Over the last twenty years, there has been an increase in security-related Track 2 dialogues in the Middle East. Yet, with Israel, one of the region’s most important states and a nuclear power, few Track 2 dialogues addressing mutual security concerns have been held. They are needed to foster a more open exchange and discussion of emerging mutual security issues. This study will evaluate the feasibility and scope of a future Track 2 dialogue between the United States and Israel within the 2016 timeframe.
This project involves background research and analysis, including of past attempts to establish Track 1.5 strategic dialogues and the reasons they have failed. Additionally, researchers will conduct in-depth consultations with current and former U.S. government and non-government personnel. They will also travel to Israel to discuss the project’s objectives with a select group of Israeli government and non-government interlocutors. Subjects for discussion will include Iran’s nuclear program, Syria’s civil war, a Middle East WMD-free zone, extended deterrence, missile defense, and other emerging security issues.
Kagan, Michael. “Limiting Deterrence: Judicial Resistance to Detention of Asylum-Seekers in Israel and the United States.” Texas International Law Journal Symposium: Immigration and Freedom of Movement, February 5, 2015.
Governments have advanced the argument that asylum-seekers may be detained in order to deter other would-be asylum-seekers from coming. But in recent litigation in the United States and Israel, this justification for mass detention met with significant resistance from courts. This essay looks at the way the American and Israeli courts dealt with the proposed deterrence rationale for asylum-seeker detention. It suggests that general deterrence raises three sequential questions:
1. Is deterrence ever legitimate as a stand alone justification for depriving people of liberty?
2. If deterrence is sometimes legitimate, is it valid as a general matter in migration control, or is it limited to certain exceptional circumstances?
3. If deterrence is a legitimate goal, is there any effective proportionality limit on the measures a government may take against asylum-seekers?
The American and Israeli courts did not answer these questions in the same way, and they did not foreclose all potential future uses of deterrence by their respective governments. But they signaled considerable judicial resistance, which may make it more difficult for governments to justify mass detention in the future.
So long as a fully-nuclear Islamic Republic of Iran is not regarded in Jerusalem as incapable of coexistence with a Jewish State, Israel’s optimal doctrinal emphases should now be placed on more suitable configurations of diplomacy, nuclear deterrence, and ballistic-missile defense. Reevaluating the longstanding Israeli policy of deliberate nuclear ambiguity will be very important, including also the precise ways in which the country’s nuclear capacities and inclinations are newly communicated to potential aggressors. In all associated responsibilities for “bomb in the basement” policy assessment and disclosure, the Israel Intelligence Community must play a prominent and promising role. By such “wise counsel,” Israel could do much better than prepare for any future war. It could best avoid such a war altogether, thus providing its people the most meaningful “victory” of all.
More than any other modern nation, Israel has combatted, prevented, countered, and deterred terrorist attacks. While the conflict that spawns terrorism did not begin with the founding of modern Israel, its establishment by United Nations resolution in 1948 has certainly become the contemporary trigger point for this ancient antipathy. Israel has attempted different tactical and strategic approaches to halt attacks, including deterrence, but, in contrast to what U.S. strategists might initially suppose from their Cold War experience, Israeli deterrence of terrorism does not fall into either the Kahn or Schelling schools of thought. It has more affinity to risk management, and kinship with deterrence of crime in a civil legal system. Like criminal law enforcement, the expectation of Israeli terror deterrence is not unrealistically zero attacks, but practical management to maintain a certain status quo. Israel, however, appears trapped in an endless cycle of pain with its adversaries, a cycle regulated by unspoken rules. This article evaluates the Israeli experience in terrorism deterrence, and concludes with observations concerning efforts to protect the U.S. homeland.
Because of the flaws, limits, or political impossibility of some of these options, the status quo may be the best of a bunch of poor choices. Nevertheless, given the problems with Israel’s current approach and the paucity of good alternatives, some changes are necessary. The analysis suggests the importance of helping moderate Palestinians govern more competently and become politically stronger: currently they are on the path to political irrelevance. In addition, the world should offer pragmatists in Hamas political opportunities, giving them another path to success beyond violence. Finally, options that offer small changes in the status quo deserve consideration. Such steps would, over time, enable Israel to take more risks and allow everyone to move beyond the current stalemate