Connect with us

conflict

‘It Makes No Sense’: Experts Puzzled By Biden Admin’s Claim That Rafah Invasion Wouldn’t Help Israel Defeat Hamas

Published

8 minute read

From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By JAKE SMITH

 

The Biden administration’s claim that an Israeli invasion into Rafah would not help the nation defeat Hamas or secure a hostage release deal “makes no logical sense,” several experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday that Israel cannot achieve a “sustainable and enduring defeat” against Hamas by invading Rafah, also claiming that it could jeopardize ongoing negotiations to free the hostages in Gaza. Experts told the DCNF that the claim doesn’t hold water as a military operation is the only way to pressure Hamas into reaching a hostage deal and eventually achieve victory over the terror group.

“An enduring defeat of Hamas certainly remains the Israeli goal, and we share that goal with them,” Kirby said. “Smashing into Rafah, in [Biden’s] view, will not advance that objective, will not get to that sustainable and enduring defeat of Hamas.”

Two high-level defense experts and a former senior U.S. official told the DCNF that Kirby is mistaken and that the only way to ensure Hamas is defeated is through military operations.

“Kirby is wrong,” Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington-based defense think tank, told the DCNF. “Only the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) patient, well-planned and well-executed operation has been successful in smashing Hamas and releasing hostages, to date.”

“You can’t defeat Hamas with good vibes and nice words. You defeat them on the battlefield through munitions, through kinetic action,” Executive Director of Polaris National Security and former State Department official Gabriel Noronha told the DCNF.

Kirby and State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller have said that the administration believes if Israel chooses to push into Rafah, it will weaken their hand in negotiations to secure a deal to release the hostages currently held in Hamas captivity. Israel has been negotiating with Hamas through international meditators, including the U.S., for months to reach a deal that would see a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza region in exchange for their release.

“We actually think that a Rafah operation would weaken Israel’s position, both in these talks and writ large,” Miller said on May 9.

“If I’m Mr. Sinwar, and I’m sitting down in my tunnel … and I’m seeing innocent people falling victim to major significant combat operations in Rafah, then I have less of an incentive to want to come to the negotiating table,” Kirby told reporters, referring to Yahya Sinwar, the leader of the military branch of Hamas.

Hamas is unlikely to be more inclined to move the hostage deal along if Israel doesn’t invade Rafah as the terrorist group isn’t concerned with the wellbeing of Palestinians in the region, experts told the DCNF. The IDF has accused the terrorist group of using civilians as human shields and embedding itself within population centers.

“It’s preposterous. It stands in the face of all the evidence we’ve actually seen in this conversation,” Noronha told the DCNF. “There’s been nothing that the White House has released that makes room for any kind of justification for what they’re claiming from the podium.”

The lack of military pressure from Israel would make Hamas less incentivized to reach a hostage and ceasefire deal, Shoshana Bryen, defense analyst and senior director of The Jewish Policy Center, told the DCNF. Hamas agreed to one ceasefire deal in November after coming under intense stress from Israeli forces, but the deal quickly fell apart in December.

“The only serious negotiating Hamas did was in the very early days when Israel’s fury was evident and accepted by most of the world,” Byren told the DCNF. “Hamas leadership saw that it might be defeated on the battlefield, so it permitted a ceasefire and released hostages. Since that time, the Biden administration has worked to constrain Israel — up to and including the withholding of arms approved by Congress.”

“Hamas isn’t stupid. As long as the Biden administration works to constrain Israel, Hamas doesn’t have to give anything,” Byren said.

Experts who spoke to the DCNF also took issue with Kirby claiming that Israel does not need to push into Rafah because Hamas has largely been crippled by Israeli forces since Oct. 7.

“It’s like saying, ‘Oh, we did chemotherapy for a month. We got 80% of the cancer, we’re good to go. We’ll just leave now.’ Again, it makes no sense,” Noronha told the DCNF.

“When someone announces that they want to kill you, they train to kill you, they arm to kill you, they teach their children that if the adults don’t finish the job in this generation, the children are expected to do it in the next generation,” Bryen told the DCNF. “When they say, ‘100 October 7s,’ they’re not kidding.”

Israeli forces seized control of the Rafah crossing bordering Egypt on Tuesday, saying that it was a vital chokepoint to stop the flow of weapons into Gaza, according to The Wall Street Journal. The IDF is moving further into the eastern corridors of Rafah, but has not yet gone into Rafah city, where the bulk of the more than one million refugees are located, according to The Associated Press.

Biden said during a CNN interview on Wednesday that the administration has not seen Israel cross a line in Rafah, but warned of consequences, including halting military aid, if Israel launches a full-scale invasion.

“If Israel had listened to the White House [since the war began], 18 Hamas terrorist battalions would still be standing, dozens of senior Hamas terrorist leaders would still be alive directing terror operations, dozens of Israeli and foreign hostages would still be languishing in the helm of Hamas captivity and Hamas would still be in charge planning the next October 7,” Dubowitz told the DCNF. “The Biden administration’s pressure on Israel has only prolonged the war and the suffering on both sides.”

Todayville is a digital media and technology company. We profile unique stories and events in our community. Register and promote your community event for free.

Follow Author

conflict

‘What’s The Problem?’: Zelenskyy Says NATO Needs To ‘Shoot Down’ Russian Missiles In Ukraine’s Airspace

Published on

From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By JAKE SMITH

 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Tuesday in an interview with The New York Times that member states of the NATO alliance need to step up their involvement in Kyiv’s ongoing war against Russia.

NATO, a transatlantic defense alliance comprised of European Union (EU) nations and the United States, has provided military aid to Ukraine’s ongoing fight against Russia but has thus far refrained from getting directly involved in the conflict. Zelenskyy bemoaned during his interview on Tuesday NATO’s resistance to providing more direct support in the conflict and said the alliance needs to start shooting down Russian missiles flying inside Ukrainian airspace.

Zelenskyy claimed that NATO wouldn’t be at risk of getting into a combat scenario with Russia, because any alliance involvement would be purely defensive, according to the Times.

“What’s the problem? Why can’t we shoot them down? Is it defense? Yes. Is it an attack on Russia? No. Are you shooting down Russian planes and killing Russian pilots? No. So what’s the issue with involving NATO countries in the war? There is no such issue,” Zelenskyy told the Times on Tuesday. “Shoot down what’s in the sky over Ukraine. And give us the weapons to use against Russian forces on the borders.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed that he does not wish for conflict with NATO but is ready for it, should the alliance choose to intervene directly in the war.

“Everything is possible in the modern world,” Putin told reporters in March, when asked about the possibility of a conflict between NATO and Russia. “It is clear to everyone, that this will be one step away from a full-scale World War Three. I think hardly anyone is interested in this.”

Moscow has gone as far as to raise the specter of nuclear war if NATO members choose to send troops into Ukraine to fight on Kyiv’s behalf, a possibility previously raised by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Zelenskyy also urged NATO Tuesday to send more military aid to bolster Ukraine’s defense against Russian advances. Russia has gained ground in recent months in key locations along the northeastern theater of the war, including the city of Avdiivka and regions near Donetsk and Kharkiv.

“Can we get seven?” Zelenskyy said, referring to Patriot air defense systems, telling the Times that Ukraine needed more than that number but would make do with what was available to protect key regions. He suggested an agreement might be reached during the NATO summit in July.

“Do you think it is too much for the NATO anniversary summit in Washington? For a country that is fighting for freedom and democracy around the world today?” Zelenskyy told the Times.

The U.S. recently approved a $61 billion aid package for Ukraine, including $14 billion for the direct purchase of weapons and munitions and $23 billion for replenishing the U.S.’ weapons stockpile, which can be transferred to foreign allies through the presidential drawdown authority.

Defense experts and former U.S. officials previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation that even with additional aid, Ukraine may not be any closer to achieving victory. Ukraine has suffered heavy manpower and armament losses as Russia’s military has resurged to full capacity.

“I think there’s not enough money available, either in this bill or in a much larger one, to help Ukraine achieve their goals of retaking all their territory or even go on offense in a sustained way,” Benjamin Friedman, policy director at Defense Priorities, previously told the DCNF. “So in a sense, moving forward is beyond their grasp, even if we give them a lot more weapons.”

Continue Reading

conflict

White House Reportedly Worried About Russia’s Sudden Momentum Months After Biden Declared Putin ‘Already Lost’ War

Published on

From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By NICK POPE

 

Manpower is a factor of growing significance for the Ukrainians, according to numerous reports. The war has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers, according to The Associated Press

White House officials are reportedly concerned that Russia may soon change the course of the conflict in Ukraine, less than a year after President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin “already lost” the war, The New York Times reported Wednedsay.

Some aides and officials inside the Biden administration are concerned that Russia may be turning the war’s tide despite the U.S. government’s April approval of $61 billion of fresh aid for Ukraine, according to the NYT. The current level of concern stands in contrast to Biden’s comments in July 2023 that Putin had “already lost the war” and that there is “no possibility” the Russians prevail in the conflict.

“Putin’s already lost the war,” Biden said during a July 2023 press conference alongside then-Finnish President Sauli Niinisto. “Putin has a real problem. How does he move from here? What does he do? And so, the idea that there’s going to be, what vehicle is used, he could end the war tomorrow, he could just say ‘I’m out.’ But what agreement is ultimately reached depends upon Putin and what he decides to do, but there is no possibility of him winning the war in Ukraine.”

Eighteen months ago, Biden administration personnel debated among themselves whether or not Ukraine could fully expel the Russians from their territory, according to the Times. Now, a number of officials and aides are reportedly viewing the next few months as critical toward determining the conclusion of the conflict, whether that takes the shape of a negotiated cease-fire deal or some other resolution.

Russian forces captured a considerable amount of territory near Kharkiv in Ukraine’s northeast over the weekend, and the Ukrainian command has been forced to divert some of their own forces to the region, leaving other parts of the front less well-manned. Recent gains in the Kharkiv region represented the most mileage that the Russians have captured in a short period of time over the course of the whole war, excluding its earliest stages.

Notably, manpower is a factor of growing significance for the Ukrainians, according to numerous reports. The war has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers, according to The Associated Press, and the Ukrainian government has lowered the minimum age of conscription from 27 to 25 and started to send certain types of convicts to the front lines.

Ukrainian forces have also reportedly struggled to quickly train enough pilots to operate costly and sophisticated F-16 fighter jets provided by the U.S. Another issue on the front lines is that Russian forces have learned to use electronic techniques to counter drone and artillery systems provided to Ukraine by the West, according to the Times.

The Department of Defense (DOD) also believes that congress’ delays in authorizing the $61 billion package has contributed to the current situation on the front lines, a DOD spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. However, there is hope that the situation will improve as weapons covered by the aid package approved in April begin to arrive at the front lines en masse, with U.S. officials currently expecting that the weapons will begin to make a real difference in July, according to the Times.

“On Friday, we warned that we had been anticipating that Russia would launch an offensive against Kharkiv and were anticipating that Russia would increase its attacks in an attempt to establish a shallow buffer zone along the Ukrainian border – and we have been coordinating closely with Ukraine to help them prepare,” the DOD spokesperson told the DCNF. “As we have said previously, Congress’ months-long delay in passing the supplemental put the Russians at an advantage, and it will take Ukraine time to regain the initiative. It is possible that Russia will make further advances in the coming weeks, but over time, the influx of U.S. assistance will enable Ukraine to withstand these attacks over the course of 2024.”

The DOD is “moving heaven and earth” to get weapons to the Ukrainians as soon as possible, and the agency is also preparing a new aid package to assist Ukrainian forces, the spokesperson added. Since the war started in February 2022, the U.S. alone has spent more than $100 billion to support the Ukrainian war effort, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

The White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Continue Reading

Trending

X