As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, with the U.S. supporting Israel’s right to self-defense, there is increasing debate over the long-term political goals and consequences of the war. Gideon Rose’s insights on war endings suggest that neglected political questions may soon demand attention, while experts highlight the risks of current military strategies and suggest alternative approaches for a lasting resolution.

by Janice McAllister

The ongoing war between Israel and Hamas is at a critical juncture where the strategic focus is under intense scrutiny. The conflict, which escalated following the deadly Hamas attack on October 7, has raised important questions about the political objectives and eventual outcome of such confrontations. Historically, the lack of foresight in addressing the political aftermath has often undermined the U.S.’s engagements in global conflicts, as detailed in Gideon Rose’s “How Wars End.”

Amidst Israel’s military response, U.S. President Joe Biden, facing internal party pressure, has urged for a cessation of hostilities to address the dire humanitarian situation. Echoing the historical lesson that initial military victories can give rise to long-term challenges, Robert A. Pape of the University of Chicago recalls Israel’s 1982 Lebanon invasion’s unintended consequence—the birth of Hezbollah.

Pape suggests that military might alone cannot quell the rise of terrorism and emphasizes the need for immediate political dialogue as a more viable solution. The early initiation of talks, he argues, could offer Palestinians a credible alternative to Hamas and prevent further radicalization.

DJ Rosenthal, a former counterterrorism official, has advocated for a careful approach by Israel to minimize civilian casualties despite Hamas’s tactics. He warns that neglecting this responsibility could jeopardize Israel’s security, Western alliance, and moral standing.

The consequences of military actions, such as the strike on Gaza’s Jabalya refugee camp, have diplomatic repercussions, as evident in the strained relations between Israel and several Latin American countries. With Secretary of State Antony Blinken visiting Israel, it’s apparent that the U.S. is exerting diplomatic pressure for a more measured military campaign by Israel.

The emotional toll of the conflict is palpable in the global Jewish community, as illustrated by Columbia Business School’s Shai Davidai’s reaction to the Hamas attack. The enduring grief and trauma speak to a collective Jewish experience marked by recurring targeting and violence.

In Gaza, the psychological impact on the youth is a concern shared by residents like Nadia AbuShaban, who questions the future for her young nephew amid such turmoil. The uncertainty surrounding his prospects in a region overshadowed by violence casts a shadow on the next generation’s fate.

As the conflict’s “endgame” looms, the international community grapples with the balance between military actions and their political aftermath. With every war eventually pivoting to the arena of politics, the pressing challenge for Israel, Hamas, and their global partners is to navigate the intricate path from warfare to peace and stability.

(Associated Medias | FAD) – All rights reserved.