Monday, December 26, 2016

What would be the result of a war between Pakistan and Israel?

Usama, Secular Democrat from Pakistan (Source)

Since there is a dearth of Pakistani answers to this question, let me give it a go for the sake of balance:

1. International relations: First off, it would be a bit of an awkward situation internationally. Pakistan and Israel are both allied to the same country (United states) and for the most part are technically allies (much to the chagrin of religious zealots on both sides). In fact both nations are designated as "Major Non Nato Ally".

People seem to forget that Pakistan came close to recognizing Israel during President Musharraf's tenure when the heads of states from both countries met in Turkey. Israeli Mossad also worked closely with the Pakistani ISI to ensure Musharraf's safety and at least one assassination attempt against Musharraf failed thanks to Israeli origin jammers placed under his car which prevented an IED from detonating under a bridge along his route until his car had safely traversed the bridge.

Pakistan is also no friend of the Palestinians and despite token diplomatic support and a paltry 5 million in non lethal aid, Pakistan has crushed Palestinian resistance on certain occasions with such brutality that even the most stone hearted Zionist must have felt a twinge of empathy. Read up on General Zia's crushing of the Palestinians in Jordan during the 70s for more details. General Zia was the President of Pakistan during the afghan war of the 80s.

It’s also a less acknowledged fact that the military junta of Pakistan cooperate with the IDF in anti terror ops, training and equipment to a significant degree.

Pakistan also lies squarely in the Saudi lead camp of Islamic countries consisting of Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia etc which are working with Israel to fight against both ISIS and Iran. Neither Israel nor Saudi Arabia would want to squander this cooperation at a time of ISIS rising and a resurgent Iran so diplomatic support for a war between the two countries from local regional powers would be lacking

2. Geography: The curse of geography. The two countries are so far apart that they have literally nothing to fight over. No water issues like to ones Israel has with Jordan and Lebanon and we do with India. No border disputes. Ideological differences? The political parties in Pakistan that are opposed to Israel due to religious issues have never been voted into power. All the leading political parties of Pakistan are largely secular and more focused on economic themes than disputes with Israel. And based on my observation of the Knesset elections held in Israel, Pakistan is a non issue for the Israeli voter.

3. Military: As a Pakistani, we have to hand it to India here. India is 10 times more bad ass of an opponent for Pakistan than Israel ever will be. We’re talking about a country that's touted as a rival to China. CHINA! People openly predict India becoming a superpower in its own right. The Indian army, air force, navy, BSF and RAW are a Goliath of an enemy and this immense war machine is what Pakistan armed forces are designed to hold off against. India makes the Arab states surrounding Israel look like a joke.

Imagine if Israel was surrounded by a Jordan that comprised of Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq and Turkey. You have a colossal foe that is also western trained, equipped and oriented rather than being an incompetent soviet satellite state. And you share a large land border with it. Now imagine how much more militarized Israel would be.

The state of Pakistan itself has evolved around meeting the threat from this immense and powerful foe. Our foreign mission is incredibly large and complex considering our size and is designed to counterweight and handle very demanding diplomatic tasks.

If i were to pinpoint something specific, then lets look at the air forces. Lets say the war involved IDF air attacks against Pakistan. To meet the needs of an air war against India, Pakistan has developed combat drones, more than half a dozen AWACS, BVR capability, EW suites, 4th generation combat aircraft, war gaming, high level training with Nato and Chinese defense forces, doctrines, strategies, rapid response tactics etc. The IDF would be fighting an incredibly tough opponent on their home ground. Lets not forget that Pakistani air force pilots fought against IAF Pilots in the 1970s and got a confirmed kill or two.

Even covert operations would be no cakewalk for Mossad. The ISI and RAW have long played the game of covert war against each other with the result being that both these agencies are incredibly adept at counterintelligence and covert operations. The long anti terror war Pakistan has engaged in since 2001 has further sharpened the ISI's skill and ability.

And i personally consider RAW as incredibly more powerful than Mossad. Recent news reports in Pakistan stated that RAW had been assigned $300 million to counter the CPEC project between Pakistan and China. An agency which can get 300 million assigned to it for just one Op is no joke and this is the agency which the ISI has been fighting against since its creation with the result being a battle hardened, experienced and competent ISI. The recent success of the ISI in the zarb e azb operation is also a testament to its capability. Mossad will have its hands full.

Another good point to note is how much synergy Pakistan's military establishment now has with the civilian leadership leading to more stable institutions and immense popular support for the military.

In short, Pakistan military and foreign establishments are incredibly strong compared to Arab nations and have evolved over decades of competition with India.

4. Nuclear question: Pakistan has nukes. Its a simple statement which changes the entire dimension of any potential conflict. There are commentors who are saying that India and Israel will team up to rid the world of Pakistan. Nukes make this meaningless to an extent because our program is designed to fight off against a numerically superior and technologically advanced foe. IDF would simply be more drops in the already large bucket of the Indian armed forces.

Then there's India as well. India would be quiet quizzical about being dragged into a war with Pakistan for Israel's whims. Modi is perhaps the most anti Pakistan PM India has ever had and even he is talking to Pakistan because why should India risk decades of economic prosperity and security for a nuclear Armageddon. One should remember that India politely refused to host an IDF strike against Pakistan nuclear facilities in the 80s due to it being exposed to nuclear fallout and retaliation.

Some commentators have stated how much India and Israel "like" each other. Countries unfortunately are not BFFs and follow their own national interests. India has a growing economy that's hell bent on attracting investment which is why despite Modi's rhetoric against Pakistan he is still talking to us. Because fighting nuclear armed neighbors is not the best way to gain investor confidence and India wont forgo that for Israel.

So while Israel can sit pretty thousands of miles away, India would be bearing the brunt of the war toll. So Indian support for a dispute between Israel and Pakistan is not assured militarily.

And i'm only being hypothetical about Israel sitting pretty. Israel is currently within range of Pakistani missiles and nukes and vice versa.

5. ISIS and IRAN: although i went over this point once its important to revisit it a bit for the sake of elaboration. Currently Israel is cooperating extensively with a Saudi lead coalition to counter the spread of ISIS and Iranian influence within the middle east. Both of these entities are considered a mortal threat by both Israel and Saudi Wahhabis. And while our Saudi friends might be miffed with us over our lack of support in the Yemeni conflict, they still very much count us within their camp and part of their alliance. Any war between Pakistan and Israel would endanger the Saudi-Israel cooperation to stem Iran and Isis and leave Israel open to attacks from these more pressing and imminent foes.

There's also the small matter of airbases and airspace. The Saudi coalition is very open to IDF jets using their bases and airspace against ISIS and Iran but might not be do forth coming for an attack against Pakistan which is an allied state and can retaliate very effectively against any Arab support for IDF attacks against Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia is currently counting on the Pakistani nuclear deterrent against any potential Iranian nuclear weapon and it will not endanger that for an Israeli dispute with Pakistan.

This last possibility might be remote but its possible that an Israeli attack on Pakistan could trigger massive Pakistani support for the Iranian nuclear program which has so far not happened. This could accelerate Iran's nuclear weapons program and would lead to Israel now facing 2 instead of 0 nuclear armed hostile states.

6.International response: While the US and Israel are staunch allies, the Iranian nuclear deal has exposed the limits of their alliance. Having observed US-Pakistani relations over the previous decade, the common theme of the US towards Pakistan has been one of the US ensuring nuclear Pakistan remains stable enough to not implode. This is why Pakistan has not faced any repercussions of tolerating Afghan Taliban, cutting off NATO supplies, proliferation of nuclear know how and on and on and on. The US grits its teeth and ignores. Same way the US grits its teeth and ignores the IDF's internationally unpopular war in Gaza. Realpolitik comes into play. And an Israeli attack which threatens the stability of a nuclear Pakistan will not go down well with the US.

Some commentators have stressed that Pakistan is an internationally isolated pariah state. I would say we're more controversial than isolated as our diplomatic presence and foreign missions continue strong as ever and we have successfully won cases at the ICJ and UNSC, the most recent being the Arabian sea territory demarcation. Did Israel become isolated after the Gaza war? Nope. Just controversial in some European countries and her traditional allies remained behind her same way our traditional allies like Saudi, US and China have remained behind us.

Even North Korea, the infamous hermit state cant be considered completely isolated.

Pakistan is currently playing host to the interests of the US, China, Arab states, Europe and other countries through a number of international deals and treaties. An Israeli attack on Pakistan which threatens say the Chinese investments in Pakistan's infrastructure for their own national exports would sour relations between Israel and a country as important as China.

Summary: I went over as much of the points regarding Israeli and Pakistani geopolitics as possible. Please excuse spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes as typing on my phone is no mean feat.

Israel and the Arab middle east are beginning to realize that neither of the two are going away any time soon so a state of passive acceptance is settling in that is best exemplified by the Saudi - Israel cooperation over Iran and Isis. Israel would be much better served if instead of fighting Pakistan it used its diplomatic clout over the US along with Saudi Arabia to get an Islamic anti-terror coalition force deployed to fight against ISIS. The Saudi-lead Sunni coalition comprising Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, the Gulf states and other allies is a good candidate for such a large scale op. This would go a long way to securing Israel than fighting Pakistan. Israeli links with India could also be used to decrease pressure on Pakistan's eastern border allowing a larger troop commitment from Pakistan.

Pakistan can also facilitate some kind of dialogue between Israel and Iran the same way it did for the US and China during the 70s leading to one of the biggest diplomatic breakthroughs of the cold war.

Pakistan on its end could extend formal recognition to Israel if some kind of progress is seen in the Palestinian issue and ensure that no terror ops against Israeli interests are planned in its part of the world. King Abdullah's Arab Peace Initiative is gaining increased acceptance in both Israel and the Arab world and it's adoption with some minor changes (Israel will probably keep Golan heights now) will result in formal recognition of Israel by Pakistan.
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Amir E. Aharoni
Amir E. Aharoni, lives in Israel
Written 13 Jul 2015
Israel has no reasons to have a war with Pakistan.

Certainly not with Pakistan as a country. Israel has nothing against Pakistan the country. At most, one could imagine that Israel could attack a certain terrorist or terrorist group on Pakistani soil, to prevent an attack on its citizens or as revenge (see Operation Wrath of God and Mahmoud al-Mabhouh for examples), but that would be a covert operation against an individual or a group rather than a war.

With Pakistan as a country Israel would love to have constructive diplomatic relations, which means - embassies, trade, tourism, and maybe even military cooperation against terrorism. It's quite possible to have such relations without agreeing about politics: for example, Russia supports Palestine and Syria, about which Israel isn't so happy, but the two countries still have rather constructive, even if somewhat tense, diplomatic relations.

So the question is irrelevant - an outright war between the two countries is just unimaginable. A theoretical comparison of their military might is thus also irrelevant, and uninteresting.
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Asit Dhal
Asit Dhal, Know Pakistan well
Written 6 Nov
The result of the war will be a ceasefire before the real war begins. Neither Pakistan nor Israel will get anything from this war.

Why is a war between Israel and Pakistan not feasible ?

Pakistan has no access to middle east. Israel has no access to Pakistan. There is no common border. India will officially stay neutral, because Pakistan will throw all the nukes on India without thinking about any retaliation. Both countries don’t have powerful navy to project power beyond their border.

Why Pakistan will never fight Israel ?

Pakistan is busy fighting with insurgents within the country. Another war will simple make the domestic situation bad.
Pakistan didn’t send army to fight in Yemen. Pakistan won’t send army to fight against Israel.
Pakistan has hardly any money left to start a new war. The economy is in ruins due to internal instability. No one is going to pay the war bill.
Pakistan is slowly moving away from US dominated gulf countries towards Chinese dominated alliance(may be Iran). China has no interest in Israel and Iran’s feeling about Israel is political.
Why Israel will never fight Pakistan ?

Pakistan may retaliate with nuke
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Faisal, Pakistani Atheist, Computer, History, Religion, South Asia
Written 14 Jul 2015
Israel and Pakistan has no reason to fight with each other. Pakistan just support sovereign Palestine in UN. Pakistan don't want to go at war with Israel for that. Israel has no reason for war other than that Pakistan is only Muslim nation with nuclear weapons. But I suppose that Israel see Iran as bigger threat.
Distance between Pakistan and Israel according to Google is 3,283 km. So there is no reason for both countries to go for war against each other. Hence, if no war then no result can be concluded.
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Nikhil Sharma
Nikhil Sharma, I am Indian
Written 1 Sep
Israel having a war with Pakistan ?

Well, Israel and Pakistan have nothing in common except India. While Israel is India’s friend, Pakistan is not.

The only reason I found Israel having a conflict with Pakistan is if a terrorist group based in Pakistan carries out an attack in Israel or maybe due to Pakistan raising its concerns over Gaza issue unnecessarily.

The war between Israel and Pakistan could be termed as a war between Israel and Islamic countries. Pakistan is one of the most powerful Islamic countries and most Muslim nations does not recognize Israel and would surely support Pakistan in the war.

India would be in a tough situation, but in my opinion, it would try to remain discreet during the war (still providing Israel military and air base) until any provocative action by Pakistan. Once any other country (maybe china) enters the war supporting Pakistan, India would be the first country to support Israel. (There are chances that Indian government may choose to be non-aligned but public pressure would force it to take a decision).

The US is an ally of both the countries and would try to neutralize the situation (like it did during 1999 Kargil) , but Israel has a powerful army and by the time the retreat by Pakistan is done the damage would have been done.

Pakistan might be having nuclear weapons but they don't have the firepower to reach Israeli territory so they might stupidly fire one towards India and the result would be same as earlier wars but Pakistan is not that stupid it knows that Israel is not India and would never ever dream of going to a war against them.
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Aditya Tiwari
Aditya Tiwari, lives in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Written Apr 18
A war between Pakistan and Israel is in itself a NEAR impossible scenario.let me tell you why....

firstly, Pakistan and Israel are 3283 km apart,with a couple of countries in between them,which removes the possibility of a frontline without involving a third nation.

2: assuming a frontline is established in,say Afghanistan, logistics management would trouble both the countries(even if Pakistan is closer).

these and a lot more(political,financial)reasons eliminate the possibility of a war.But if war does happen then israel MIGHT emerge as the winner,because.....

The IDF is far more technologically advanced than the pakistani armed forces,israel has a far more superior army (in terms of technology and training),israel has a far more superior airforce(in terms of aircraft performance and pilot training)and lastly israel has developed key missile defence tech(iron dome,david's sling etc)keeping a nuclear threat comfortably at bay. The pakistani navy has no say in this(as israel is landlocked).

I realise that in another argument the pakistani army is larger than the israeli army,but its not like pakistan's going to bring their entire army to frontline,completely exposing its eastern front to India........ but hey, its war so anything can happen. ;)
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Arjun Verma
Arjun Verma, lives in Singapore
Written Sep 22, 2015
Taking this question in hypothetical context- there are few possibilities.

1) Israel-Pakistan wage air war against each other as they are geographically separated by hundreds of miles

In air warfare- Israel definitely has a qualitative advantage of Pakistan. They are far ahead in electronic war fare, radar and avionics. Also Israeli pilots are considered among elite in the world.

Not to mention- Israel has powerful air defense systems (Patriot and many others) which can thwart any aerial attacks.

Israel’s new anti-ballistic missile system ‘phenomenal’ in testing

Iron Dome

Pakistan has perhaps more & longer range ballistic missiles but Israel has more than adequate response in form of Jericho ballistic missiles

Jericho (missile)

Both nations are nuclear and would refrain from using it.

So in a limited conventional air war Israel should be able to win

2) Land War over a third country

Say Israel & Pakistan for politico-military reasons end up supporting opposite sides in a civil war with both countries dispatching armed forces to the disputed region.

In limited &/or surgical operations no doubt Israel will have an advantage but instead if situation de-generates into war of attrition/fight in trenches & cities then Pakistan due to more man power & perhaps willingness to accept loss of its soldiers lives may be able to more than hold on its own.
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Elke Weiss
Elke Weiss, Israeli-American
Updated Sep 30
Nothing good for Pakistan, considering how much India likes Israel right now and Israel returns the feelings.

India plus Israel would be the end of Pakistan.

I hope it never comes to that.
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Ygal Kaplan
Ygal Kaplan, lives in Tel Aviv, Israel
Written Jul 13, 2015
A lot of press.
Those countries are more than 3,000 Km apart. I can imagine that most of the war would  be fought over the news, no casualties there.
Attacking each other would be almost impossible, because of the distance. Ground war - also impossible. An invasion requires lines of support, those would be impossible to set up.
In short, I suppose that one can ask "what if those two were neighbors, which one would win" and than the answer would most probably be Israel (based on history and military abilities), but that would be too hypothetical to calculate.
4.4k Views · View Upvotes · Answer requested by Umar Usman
Updated Jul 18, 2015

Israel is much much superior to Pakistan in terms of military tech, and also has protection and backing of world powers. Pakistan has numbers (Even though they are highly unskilled) and large area of control, but there are no real friends who would be ready to help it against Israel, that includes China, as China also has vested interest in Israel as it grants China access to US tech without actually having to deal with US. And China is in desperate need of it, IF the escalation goes nuclear, then there is a chance that both the countries would be wiped out, and other surrounding countries would suffer too.

One more thing Israel has over Pakistan is that Israelis are highly educated and in tern have very good standing in governments around the globe. Pretty much everyone one from US to Japan would be ready to help them as they are related by lobby mechanism. Unfortunately, can't say the same about Pakistan, more than 46% are not even literate, and the ones who are, are on average so bad that they have difficulties finding even jobs.

Either way, Pakistan may not be officially declared as a rogue terrorist state, but is quietly accepted to be one and no one would really have any problem from it vanishing. Same could be said about Israel, that is if you ask Iranians. Who wont be participating in a war either as they are just coming out of sanctions.

Situations may change depending on the flow of global politics in the future, but right now, it doesn't look good for Pakistan.
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