Israel & Gaza: Is a ground invasion of Gaza likely?
Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.
What would a ground invasion of Gaza look like?
Two steps here. And I do think it's very likely indeed. The first is the Israelis basically send troops in and divide Gaza in two. They surround Gaza City. They take over the rest of the territory. Small cities lightly populated basically, not urban warfare. That can be done in a matter of probably five days a week. But much longer than that is Gaza City itself. That's where they really get bogged down, take lots of casualties. That could be a matter of a month or even more. And of course, what do you do once you've taken it? No one's answered that.
How much support does Hamas have within Gaza?
I think an enormous amount of support. I think that increasingly, as the situation has become much more desperate economically, as well as from a security perspective in Gaza, that Hamas has gotten more support, born of desperation, certainly a majority of Palestinians on the ground in Gaza, not in the West Bank, which is a larger Palestinian population, I think, support Hamas at this point. Again, yes, that is a terrorist organization.
What is Iran's next move?
I think sit back and wait to see how this plays out. Hard for me to imagine that Iran would want to be involved directly in this war. Things are going pretty well for them right now. They've got better relations with China, break through with Saudi Arabia. They just got, you know, 6 billion that's going to be unfrozen of their own assets by the Americans. And the idea that they want to have a war with Israel seems to me very far-fetched. But watch Hezbollah closely. They're much more operationally capable than Hamas and also have a lot closer ties directly with the Iranian leadership.
How does US support for Israel compare to US support for Ukraine?
US support for Israel, well, I mean, at the beginning of the Ukraine war, I'd say it's very close. And this, of course, is the beginning of Israel's fight in Gaza against Hamas. But right now, I would say that American support for Israel is overwhelming and bipartisan. It is whatever it takes for as long as it takes. I heard President Biden say that about Ukraine just a couple of months ago. Ukraine is becoming very much a partisan issue caught up in the election. I don't believe that an Israeli war in Gaza will go on for nearly as long as the Russia war in Ukraine. And so I think that bipartisan support is likely to stick, but certainly there will be pressure on it the longer the war goes.