Ambiguity in predicting the future of the Gaza war

When we think about the future predicting comes to mind. Still it should be known that predicting the future faces serious limitations.
5 December 2023
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Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini

When we think about the future, predicting comes to mind. Still, it should be known that predicting the future faces serious limitations. The longer the prediction period is, the harder it is to predict. The most important factor that exposes predictions to collapse is the thoughtless, new occurrences and in-time events, which are named uncertainty in the literature of future studies. Therefore, in future studies, the ratio between uncertain and predetermined elements specifies the possibility of prediction. The more predetermined elements, the more the prediction is possible, and the greater the uncertainty, the more difficult the prediction is and the more likely it is to collapse.

The realities of the Gaza war simply scream that the uncertainties at various domestic, regional, and international levels of analysis are more than predetermined elements, so the predictions made about the Gaza war are caused, in the most respectful analysis, by guesswork or, at best the product of analysts' intuitive insight, because the limited predetermined elements and the extent of uncertainty make predicting if not impossible, but extremely risky and difficult.

What should be done in this situation? Futurists have answered. In this situation, you should think about possible futures because the future is the place of countless possibilities. Someone might say that predicting countless possibilities does not help decision-makers; this is a correct problem. The answer is the predicting of countless possible futures is a prelude to the predicting of possible futures, which is based on the drivers extracted from the scene and the field.

So, in a situation where the uncertainties in the Gaza war are numerous, the least risky future studies that help the decision makers is to predict possible futures based on the drivers extracted from the field and the scene of the Gaza war. With this methodological introduction, we want to think about the near future of the Gaza war and answer the question: what conditions will the Gaza war experience in the next month?

To answer this question, we mention two categories of key drivers: first, drivers of the continuation of the war; second, drivers of the complete cessation of war:

  1. Drivers of the continuation of the war:
  2. The collapse of the myth of the invincibility of the Zionist army (perceptual collapse);
  3. The predominance of the discourse of Israel's survival depends on the destruction of Hamas in the Zionist regime;
  4. Reconstruction of the deterrence doctrine of the Zionist regime through creating terror;
  5. America and Europe support the continuation (conditional continuation) of the war with Hamas;
  6. Managing the conflict and preventing the spread of war at the regional level by the parties to the conflict.
  7. Drivers of the complete cessation of war
  8. Increasing casualties of the Zionist army in Gaza in dealing with Hamas traps;
  9. The release of all those arrested by the Zionist regime by Hamas;
  10. The pressure of international and regional public opinion regarding the widespread killing of civilians;
  11. The destruction of Gaza's infrastructure and turning it into a burnt land;
  12. Expansion of the war at the regional level and America's intervention to end the war.

Based on the drivers of the continuation of the war and the drivers of the complete cessation of war, the following possible futures can be predicted in Gaza for the next month:

  1. The drivers of the continuation of the war are much stronger than the drivers of the complete cessation of war, so the war in Gaza should be expected to continue for the next month.
  2. The change in the tactics of the war by the Zionist regime has the effect of the loss of this regime in Gaza and the possibility of the war spreading to other fronts in the region.
  3. The attacks of the Zionist regime on Gaza will be more targeted and with fewer civilian casualties.
  4. The goal of Israel's military operation is to destroy Hamas declaratively, but in practice, it will destroy Gaza's infrastructure.
  5. The volume of air operations will be more than ground operations.
  6. It will be possible to re-establish a ceasefire of several days for the exchange of prisoners.
  7. The Zionist regime will provide psychological contexts for the exit from Gaza in the propaganda dimension for the public opinion of the Zionists.
  8. The Zionist regime will follow the burnt land in Gaza strategy to create a military buffer zone around Gaza as a military achievement at the end of the war.

These futures are predicted only about the continuation or cessation of war for the next month and based on ten drivers.

Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini, a senior expert of the IPIS

(The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IPIS)

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