Friday, July 21, 2006

Israel: Hedging its bets 
A close look at the operational terminology adopted by the Israeli Defense Force is a little disappointing.

Israel has launched into Lebanon with thousands of troops (A brigade? A division? I can't tell yet. A division would be a sledgehammer crushing an egg. A brigade would be a calibrated response). Hezbollah has isolated itself from the support of the wider Islamic world. Sunni clerics in Saudi Arabia are now issuing fatwas saying it's un-Islamic to even pray for them.

Hezbollah is also vulnerable to isolation from the Lebanese government. The Lebanese Army, so far, sits on the sidelines (I would suppose it's very difficult for them to do so).

Hezbollah will never be more vulnerable to destruction than it is now. But the Israelis seem to pull up short of the destruction of Hezbollah as the military objective here. Instead, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz says "We damage, diminish, weaken, and erode."

Excuse me, but those are objectives more suited to Hezbollah's operations than those of a conventional army with unquestioned air supremacy and the fire support systems, modern communication capacity, and ability to helilift elements to reinforce units that make contact, isolate Hezbollah units foolish enough to get trapped, and destroy them utterly.

If Hezbollah is "eroded," they will grow back stronger than before in a matter of months. Iran will replace their equipment and weaponry losses. Israel must buy theirs, and it hurts.

If left in any condition remotely comparable to its ante bellum status, Hezbollah will only grow stronger with the passage of time. Their rockets will have longer ranges and more destructive power. They will develop a chemical strike capability, or even obtain anthrax or smallpox from Iran and be able to deliver it via 122mm rockets, which can be brought within range of Haifa and soon Tel Aviv in quantity.

Israel will not have a better opportunity to destroy Hezbollah than it has right now.

Splash, out


The IDF seems to have some different opinions within itself. However, they seem to realize that this is probablt their best opportunity to date to do some real damage to HB. The HB forces are dug in, so it may prove costly to Israel, but dug in forces with all their rocket stashes they don't want to abandon can be targeted.
This is more like it!

Jul. 20, 2006 14:10
Halutz: We will operate as long as necessary

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz said Thursday that an offensive in Lebanon would not end until Israel's security was restored, and vowed to destroy Hizbollah's arsenal and military capabilities.

"The fighting in the north ... could last much longer," Halutz said in a letter to soldiers and officers. "We are being tested at this time. Our moral strength and value will reflect on the state of Israel and its residents and on their ability to continue to stand up to the threat on the front."

"We will operate for as long as necessary until security is returned to the state of Israel," he added.
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