forms of warfare to handle, having little in common with a conventional war between two opposing armies that are physically distanced from the local population.

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It has its own particular rules, is characterized by cruelty and requires an imaginative, ad hoc response. All wars are cruel, one could rightly argue, but for combatants trained to fight in a conventional war, this kind is even crueler. Asymmetric warriors use methods that enable them to get around traditional military force. The weak take the lead in initiating hostilities and thus have the advantage of surprise.

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For the powerful, it is a conf lict with no fixed front line or clearly identified enemy. Wars of decolonization are a good example of an asymmetric conf lict. They use women and teenagers either as mere auxiliaries or for attack missions, thereby making the entire population suspect. The aim of this strategy is to make the regular armed forces fire on civilians. If they succeed in provoking a disproportionate response to their attacks in the form of massacres or atrocities, the terrorists feel they have won the day by demonstrating the inhumanity of the state they are fighting against, thereby justifying the armed attacks on its population.

This kind of warfare is asymmetric not only with reference to the balance of armed forces but also from a legal standpoint as well. When faced with terrorist acts, all countries have the right and the duty to protect their citizens. That duty is even more imperative in a democracy, where leaders must account for their actions, than in any other political regime. The right of self-defense is stipulated in article 51 of the United Nations Charter. It mentions that this right can be exercised in the event of an attack against a member state of the UN.

But a state has the right to defend itself against an attack launched by an armed group operating out of the territory of another state. A number of fundamental treaties, such as the Hague Conventions of and , the Geneva Convention of , and the Additional Protocols of , establish clear limits to the use of armed force by states. With respect to an army of occupation, and regarding the protection of civilians in times of war art.

Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited. The rules of war are based on the principle of reciprocity. But in the case of an asymmetric conf lict, armed groups do not respect or recognize such laws, even though they offer them a certain amount of protection.

What can democracies do in this case? Negotiate a political solution, some would say. Such a solution is undoubtedly conceivable eventually, but not while bombs are exploding and destroying cafes, buses, and houses. Negotiating under such conditions would be giving in to pressure and, far from calming the terrorists, running the risk of strengthening their determination by providing proof of the effectiveness and legitimacy of their violence. These two equally bad alternatives have led certain authors, including the military historian Martin Van Creveld, to assert that states engaged in this kind of warfare are doomed to fail.

There are numerous examples to the contrary, because there are different kinds of insurrections, and the contexts in which they take place are dissimilar. The Greek Communist insurrection, which grew out of the German occupation, was defeated in Government troops prevailed, due on the one hand to the break between Tito and Stalin that deprived the insurgents of the Yugoslavian hinterland, and on the other hand to the combat errors committed by the insurgency. But there are cases where a state may consider that it is fighting for its own survival.

Such is the case for Israel, which in face of the wave of terrorist attacks in — deemed that its vital interests were at stake.

Israel's Asymmetric Wars (Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy)

The Israelis are all fighting with the idea that they have no other land to return to, contrary to all other instances of colonization. Although they considered withdrawing from the West Bank and Asymmetric Warfare 15 the Gaza Strip, occupied during the Six-Day War, the concessions they were willing to make ended there.

From the Strategy of Terror. Above all it should not be forgotten that many insurrections have been crushed with considerable bloodshed. The path generally taken by dictatorships employs excessive brutality, atrocities, massive destruction of combatants and all those suspected of helping them. Many authoritarian regimes have engaged in civil warfare against their own citizens. The use of force may know no limits. Abuse was systematic and civilian massacres numerous. Over 20, people were reported missing between and According to the Memorial Association, the Chechen conf lict in — resulted in 50, victims, and there were about as many deaths when it resumed in In short, it can descend to the same level as its opponents and adopt their techniques of war.

They arrested, tortured, and killed whoever was present when an attack by the resistance took place. Democracies are increasingly revolted by intentional attacks on civilians. The presence of the media in the most remote geographical areas, the judicialization of international relations, activism by humanitarian NGOs and human rights groups, and international mobilization against weapons liable to hit civilians—antipersonnel mines, cluster and submunitions bombs, chemical weapons—have created a climate in democracies that is very hostile to mass violence against civilians.

I believe that the right to wage war gives us permission to ravage the country and that we must do it either by destroying the crops at harvest time or all the time, making those quick raids known as razzias, the goal of which is to seize men or livestock.


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If democracies used the same methods as dictatorships, they would have less trouble overcoming irregular groups. But what was legitimate in the days of the colonial wars is far less so today. There are no easy answers or ideal formulas, but there are a few elementary principles and knowledge gained from the experience of counterinsurrectional operations conducted by countries such as France, Great Britain, and the United States.

Attempts to ref lect on what has been Asymmetric Warfare 17 called counterinsurrectional warfare date back to the s and s and even earlier—to the time of the great colonial conf licts. During the Algerian War there were several competing schools. Large military operations were abandoned in favor of constant psychological pressure on the civilian population. The British also vacillated between different strategies. The Americans largely disregarded it during the Vietnam War to their own detriment. The first presupposes considering the civilian population as one of the keys for success, a central strategic factor and not merely an exclusively humanitarian problem.