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In my book The Religion War, written ten years ago, I predicted a future in which terrorists could destroy anything above ground whenever they wanted. They simply used inexpensive drones with electronics no more sophisticated than an Android app.

Fast-forward to today, Iran is sending drones to Hezbollah, and Hezbollah has training camps right next to Syrian chemical weapons stockpiles. Meanwhile, Hamas has its own drone production facility, or did, until Israel found it. One presumes Hamas will build more. How long will it be before Israel is facing suicide drones that only cost its enemies $100 apiece, fit in the trunk of a car, and can guide themselves to within 20 feet of any target? I'd say five years.

So what happens when the drone attacks start happening in volume? Let's game this out. My assumption is that the coming inevitable wave of hobby-sized suicide drones will be unstoppable because they will fly low to their target and be so numerous that no defense will be effective. I predict it will be too dangerous to live above ground in Israel within ten years unless the trend is reversed. But what could stop the trend?

Surely the terrorists won't give up. Surely Iran and others will keep the terrorists well-supplied. Surely Israel can't conquer every pocket of terrorism in the region. And surely Israel won't surrender and walk away.

It's your turn to be a futurist. Please describe in the comments any scenario you can imagine in which Israeli cities are still habitable in ten years. And be sure to give your best guess on the odds of your scenario playing out.

 
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Dec 2, 2012
I would state that it is not as likely that Jeruselem or for that matter, Isreal to be rendered uninhabitable. If small drones could have done this, then just making enough explosive devices and passing these off to the palastinians would have been attempted long ago. The checkpoints would have been overwhelmed, and then they would have blown up most of the contry already. Making a mass amount of radio controlled planes would be difficult to do, more difficult than manufacturing a whole bunch of motolov !$%*!$%*!$ or even smuggling in a bunch of RGB-9's and 7's into the contry. Essentualy using small drones is no better than trying to overwelm the IDF with small arms. They would need to mobilize all the palastinians and arm them all. Then they would have to be willing to go on the offensive at an opertune moment with the assistance of arab neighbors, whom themselves would hae to train far better than they have in the past and show far greater co-ordination and orginization than they have in the past. The only thing I see changing this would be a technological leap of innovation that produced drones that could deliver a swarm style attack [though they would not need nessiserily deliver exposives] and the means to shut such a capacity down after the job is finished. All of this a give a low chance to happen. Drones will still be used to harras Isreal though, by palistinians and vice-versa. It is nothing more than another facette of the escalation of hostililities between the two groups. ITs more likely that isreal might be caught off-gaurd by a sneak attack than palistinians would take back by drone attack the contry in a war of attrition. [Overall, the palistinians are loosing that war, though they have made some societetical reforms and have a sort of 'democracy' where both the extreamists and the others can get elected to the offices inside the palistinan reservations on Gaza and the east bank].

And of coarse, they could have also more easily just made Bombs as well.. And seeing as to how most radio remote controllers off the self have such a narrow frequency range, it would not be difficult to jam those channels during major attacks. It would render unessiary any need to use an EMP device of any kind. This could cause the intended devices to malfunction on activation - destroying its operators. The drones themselves would have to be more sophisticated and independant of ground controllers [which can in point of fact be triangulated ] for the palistinians to think that drones are a good answer, they would have to have bases of operation that are outside the region with the logistics to support a long rnage drone strike, and they dont have such stuff.. But there are other technical means that could increase the danger to both sides easily.

Anotehr trick they could use, would be to turn a car into a IED packing bot.. But this would again be just another escalation and another small step usp from leaving stationary vechicles on the side of the road laden with explosives. And idf such a thing happens, the inevitable retaliation could make such a move not worth the effort. Especally if isreal retailiates with carpet bombing and starts using large quantites of Fuel-air exposives on the refugee camps and enguages in wholesale retaliatin measures. Then instead, you would just see Isreal try and liquidate the palistinians. An unfortunate thing indeed, which would lead to a regional war.

It would undoubly be a disaster for us though [the USA].

Vurnun
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 26, 2012
I find it interesting that you're picking sides here. You claim any attack against Israel to be a terrorist attack. You specifically ask how Israel can be kept habitable. I'd argue that from the other side of the fence, an attack from Israel is a terrorist attack and that those people prefer habitable land as well.

I'm neutral. For simply not knowing enough about this complicated matter to make proper judgement. I hope more people will admit that they're basically clueless about this.
 
 
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 22, 2012
The only scenario I can see would be a civil war within Israel. Whether false flag or true, I could see it playing out as a charismatic Israeli commander disobeys orders during a large and otherwise brutal incursion into Gaza. The disobedience would spread while the world watched, and the government would experience a very quick regime change. In the meantime, a sense of one nation would develop, mixed with a hero / martyr or two, if done right, leaving a new sense of pride and rebooting of relationships with neighboring regimes - which would be falling head over heals to give the new forming Israeli regime support. It would have to be quick, and ugly, some current powers that be would need to be dragged through the streets. But not all - as it could all be planned out - giving the "new" Israeli gov a facelift and a reboot on the clock. Variations of the above probably exist, but the quick and ugly one will likely be the most successful as other regimes won't have time to get their claws into the new unified government. (Which briefly will be under military control as the key to all this is that it would need to come from the military itself) I would give either the genuine, or false flag version about a 15% chance of occurring - the small chance assigned based on the assumption that confirmation bias from years of conflict would prevent Israel from breaking free of its no-win pattern.
 
 
Nov 20, 2012
I'm sure the majority of people in Palestine and Israel would prefer peace. And realistically, I doubt Israel is going to dissolve anytime soon.So it would be best if they could just get along.

While the differing Palestinian, islamic factions and or Arabs in general, have been fighting and arguing amongst them selves for the past 60 years. Israel and most of the west have been working on unifying, training and building their defenses against any militant intrusions. Israel has developed an extraordinary military force to protect themselves. And no country within a two thousand mile radius can match israels military capabilities.

The main cause of trouble in the region is caused by an extreme minority from both sides. And it is unfortunate that the majority of people have ended up as casualties in this conflict.

But Israel is not going anywhere, and the Palestinian people are going to have to accept that.

In 10 years there may be peace in the region if Irans government is taken out of the picture...
 
 
-4 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 19, 2012
Option 1: Israel stops being a democraty, in favor of a strong leader (dictator) that the people trust in these dangerous times. The strong leader will take full and harsh control over all of Palestine. The international community will not interfer, because the USA backs this leader up. The leader of Israel will stop at nothing to break the spirit of the Palestines, like holding raids, capture and torture family members of terrorists.

Option 2: Full integration. Use Palestinians civilians as a humans shield. Not by force, but by free will. Offer Palestines a job. Every area of Tel Aviv should have a minimum of 20% Palestinian inhabitants. Hamas will have to target their own people as well if they want to hit Israelis. Who blows up a bus if your neighbors son is in there?
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 19, 2012
Israel is already doing something that I think will be effective over the long run...that is assassinating terrorist leaders. Eventually anyone who declares themsevles a leader of Hamas will be automatically assassinated regardless of whether they make any actual moves against Israel. Also, any public funeral of a Hamas leader will be automatically bombed. Whether this is done by drones or super smart bombs is besides the point.

People are happy to make a name for themselves as a leader or a martyr even if it means they will be killed. However, eventually there will be so many dead Hamas leaders that people start getting names confused. Once that happens, no one will want to be leader as the role becomes meaningless and death is automatic.

As a futurist, I would invent the Mark-IV Travel Machine which are armed autonomous all-terrain machines. The name would be shortened to Dalek. They have a simple program which is to eliminate all non-Dalek lifeforms. If Hamas unleashes explosive robo-drones, Israel could unleash the Daleks in Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria. By the way, a fatal flaw in the robo-drone vision is that there are not sufficient explosives to level everything in Israel.
 
 
Nov 19, 2012
@ceprn69

[In my opinion, a culture isn't hated for thousands of reasons because they are good people. The state of Israel has been stealing from the arabs for decades. Maybe they should get over their arrogant selves and start trying to live with their neighbors rather than pretending they are better. I think, if I lived in that area of the world, and had Israel as a neighbor, I'd be doing the same thing Hamas is.]

You are forgetting that Arabs in general and Hamas in particular deny Israels right to exist. Until that changes Israel has a right to treat them as the enemy.
 
 
Nov 19, 2012
happy:
just to be clear, 'Accidental Collateral Damage' can include the body parts of children? And you are ok with that?
 
 
Nov 18, 2012
Scenario:

A) Occidental power become annoyed by Islam extremist and nuke about everything short of Israel. Toss a coin to know if it will happen in the next decade or not. We have all the weaponry and knowledge to do so.

B) Israel get annoyed and start killing everyone around them, especially civilian. Heck their survival is at game and the only country who have enough military power to stop them: have no interest in stopping them to do so, have interest in seeing less terrorist around the world, have interest at selling weapon to both faction. Once the civilian start understanding that the dog is so angry that he will kill them, the civilian tolerating the terrorist will suddenly start thinking about it. If the A option is not going to happen, this option will happen.

C) A less probable option, but still targeting the civilian of terrorist-friendly-country, Israel or somebody else make some hard to detect drug that sterilize every man. Only cure: in the hand of a developed country that would make it clear that they only sell some of it if no terrorist are present. Maybe a chance in twenty to happen.

All in all, terrorist highly depend on the tolerance of the civilian inhabiting where they are hiding. Target the civilian, the civilian will clean the terrorist for you. USSR failed to get ride of terrorist in Afghanistan, USA too will fail. Why? Because they think they only have to conquer the place, wipe out the terrorist while showing no incentive to the civilian to not allow them to return.

Terrorist also highly depend on some very rich individual or a country to have supply. Seriously, we all know that Russia and USA sell weapon where they should not. We all know where the money come from too. Do note that once we get ride of petroleum, the Middle West is quickly becoming the poorest place on Earth. That and give the state control over drug and they have no money left, no money equal no terrorist. The chance thought that will happen are one in a thousand. Next decade will be bloody.
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 18, 2012
A) Israel can build cheap drones to target its enemies too, you know.

B) Conventional weaponry and nukes (which don't leave much residual fallout when air-bursted) should be effective enough against any nation that supplies terrorists with sophisticated weaponry.

C) Drones still have to be launched from somewhere, and such launches are easily detected. As such, terrorist drone launches would all be suicide missions. The percentage of the population willing to commit suicide bombings will remain the same whatever the method of delivery may be.

I'd say Israel stands a very good chance of staying right where it is right up to Armageddon.
 
 
+5 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 18, 2012
Brant:
"You willfully ignore the fundamental equation of peace in Israel. If the Muslims in Gaza and the West Bank laid down their weapons tomorrow, there would be peace and two nations in 2013."

So, in 2013 then east Jerusalem would belong to the new palestinian state and Israel would pull back to its pre-1967 borders?

Everything else is not called "peace", it's called "defeat". Yes, one is kinda the other, but there's a difference. Particularly in the willingness of the losers to voluntarily agree to such a "peace".
 
 
Nov 18, 2012
my prediction--
the good version (85 percent)-- the Iron Dome missile defense systems develops to the point that it shoots down any drone/missile/larger-than-average bird in Israeli air space with a high enough degree of accuracy to keep live livable in Israel. I suspect that the US has phenomenal anti-drone technology already developed and improving, waiting for the day when we or an ally need it.

the bad version (15 percent for the beginning, down to 5 percent by the end)--
--Israeli defense steadily decreases in effectiveness against Hamas, etc. offense, making life in southern Israel very dangerous, then life in all Israel very dangerous.
--Israel responds to this by a full occupation of Gaza, and air war with Iran, with resentful help from the US.
--The Middle East goes into all out war mode.
-- Either in reponse to the situation in the Middle East, or in response to terrorism in the US, there is a large wave of anti-Muslim violence in the US.
-- Obama (rightly) tries to restore order by using the military.
--the anti-Muslim people join with the Anti-obama people in large enough numbers to enact susession in multiple states
-- world war and US civil war.

i'm cheering for the iron dome...
 
 
-3 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 18, 2012
@HCG:

Nov 17, 2012
@brant
You willfully ignore the fundamental equation of peace in Israel. If the Muslims in Gaza and the West Bank laid down their weapons tomorrow, there would be peace and two nations in 2013. If the Jews in Israel laid down their weapons tomorrow, there would be millions more dead Jews in 2013. Sorry Brant, but regardless of your leftist academic nonsense, you are a damned fool for denying the reality before your eyes. Why do you support genocide? What did the Jews do to you? Are you just a racist?

BTW, I am an atheist (born and baptized Protestant), with no Jewish blood.

You say I "willfully ignore the fundamental equation of peace in Israel" and accuse me of "denying the reality before my eyes". I can not accept this criticism as it seems to beg the question. I have not proposed that the Israelis unilaterally disarm and certainly wouldn't recommend the Palestianians unilaterally cease their political struggle. In any case, your claim that the Israelis would be slaughtered is a thing which many people would not regard as a "fundamental part of the equation" without proof, and it can't be proven as it is a hypothetical based on your interpretation. Can you read minds? If not, you are not only begging the question on "the fundamental equation to peace" but also commiting the mind reading fallacy vis-à-vis the Palestinians and their allies. By attributing willful ignorance (of what is essentially your position, although I don't know you and only learned of your position AFTER my posts), you are also committing the straw man fallacy. You are attributing a position to me which I do not occupy.

Furthermore, you go on to accuse me of "academic leftist nonsense" as well as willful ignorance, of being a damned fool for denying what is surely NOT before my eyes, and then launch into not one but two loaded questions which imply that I am a racist, Anti-semite and believer in genocide.

I note that I nowhere said anything to suggest that racism, Anti-Semiticism or approval for genocide are among my errors. This string of ad hominems, some of them bare and some wrapped in another logical fallacy, do nothing to support an argument of any sort.

As for you, you ignore any facts I may have cited and any arguments I may have made, to !$%*! this fallacious superstructure over my posts.

I believe the situation may be intractible, but far from arguing for a racist interpretation or for genocide, I believe I have pointed out that some extremist parties (ulra-right wing and ultra-religious) are pursuing a racist and genocidal strategy, to which I am clearly opposed. I have not accused the State of Israel or the major parties or the Israelis or Jews of being genocidal, only a number of parties and factions, which I have pointed out are a very small minority in the Knesset, despite having power disproportionate to their small numbers.

I would be happy to see a peaceful two-state solution. A peaceful one state solution is very unlikely as both Israeli and Palestinian militants and religious extremists would oppose it. A peaceful no-state solution is even more unlikely. I do not see any "fundamenal equation" which requires either side to be the victim of a genocide and I do not advocate such a position, despite your imputations of such beliefs to me through a pile of eggregious rhetorical fallacies which do not, in fact, address anything in my posts.
 
 
Nov 17, 2012
One of the things about terrorism is that it is self-limiting. Terrorists by definition don't have armies, nor do they have aircraft carriers or a large number of nukes. That means if they ever get in a real conflict, they're, to coin a phrase, toast. So terrorists walk a fine line. They're in it for the long term, hoping to win through attrition rather than through military victory.

The worst thing for a terrorist is to be seen as a real threat. Their goals are strategic rather than tactical. The 9/11 attacks were thought by al Qaeda to be a way to get the US to leave the middle east and stop supporting Israel. The problem was the plan worked too well. Osama bin Laden thought that the planes would cause significant damage to the World Trade Center. He never thought it would bring both towers down and kill thousands of people.

It worked too well, and we had to respond militarily. Al Qaeda did not meet its goals, and in fact suffered a great number of setbacks. The loss of the Taliban in Afghanistan as the ruling body (as much as that tribal nation can ever have an effective central government) cost them many of their training centers and targeted their leadership for vaporization.

I remember hearing the reason Anwar Sadat signed a peace treaty with Israel. He realized that Arabs are, by tradition, a tribal people. They don't take well to a leadership hierarchy. Because of that, it's tough for them to work as a coordinated military force. Everyone wants to be the general, while nobody wants to be the private.

Sadat was told by Begin that he really only had two choices: either have an enforceable peace treaty, or accept that there would be another war. In the next war, Sadat was told, the Israelis wouldn't stop until they were in Cairo. Thus, they signed the 1978 Camp David Accords, which have lasted until now. This has pretty much kept the Arab nations from again invading Israel, because without Egypt's support, they wouldn't have a prayer. Now that the Muslim Brotherhood has taken over Egypt, and have stated that they don't particularly see any reason to uphold the Accords, the Arabs are starting to saber-rattle again. They're starting to react tactically rather than think strategically. Whenever they do that, they lose.

So what do we have now? Hamas is shooting a new breed of longer-range rockets that can hit both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from the Gaza Strip. Hezbollah is doing the same thing from Lebanon on the north. In my opinion, this is a mistake for the Arabs, because they're forcing the Israelis to react militarily. The Arabs have made some gains against the Israelis - the aforementioned Gaza Strip being one such gain. Firing rockets into Jerusalem? Which houses one of the holiest sites to Muslims, and is a city where thousands of Arabs live? You have to wonder what they think they can gain by this.

They're in danger of losing it all by being too militant. If they were smart, they'd pretend that they wanted peace while still doing just enough to keep the Israelis off-balance, tiring the populace and making them pressure the government into making more and more concessions. But by forcing the Israelis to react militarily, they're risking losing everything they've gained and then some by fighting a war they're not equipped to even come close to winning.

So how does all this relate to Scott's question? His assumption is that the Israelis can't counter a bunch of cheap suicide drones raining down on them. Hey, Scott, have you ever heard of the V-1 and V-2 rockets? Who won THAT war?

All that would do is stiffen the Israelis' spines and force them to react militarily. They'd have to capture all the land around them to keep the terrorists outside the range of those drones. The idea of a Palestinian state would be lost for the foreseeable future. They'd lose everything, and be put into the position of having to either go nuclear or go back to irrelevance.

So the real question is, will the Arabs decide to nuke Israel? I don't think they will, because the Israelis aren't going to let them get nuclear capability. My future scenario reads like this: Israel strikes Iran and takes out their nuclear capability. Israel goes back into Gaza and this time doesn't give it back. Israel goes back into Lebanon and occupies the southern half. Israel protects its borders and its populace. Iran gives up its nuclear ambitions, gets the sanctions lifted, and the Mullahs replace Ahmadinejad with someone considerably less willing to turn Iran into a parking lot rather than give up on ruling the caliphate.

I'd put the odds of the above at around 75%. It's hard to be more precise when you're dealing with people who just don't always think logically. There's a whole lot more going on in the Middle East - very strange variety in governments, from monarchies to Islamic states. Most of the moderate Arab states are more afraid of Iran than they are of Israel, because they realize the Israelis act rationally while Iran may not. We'll just have to wait and see.

 
 
-7 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 17, 2012
I know this goes against the grain of the conservative gung ho mentality, but maybe we all need to start working toward a peaceful solution. Israel needs to give up what it has stolen. The US needs quit meddling in the region. We make the terrorists: they fight that way because it is the only option available to them. When dealing with superior firepower, you use any force avaialabl; when you're at war with a country, all it's inhabitants are valid targets for allowing the government of the country to wage that war.
 
 
+7 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 17, 2012
BTW, my prediction is 99 % of habatibility in the future. The Israeli's have proven to be very adaptable and tough to defeat. That is unlikely to change.
 
 
-25 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 17, 2012
In my opinion, a culture isn't hated for thousands of reasons because they are good people. The state of Israel has been stealing from the arabs for decades. Maybe they should get over their arrogant selves and start trying to live with their neighbors rather than pretending they are better. I think, if I lived in that area of the world, and had Israel as a neighbor, I'd be doing the same thing Hamas is.
 
 
Nov 17, 2012
Since the micro-drones will all rely upon sophisticated electronics, GPS signals, and people willing to take a non-trivial chance of death to use them, I would expect at least part of the solution would go something like this-a combination of a clear zone around the border forcing most launches to take place from outside Israel, extensive surveillance to allow tracking of launches and launchees, aggressive and fatal consequences for launching, extensive electronic countermeasures including: GPS jamming, frequent bursts of EMP to disable electronics, radio frequency jamming (to counter drones guided by datalink), as well as a large force of semi-autonomous hunter-killer drones constantly in flight over the clear zone. Simply developing RADAR and LADAR sensors better optimized to sort out ground clutter might make all the difference. To protect point targets (houses, sensors, etc) one could deploy a stand-off fence of chicken wire to catch and detonate any leakers.
I especially like the electronic area defenses as they would affect anything within a defined radius, regardless of how many. That is, they are especially effective against swarm attacks. The clear zone for maximum effectiveness be a free-fire zone. Enter it and one one is subject to immediate attack.
 
 
+11 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 17, 2012
@brant
You willfully ignore the fundamental equation of peace in Israel. If the Muslims in Gaza and the West Bank laid down their weapons tomorrow, there would be peace and two nations in 2013. If the Jews in Israel laid down their weapons tomorrow, there would be millions more dead Jews in 2013. Sorry Brant, but regardless of your leftist academic nonsense, you are a damned fool for denying the reality before your eyes. Why do you support genocide? What did the Jews do to you? Are you just a racist?

BTW, I am an atheist (born and baptized Protestant), with no Jewish blood.
 
 
Nov 17, 2012
Israel builds a tall fence with barrage balloons and radar guided machine guns, and uses its nationwide network to get everybody into bomb shelters (plenty of time since drones are so slow) Really cheap really slow missiles are not a game changer anymore than the V-1 was. You might say the new weapons are more accurate, but only if we can't jam radio. Without radio networking the drones won't be cheap enough to deploy in overwhelming numbers. But even if overwhelming numbers could be deployed, a simple warning to enter the bunkers will keep damage low. Accuracy won't help a small drone beat lots of reinforced concrete. Chance of ten year Israeli survival 70%, massed drone attacks won't be a factor.
 
 
 
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