By Daoud Kuttab, June 3, 2010
Violent Israeli attacks against the Freedom Flottila, an international humanitarian mission to Gaza, show the failure of Israel's strategic deterrence policy.
The idea of deterrence is that you mete out enough pain to the other side that it stops trying to challenge your authority. This deterrence policy only works if the other side does not have the ability or the will to up the ante. If the other side does, this forces another round of confrontation, which by its nature requires an even harsher degree of punishment.