Perle's doctrine: forwarded by Brendan Holland

James Daly james.irldaly at
Sun Mar 16 06:47:11 MST 2003

        The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies.
        7-8-1996.  "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the
Realm."  July 8.

        A Clean Break:
        A New Strategy for Securing the Realm

        Following is a report prepared by The Institute for Advanced
Strategic and Political Studies’ "Study Group on a New Israeli
Strategy Toward 2000." The main substantive ideas in this paper emerge
from a discussion in which prominent opinion makers, including Richard
Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Douglas Feith, Robert
Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser participated. The
report, entitled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the
Realm," is the framework for a series of follow-up reports on

        Israel has a large problem. Labor Zionism, which for 70 years
has dominated the Zionist movement, has generated a stalled and
shackled economy. Efforts to salvage Israel’s socialist
institutions—which include pursuing supranational over national
sovereignty and pursuing a peace process that embraces the slogan,
"New Middle East"—undermine the legitimacy of the nation and lead
Israel into strategic paralysis and the previous government’s "peace
process." That peace process obscured the evidence of eroding national
critical mass— including a palpable sense of national exhaustion—and
forfeited strategic initiative. The loss of national critical mass was
illustrated best by Israel’s efforts to draw in the United States to
sell unpopular policies domestically, to agree to negotiate
sovereignty over its capital, and to respond with resignation to a
spate of terror so intense and tragic that it deterred Israelis from
engaging in normal daily functions, such as commuting to work in

        Benjamin Netanyahu’s government comes in with a new set of
ideas. While there are those who will counsel continuity, Israel has
the opportunity to make a clean break; it can forge a peace process
and strategy based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one
that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to
engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism, the starting point
of which must be economic reform. To secure the nation’s streets and
borders in the immediate future, Israel can:

          a.. Work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain,
destabilize, and roll-back some of its most dangerous threats. This
implies clean break from the slogan, "comprehensive peace" to a
traditional concept of strategy based on balance of power.

          b.. Change the nature of its relations with the
Palestinians, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self
defense into all Palestinian areas and nurturing alternatives to
Arafat’s exclusive grip on Palestinian society.

          c.. Forge a new basis for relations with the United
States—stressing self-reliance, maturity, strategic cooperation on
areas of mutual concern, and furthering values inherent to the West.
This can only be done if Israel takes serious steps to terminate aid,
which prevents economic reform.
        This report is written with key passages of a possible speech
marked TEXT, that highlight the clean break which the new government
has an opportunity to make. The body of the report is the commentary
explaining the purpose and laying out the strategic context of the

        A New Approach to Peace

        Early adoption of a bold, new perspective on peace and
security is imperative for the new prime minister. While the previous
government, and many abroad, may emphasize "land for peace"— which
placed Israel in the position of cultural, economic, political,
diplomatic, and military retreat — the new government can promote
Western values and traditions. Such an approach, which will be well
received in the United States, includes "peace for peace," "peace
through strength" and self reliance: the balance of power.

        A new strategy to seize the initiative can be introduced:


          We have for four years pursued peace based on a New Middle
East. We in Israel cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not
innocent. Peace depends on the character and behavior of our foes. We
live in a dangerous neighborhood, with fragile states and bitter
rivalries. Displaying moral ambivalence between the effort to build a
Jewish state and the desire to annihilate it by trading "land for
peace" will not secure "peace now." Our claim to the land —to which we
have clung for hope for 2000 years--is legitimate and noble. It is not
within our own power, no matter how much we concede, to make peace
unilaterally. Only the unconditional acceptance by Arabs of our
rights, especially in their territorial dimension, "peace for peace,"
is a solid basis for the future.

        Israel’s quest for peace emerges from, and does not replace,
the pursuit of its ideals. The Jewish people’s hunger for human
rights — burned into their identity by a 2000-year old dream to live
free in their own land — informs the concept of peace and reflects
continuity of values with Western and Jewish tradition. Israel can now
embrace negotiations, but as means, not ends, to pursue those ideals
and demonstrate national steadfastness. It can challenge police
states; enforce compliance of agreements; and insist on minimal
standards of accountability.

        Securing the Northern Border

        Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective
approach, and one with which American can sympathize, would be if
Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by
engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of
aggression in Lebanon, including by:

          a.. striking Syria’s drug-money and counterfeiting
infrastructure in Lebanon, all of which focuses on Razi Qanan.

          b.. paralleling Syria’s behavior by establishing the
precedent that Syrian territory is not immune to attacks emanating
from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces.

          c.. striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and should
that prove insufficient, striking at select targets in Syria proper.
        Israel also can take this opportunity to remind the world of
the nature of the Syrian regime. Syria repeatedly breaks its word. It
violated numerous agreements with the Turks, and has betrayed the
United States by continuing to occupy Lebanon in violation of the Taef
agreement in 1989. Instead, Syria staged a sham election, installed a
quisling regime, and forced Lebanon to sign a "Brotherhood Agreement"
in 1991, that terminated Lebanese sovereignty. And Syria has begun
colonizing Lebanon with hundreds of thousands of Syrians, while
killing tens of thousands of its own citizens at a time, as it did in
only three days in 1983 in Hama.

        Under Syrian tutelage, the Lebanese drug trade, for which
local Syrian military officers receive protection payments,
flourishes. Syria’s regime supports the terrorist groups operationally
and financially in Lebanon and on its soil. Indeed, the
Syrian-controlled Bekaa Valley in Lebanon has become for terror what
the Silicon Valley has become for computers. The Bekaa Valley has
become one of the main distribution sources, if not production points,
of the "supernote" — counterfeit US currency so well done that it is
impossible to detect.


          Negotiations with repressive regimes like Syria’s require
cautious realism. One cannot sensibly assume the other side’s good
faith. It is dangerous for Israel to deal naively with a regime
murderous of its own people, openly aggressive toward its neighbors,
criminally involved with international drug traffickers and
counterfeiters, and supportive of the most deadly terrorist

        Given the nature of the regime in Damascus, it is both natural
and moral that Israel abandon the slogan "comprehensive peace" and
move to contain Syria, drawing attention to its weapons of mass
destruction program, and rejecting "land for peace" deals on the Golan

        Moving to a Traditional Balance of Power Strategy


          We must distinguish soberly and clearly friend from foe. We
must make sure that our friends across the Middle East never doubt the
solidity or value of our friendship.

        Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation
with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling
back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from
power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own
right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions. Jordan has
challenged Syria's regional ambitions recently by suggesting the
restoration of the Hashemites in Iraq. This has triggered a
Jordanian-Syrian rivalry to which Asad has responded by stepping up
efforts to destabilize the Hashemite Kingdom, including using
infiltrations. Syria recently signaled that it and Iran might prefer a
weak, but barely surviving Saddam, if only to undermine and humiliate
Jordan in its efforts to remove Saddam.

        But Syria enters this conflict with potential weaknesses:
Damascus is too preoccupied with dealing with the threatened new
regional equation to permit distractions of the Lebanese flank. And
Damascus fears that the 'natural axis' with Israel on one side,
central Iraq and Turkey on the other, and Jordan, in the center would
squeeze and detach Syria from the Saudi Peninsula. For Syria, this
could be the prelude to a redrawing of the map of the Middle East
which would threaten Syria's territorial integrity.

        Since Iraq's future could affect the strategic balance in the
Middle East profoundly, it would be understandable that Israel has an
interest in supporting the Hashemites in their efforts to redefine
Iraq, including such measures as: visiting Jordan as the first
official state visit, even before a visit to the United States, of the
 new Netanyahu government; supporting King Hussein by providing him
with some tangible security measures to protect his regime against
Syrian subversion; encouraging — through influence in the U.S.
business community — investment in Jordan to structurally shift Jordan
’s economy away from dependence on Iraq; and diverting Syria’s
attention by using Lebanese opposition elements to destabilize Syrian
control of Lebanon.

        Most important, it is understandable that Israel has an
interest supporting diplomatically, militarily and operationally
Turkey’s and Jordan’s actions against Syria, such as securing tribal
alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory and are
hostile to the Syrian ruling elite.

        King Hussein may have ideas for Israel in bringing its Lebanon
problem under control. The predominantly Shia population of southern
Lebanon has been tied for centuries to the Shia leadership in Najf,
Iraq rather than Iran. Were the Hashemites to control Iraq, they could
use their influence over Najf to help Israel wean the south Lebanese
Shia away from Hizballah, Iran, and Syria. Shia retain strong ties to
the Hashemites: the Shia venerate foremost the Prophet’s family, the
direct descendants of which — and in whose veins the blood of the
Prophet flows — is King Hussein.

        Changing the Nature of Relations with the Palestinians

        Israel has a chance to forge a new relationship between itself
and the Palestinians. First and foremost, Israel’s efforts to secure
its streets may require hot pursuit into Palestinian-controlled areas,
a justifiable practice with which Americans can sympathize.

        A key element of peace is compliance with agreements already
signed. Therefore, Israel has the right to insist on compliance,
including closing Orient House and disbanding Jibril Rujoub’s
operatives in Jerusalem. Moreover, Israel and the United States can
establish a Joint Compliance Monitoring Committee to study
periodically whether the PLO meets minimum standards of compliance,
authority and responsibility, human rights, and judicial and fiduciary


          We believe that the Palestinian Authority must be held to
the same minimal standards of accountability as other recipients of
U.S. foreign aid. A firm peace cannot tolerate repression and
injustice. A regime that cannot fulfill the most rudimentary
obligations to its own people cannot be counted upon to fulfill its
obligations to its neighbors.

        Israel has no obligations under the Oslo agreements if the PLO
does not fulfill its obligations. If the PLO cannot comply with these
minimal standards, then it can be neither a hope for the future nor a
proper interlocutor for present. To prepare for this, Israel may want
to cultivate alternatives to Arafat’s base of power. Jordan has ideas
on this.

        To emphasize the point that Israel regards the actions of the
PLO problematic, but not the Arab people, Israel might want to
consider making a special effort to reward friends and advance human
rights among Arabs. Many Arabs are willing to work with Israel;
identifying and helping them are important. Israel may also find that
many of her neighbors, such as Jordan, have problems with Arafat and
may want to cooperate. Israel may also want to better integrate its
own Arabs.

        Forging A New U.S.-Israeli Relationship

        In recent years, Israel invited active U.S. intervention in
Israel’s domestic and foreign policy for two reasons: to overcome
domestic opposition to "land for peace" concessions the Israeli public
could not digest, and to lure Arabs — through money, forgiveness of
past sins, and access to U.S. weapons — to negotiate. This strategy,
which required funneling American money to repressive and aggressive
regimes, was risky, expensive, and very costly for both the U.S. and
Israel, and placed the United States in roles is should neither have
nor want.

        Israel can make a clean break from the past and establish a
new vision for the U.S.-Israeli partnership based on self-reliance,
maturity and mutuality — not one focused narrowly on territorial
disputes. Israel’s new strategy — based on a shared philosophy of
peace through strength — reflects continuity with Western values by
stressing that Israel is self-reliant, does not need U.S. troops in
any capacity to defend it, including on the Golan Heights, and can
manage its own affairs. Such self-reliance will grant Israel greater
freedom of action and remove a significant lever of pressure used
against it in the past.

        To reinforce this point, the Prime Minister can use his
forthcoming visit to announce that Israel is now mature enough to cut
itself free immediately from at least U.S. economic aid and loan
guarantees at least, which prevent economic reform. [Military aid is
separated for the moment until adequate arrangements can be made to
ensure that Israel will not encounter supply problems in the means to
defend itself]. As outlined in another Institute report, Israel can
become self-reliant only by, in a bold stroke rather than in
increments, liberalizing its economy, cutting taxes, relegislating a
free-processing zone, and selling-off public lands and enterprises —
moves which will electrify and find support from a broad bipartisan
spectrum of key pro-Israeli Congressional leaders, including Speaker
of the House, Newt Gingrich.

        Israel can under these conditions better cooperate with the
U.S. to counter real threats to the region and the West’s security.
Mr. Netanyahu can highlight his desire to cooperate more closely with
the United States on anti-missile defense in order to remove the
threat of blackmail which even a weak and distant army can pose to
either state. Not only would such cooperation on missile defense
counter a tangible physical threat to Israel’s survival, but it would
broaden Israel’s base of support among many in the United States
Congress who may know little about Israel, but care very much about
missile defense. Such broad support could be helpful in the effort to
move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

        To anticipate U.S. reactions and plan ways to manage and
constrain those reactions, Prime Minister Netanyahu can formulate the
policies and stress themes he favors in language familiar to the
Americans by tapping into themes of American administrations during
the Cold War which apply well to Israel. If Israel wants to test
certain propositions that require a benign American reaction, then the
best time to do so is before November, 1996.

        Conclusions: Transcending the Arab-Israeli Conflict

          TEXT: Israel will not only contain its foes; it will
transcend them.

        Notable Arab intellectuals have written extensively on their
perception of Israel’s floundering and loss of national identity. This
perception has invited attack, blocked Israel from achieving true
peace, and offered hope for those who would destroy Israel. The
previous strategy, therefore, was leading the Middle East toward
another Arab-Israeli war. Israel’s new agenda can signal a clean break
by abandoning a policy which assumed exhaustion and allowed strategic
retreat by reestablishing the principle of preemption, rather than
retaliation alone and by ceasing to absorb blows to the nation without

        Israel’s new strategic agenda can shape the regional
environment in ways that grant Israel the room to refocus its energies
back to where they are most needed: to rejuvenate its national idea,
which can only come through replacing Israel’s socialist foundations
with a more sound footing; and to overcome its "exhaustion," which
threatens the survival of the nation.

        Ultimately, Israel can do more than simply manage the
Arab-Israeli conflict though war. No amount of weapons or victories
will grant Israel the peace its seeks. When Israel is on a sound
economic footing, and is free, powerful, and healthy internally, it
will no longer simply manage the Arab-Israeli conflict; it will
transcend it. As a senior Iraqi opposition leader said recently:
"Israel must rejuvenate and revitalize its moral and intellectual
leadership. It is an important — if not the most important--element in
the history of the Middle East." Israel — proud, wealthy, solid, and
strong — would be the basis of a truly new and peaceful Middle East.

        Participants in the Study Group on "A New Israeli Strategy
Toward 2000:"

        Richard Perle, American Enterprise Institute, Study Group

        James Colbert, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
        Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Johns Hopkins University/SAIS
        Douglas Feith, Feith and Zell Associates
        Robert Loewenberg, President, Institute for Advanced Strategic
and Political Studies
        Jonathan Torop, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
        David Wurmser, Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political
        Meyrav Wurmser, Johns Hopkins University

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