Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Iran and Electronic Warfare 
DEBKA's got the goods.

Until the watershed date of July 12, 2006, when the Hizballah triggered the Lebanon War, Israel was accounted an important world power in the development of electronic warfare systems – so much so that a symbiotic relationship evolved for the research and development of many US and Israeli electronic warfare systems, in which a mix of complementary American and Israeli devices and methods were invested.

In combat against Hizballah, both were not only found wanting, but had been actively neutralized, so that none performed the functions for which they were designed. This poses both the US and Israel with a serious problem in a further round of the Lebanon war and any military clash with Iran.

It's long been the doctrine of the United States to maintain a significant technology advantage over our potential foes - even at great economic costs. That was the whole point, you will recall, of Rumsfeld's push some years back to "skip a generation" of weaponry and become early adapters of disruptive battlefield technologies.

Hizbollah's tactical successes against the IDF, and the IDF's failure to penetrate Hizbiran's electronic warfare countermeasures, have got to be wakeup calls for America's signal intelligence community.

It reminds me of the time when the Royal Navy took their first hits from Argentinian Exocet missiles during the Falklands war. All of a sudden, things got a lot more sober and serious.

Well, it was Israeli sailors who shed first blood against Iranian technology, not Americans. But we should focus our attention not a whit less for it. Iran cannot win a struggle against the U.S. But all it has to do is not lose - and draw some blood of its own int the meantime.

Thanks to a generous reader for the tip.

Splash, out


The terrorists in Lebanon did not use any type of technology. Firing a bunch of unguided missiles is not using technology and is nothing new. It's been going on since wars began. Actually the missiles in Lebanon were totally ineffective (number of missiles fired VS injuries/deaths). The terrorist made a whopper of a mistake and got slammed for their trouble. Getting your a** kicked back 25-30 miles is a loss to anyone with a brain.
I question the relevance of that article. As the previous commenter says, Hezbollah employed no real electronic warfare to speak of.

I would wager the reason the Israelis electronic warfare methods were ineffective against Hezbollah, is that there was simply nothing to affect. Thousands of townsfolk running around with cell phones, packing AK's and an unguided rocket here or there. There was no centralized C3 of any kind. Heck, Nasrallah didn't even inform the Hezbollah members of the Lebanese parliament of his actions prior to dragging the country into war. If there are no meaningful communiques to intercept, how can sigint be effective? Hell, the only thing I've heard that constitutes any sort of real electronic warfare, is the Israeli hijacking of Hezbollah's TV broadcast. That was a skillful and audacious move, and one which if anything, shows their electronic warfare is as up to snuff as it ever has been.

The real battle this time, was public relations, a totally different arena.
The Hez scored a solid hit with a guided missile on an Israeli ship. They knocked out a number of 1st-class Israeli tanks. They were able to maintain their command structure while under heavy assault by a technologically advanced enemy. It appears that that they succeeded in doing these things by virtue of skillful human engineering and exploitation of the Israelis' weaknesses, rather than by high-tech means, but they did them nonetheless. The USA and its allies have much to learn from Hezbollah's successes.
It certainly explains a bit about evolutionary biology, doesn't it? The way the cockroach survived, was by learning to be a better, tougher cockroach.

TW: tslytoe. What people with hair lips kiss under at Christmas.

Ps. I'm definitely going to hell for that one.
I'd agree with Jonathan. The Iraqi insurgents have destroyed a number of US tanks with improvised demolitions too. In fact, I'll bet some of Hezbollahs' techniques were learned there.
The Debka.com article (cited and linked to above) makes the following points:

The American EW experts are interested in four areas. 1. The Israeli EW systems’ failure to block Hizballah’s command and communications and the links between the Lebanese command and the Syria-based Iranian headquarters. 2. How Iranian technicians helped Hizballah eavesdrop on Israel’s communications networks and mobile telephones, including Israeli soldiers’ conversations from inside Lebanon. 3. How Iranian EW installed in Lebanese army coastal radar stations blocked the Barak anti-missile missiles aboard Israeli warships, allowing Hizballah to hit the Israeli corvette Hanith. and 4. Why Israeli EW was unable to jam the military systems at the Iranian embassy in Beirut, which hosted the underground war room out of which Hassan Nasrallah and his top commanders, including Imad Mughniyeh, functioned.
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