Lebanese Game Theory

Israel frequently releases to the press its plans for the war. For example, Olmert frequently has made statements about his plans for a ceasefire. Somehow this makes sense to some people. The people who like these statements are typically those who favor timetables for withdrawal. Not only does this lead to bad results in the long term it also hurts you in the short term. Consider the use of suicide bombers. In a long term battle suicide bombers are a rare weapon used sparingly because of the lack of sustainability. In fact, one reason Hezbullah isn’t sending suicide bombers is because they fear that Israel isn’t going to cave soon. Also rockets are less valuable during a ceasefire so you should shoot as many of them off as possible before the war ends. What are the possible benefits of publicly discussing ceasefire?

Qana raises some interestng questions. Although there were weapons stored in the building the military costs of Olmert’s 2 day unilateral truce were very high. However, Israel must not set the precedent of ignoring these types of buildings as targets. Ideally the press wouldn’t report Hezbullah’s exaggerations but that is unrealistic. Wouldn’t it be simpler if we could be cold and uncompassionate killers like Hezbullah? It might win us the battle but it would lose us the war.

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