Thursday, February 20, 2014

The US Perception on Defensible Borders

The map (of all places):

The explanation:

On June 19, within days of the war’s end, the Pentagon’s Strategic Plans and Policy staff (J-5) was tasked by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to provide Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara with its assessment of “the minimum territory . . . which Israel might be justified in retaining in order to permit a more effective defense against possible conventional Arab attack and terrorist raids.” One week after McNamara’s request, the secret observations of the JCS’s professional staff were on his desk.  The map drawn is the first public example outlining a U.S. assessment of Israel’s territorial requirements in the aftermath of war. ( On every front, the JCS, basing its assessment “solely on military considerations from the Israeli point of view,” advised the significant expansion of Israeli control to include territories that the IDF had conquered earlier that month (see map page 3). However, its recommendations implicitly accepted the principle that some measure of Israeli withdrawal, notably in Sinai and the Jordan Valley, would not disadvantage Israel. Concerning the Gaza Strip, the JCS advised that Gaza’s “retention would be to Israel’s military advantage.” For the West Bank, the JCS, having explicitly been instructed to ignore all non-security (i.e., demographic) considerations, advised Israeli annexation of the populated West Bank heartland east of the Armistice Line. The JCS advised that “at a minimum,” Israel needed to establish a defensive line along the mountain ridge that runs north-south from Nablus through Hebron, primarily in order to broaden Israel’s narrow “waist.” It did, however, add that the border could move west of Jerusalem “if Jerusalem were to be internationalized under the United Nations.”

Has someone shown this to Sec'y Kerry?

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