For the first time in decades, Israel is waging war for a clear, unambiguous objective. At the start of the operation, the government already declared its objective — to destroy the terrorist organizations in Gaza and dismantle their military capabilities. There is only one military effort that can do so: total conquest of the Gaza Strip and at least several months of mopping up there. Afterward, in order to prevent the problem from ever recurring, we will need to occupy a sizeable swath of the Gaza Strip adjoining the Egyptian border and retain complete freedom of military action in the entire Gaza Strip. On that understanding, we must ask ourselves whether we can successfully manage an extended military rule in Gaza without civilian settlements.