Israel is a nation that needs to win its wars quickly.
The active duty Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is fairly small, with only about 150,000 men and women under arms. In war, its job is to hold off the bad guys long enough for the reserves to come into play.
Then, they have six times the manpower, and even more firepower.
But at what cost?
When Israel mobilizes half a million men and women, they lose a huge chunk of their workforce. Their economy simply comes to a halt, because too many workers are away from their desks and driving Merkavas into battle.
I think that may be part of the reason Sharon is taking his slow-motion approach to fighting the Palestinian terrorists. By calling up few reserves, he lets the economy keep working.
That’s a recipe for disaster. Ratcheting up the pressure doesn’t work, and Sharon is probably only two or three more suicide bombings away from remembering that hard lesson.
If push comes to shove, I have no doubt our President and our Congress will not hesitate sending Israel as many beans and bullets as they need to fight and win this war. But their economy will also suffer greatly — so we should be there with economic aid, too.
Try to remember all the costs our toughest, surest ally must pay.