WORLD ROUNDUPHow Israel’s War Went Wrong | Washington’s Ability to Pressure Maduro is Limited | What the Western Media Gets Wrong About Taiwan, and more

Published 21 February 2024

·  How Israel’s War Went Wrong
The conflict in Gaza has become “an era-defining catastrophe.” It’s increasingly clear what — and who — is to blame.

·  Measles: A Deadly Disease That Can Be Prevented
The World Health Organization says low vaccination rates against measles mean more than half the world is at risk of outbreaks by the end of 2024

·  Turkish Police Arrest an Islamic State Suspect Who Worked at a Nuclear Power Plant, Reports Say
The Russian national had been working at the Akkuyu nuclear facility under false identity papers

·  Washington’s Ability to Pressure Maduro is Limited
Venezuela’s return to democracy will depend more on what happens inside the country than outside

·  What the Western Media Gets Wrong About Taiwan
Journalists flocking to cover life inside a geopolitical flash point often distort the reality on the ground

·  What the Ukraine War, Taiwan, and Gaza Have in Common
In confronting all three foreign policy dilemmas, Washington needs to incorporate an understanding and acknowledgment of the things the United States has done that contributed to them

·  China’s Rush to Dominate A.I. Comes with a Twist: It Depends on U.S. Technology
China’s tech firms were caught off guard by breakthroughs in generative artificial intelligence. Beijing’s regulations and a sagging economy aren’t helping

How Israel’s War Went Wrong  (Zack Beauchamp, Vox)
Lt. Col. Raphael Cohen is no one’s idea of a dove. As a US Army military intelligence officer, Cohen served two tours of combat duty in Iraq at the height of the anti-American insurgency. Now a reserve officer, he spends his days running a program on military strategy and doctrine at the RAND Institute. He has publicly argued that the reality on the ground in Gaza left Israel with little choice but to engage in the kind of war that it’s currently waging.
Yet there’s one area where Cohen’s review of Israel’s conduct is quite harsh: its lack of planning for the day after the war.
“They need to take the non-lethal side of the operation seriously,” he told me in late January. “If you don’t get the postwar planning right, whatever tactical gains you get are going to be fleeting.”
“When you talk to the IDF folks, their issue is like any military’s — they follow the guidance they’re given from politicians, and there is no clear guidance,” Cohen tells me. “They feel hamstrung because they can’t get out too far ahead of where the government is.”
Discontent with Netanyahu from inside the military is starting to go public. In late January, Defense Minister Gallant warned that “political indecision may harm the progress of the military operation” — suggesting that the government is shirking its duty to “discuss the plan … and determine the goal.”
Why is Netanyahu refusing to do his job? The most likely explanation is crass politics.
The prime minister’s ongoing corruption trial is very serious, with a conviction potentially leading to an extended stay behind bars. His primary motivation is staying in office and using that power to keep out of prison, which requires keeping his government together. As a result, his far-right coalition partners in the Religious Zionism faction — who oppose any Palestinian political control over Gaza and want to rebuild Israeli settlements there — have extraordinary influence over his decision-making. (Cont.)