What Are The Israelis Thinking?
It is hard to find any solid strategic argument for entering Gaza and occupying parts of it for an unspecified amount of time. Some in the IDF clearly opposed it; Spencer argues:
Israel should arbitrarily declare victory and get the hell out of Gaza. Hamas will claim victory too. But it was always going to claim victory, and every hour Israel is in Gaza pummeling them without destroying them is an hour that Hamas will be able to claim that more plausibly, just like Hezbollah did in 2006. That's how these types of asymmetric wars work; and also why it's better for the larger party not to launch them.
Israel may not want to hear this now, but it's playing on Hamas' strategic terms. Stepping back is the truer "success" at this point.
Even Allahpundit throws up his hands:
The JPost says the goal of the operation is to destroy Hamas infrastructure and seize control of launching pads in the north. For how long, though? Until they pull out in two weeks and the pads are re-seized by Hamas?
I don't see how Israel "wins" in Gaza any more than I can see how the US can "win" in Iraq. Maybe this current leap into the asymmetric abyss is a necessary proof before neoconservatism really does commit suicide. The danger is: the neocons may take Israel down with them.