Monday, August 21, 2006

Israels failure and what must happen next

Israel cannot afford to lose wars. The most recent war with Syria/Iran/Hesbollah was not a fiasco, it just wasn't a victory. Hesbollah had far too much time to prepare their defenses, had the latest weaponry thanks to the Russians, and were attacked in the wrong way. Air bombardment against Hesbollah failed for the same reason air bombardment failed in Vietnam- deeply dug defenses and a big area of operations meant that the IAF were really only going after a few guys at a time, with relatively small impact munitions. Hesbollah were well spread out and were only ever damaged locally. The strategy was to bomb lots of Hesb targets and hope that their infrastructure was damaged severely, then send columns of ground forces in to mop up. Both parts of the strategy failed.

A strategy that would have worked would have been to create an Isreali cordon right across Lebanon, on the Litani river, quite narrow and easily defensible cutting off Southern Lebanon completely and isolating Hesb in the south. Then slowly pick off Hesb south of the Litani as they became hungrier, short of ammo and more desparate. No big infantry pushes that would generate large-scale casualties, and no large areas of territory to control while being IED'd and sniped. And no air war- the bombing was spectacular so the western media found it very easy to damn Israel, yet ineffective.

Cutting Hesb in half would have lots of positive results. The southern area would be gradually reduced as the local population would have to rely on the Israelis for supplies through the cordon. These could be manipulated to make sure that Hesb ground to a halt. Constant patrolling by drone would make sure that Hesb had to pretty much keep their heads down- very much not brave and victorious. Slow strangulation of Hesb in the south would have been much more do-able, and clever, and without the propaganda pictures for the Jew-haters at the AFP. Somebody want to suggest this to the Israeli army command? Its not too late yet...

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