Deterrence is the National Security of Fools...
...and brute force is an even worse alternative
You can’t support policies that perpetuate violent rivalry and then be scandalized when your rival wages violence against you.
Aside from such cyclicality being foreseeable, failing to anticipate as much makes overreacting to events much more likely.
This conclusion—that if you lay down with dogs you get fleas—is not uncommon among peace advocates of various stripes. But it’s also a conclusion that can be reached within the idiom of deterrence itself.
Case in point is Lawrence Freedman, a prominent historian of military strategy.
He has a recent piece that, like much of his work, straddles the self-limiting logic traps of the national-security state while still recognizing that everything has a historical context and that the degree to which any given security strategy proves to be sheer folly depends on how it relates to politics.
Reading him closely, it’s clear he thinks that deterrence has limits and that in the Israeli case deterrence is an unwinnable game.
But I honestly can’t tell if he grasps that pure military force (contra deterrence) is equally unwinnable.