The engineer in my soul is extremely impressed by the Iron Dome anti-missile system over Israel. It seems to be great for taking out onesy-twosy (or even more) rockets launched toward populated areas.
This little episode, however cost 15 x $50,000 or $750,000 vs. 15 x $800 or $12,000 for Hamas.
And the monetary cost for the IDF is considerably larger because of the followup, not to mention the HUMAN cost for the Gazans due to the loss of life from the IDF response.
I will not get into the I/P debate. I wish to point out that from an incredibly callous MONETARY perspective, $50,000 is 62.5x larger than $800, and that assumes a 1:1 ratio between Iron Dome missiles and Hamas rockets.
That is not sustainable, and I feel that is the (unholy) calculus that Hamas is using when firing them. And that is even without the subsequent (I will keep my opinions to myself about the accuracy of the) IDF response.
This is terrible for two of the three parties:
IMHO, the only, ONLY solution is to take Hamas out of the equation.
Dante has a nice place in the 8th or even 9th Circle already prepared for them.
How can that be done?
There are political solutions. There are military solutions. Hopefully, some of them work, most of them don't. (As we've seen.)
I suggest that destabilizing Gaza isn't one of them. I suggest that ghettoizing Gaza isn't one of them. I suggest that shelling the living daylights out of mostly civilians isn't one of them. People that have opportunity to survive and flourish do not resort to having the local bully "represent them."
Sadly, I don't see a way to get to the notion of unification from here, but I'd really like to see it. Have the Palestinians become part of society and be able to participate in it, instead of having them bottled up with a limited number of calories, materials, and opportunities for a life. They represent a large untapped labor resource for Israel, and an economic growth center. Alas!
Unless that becomes possible, I don't see an end to asymmetric warfare. Oppressing them (queue Monty Python "Help Help, I'm being oppressed!") merely feeds the Hamas beast. But at the same time, it would be foolish in the extreme to stand down and allow oneself to be harmed. Catch-22.
So Hamas will continue to pull their (deadly yet cost-effective) stunts, gain attention, and maintain quasi-control. Israel will continue to spend American taxpayer dollars for whatever weaponry they need (defensive and offensive), and even more Gazans and some IDF members will die.
And the the people who are trying to do the right thing (presumably the UN) are trying to put out a forest fire with a squirt gun.
Have I assessed the situation correctly?
At the end of the American Civil War, at Appomattox Court House, U. S. Grant permitted the rebel soldiers to take their horses home so they could plow their fields and return to something approaching an ordinary life. That strongly dis-incentivized them to fight a guerrilla war. The Radical Republicans were extremely upset with him over that, yet it was the right thing to do.
It still took until WWI (50 years later!) to re-integrate the South into the Union, and one could argue (given Ferguson, et al) that it still hasn't, but to stop or forestall guerrilla warfare, people en masse need a future that they can look forward to for themselves and their children.