Friday, July 21, 2006

Recon By Fire

Bill Roggio quotes Haaretz quotes to illustrate the tactical situation in Avivim where Hezbollah used mortars, Sagger missiles and heavy machine guns to drive a Golani Brigade unit back. 

The hardest clashes Thursday took place at the outskirts of the village of Maroun Ras in the central sector of the border area, just north of Moshav Avivim. This is the second day of fighting in the same area where two IDF soldiers were killed Wednesday. At about 5 P.M., a unit from the Golani Brigade ran into a large force of Hezbollah militants. It appears that the initial attack began with mortars launched against the IDF soldiers. The ambush took place in an area where a few homes are surrounded by agricultural fields. A number of explosions occurred, and the soldiers and dozens of Hezbollah militants exchanged heavy fire.

The IDF force required reinforcements to extricate itself from the area, and further heavy exchanges of fire followed, with mortars and Katyusha rockets landing on Avivim and its areas. The battle raged for hours, and the soldiers managed to hit dozens of Hezbollah fighters who launched anti-tank weapons, both of Soviet and European origin, and used heavy machine guns. Hezbollah did not admit it suffered any casualties in the fighting. The IDF is still examining whether the initial blow by Hezbollah militants came from a Sagger anti-tank missile.

There's the possibility that the Hezbollah have better than Saggrs. Yoni says the IDF are finding large numbers of advanced AT-14 antitank weapons in Hezbollah hands.

Elite IDF units have found on the ground in Lebanon a large number of the most up to date Russian man portable anti tank missles. The missle is the AT-14 Kornet and Hizbullah was taught how to use it by Iranian instructors. Second the 220mm rockets that hit Haifa today were of recent manufacture in Syria. Lastly and most import Syria has a a current on going operation to resupply Hizbullah with rockets and other equipment.

The AT-14 Kornet has "tandem shaped charge HEAT warheads to defeat tanks fitted with ERA or with high explosive/incendiary (thermobaric effect) warheads, for use against bunkers, fortifications and fire emplacements. Armour penetration for the HEAT warhead is stated to be 1,200mm. Range is 5km", according to Army Technology. In plain language, this means the warheads are designed to work against IDF tanks which have reactive armor (ERA) at distances which are ideal for use from the hill range which the Hezbollah occupy.

Roggio notes that the huge combat power now being demonstrated by Hezbollah implies that it would eventually engulf Lebanon. "The state-within-a-state will become the state." In some ironical sense the IDF reaction is a battle for the existence of a Lebanese state without which its absorption into Hezbollah would only be a matter of time.

In the meantime the Jerusalem Post reports another callup of Israeli reservists.

The IDF was gearing up for a large-scale ground incursion into Lebanon on Friday. Thousands of reservists were being mobilized to the North throughout Friday to beef up forces stationed in the area in preparation for a possible operation. In total, three to four ground divisions will be operating along the Lebanese front. ...

On Friday afternoon, the IAF dropped leaflets over southern Lebanon all the way up to the Litani River calling on residents to move northward to avoid being caught in clashes between IDF forces and Hizbullah cells. The move could signify a step in preparation for the ground incursion.

Haaretz reports that however deep the incursion into Lebanon might be, the IDF does not want to permanently occupy territory.

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz told reporters in Tel Aviv on Friday that any military incursion into Lebanon will be limited in scope. "We will fight terror wherever it is because if we do not fight it, it will fight us. If we don't reach it, it will reach us," Halutz said in a nationally televised news conference. "We will also conduct limited ground operations as much as needed in order to harm the terror that harms us." When the army presented its plans for an operation in Lebanon, the timeframe that it provided was one of "weeks".

The callup of further reserves is being described as necessary to reduce the Hezbollah bunker complexes on the Lebanese side of the border. According to the Jerusalem Post:

The IDF sent out emergency calls for 5,000 reserve soldiers on Friday in addition to the reserves already called up. OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Udi Adam stated that the move was done in order to relieve some of the forces currently operating in northern Israel. He noted that ground forces were necessary to penetrate Hizbullah bunkers that could not be reached by the Air Force.

However, the same article describes very deep strikes into Lebanon concentrating on Hezbollah's logistical lifeline to Syria.

The IDF resumed attacks on Lebanon at daybreak on Friday, pounding the country's main road link to Syria with missiles and setting passenger buses on fire, Lebanese police said. Part of Lebanon's longest bridge collapsed, police said. The passenger buses were in the Bekaa valley about 15 kilometers from the Syrian border, on the road linking Beirut and the Syrian capital of Damascus. ...

Up in the mountains of central Lebanon on the Beirut-Damascus highway, IAF warplanes fired four missiles on a bridge linking two steep mountain peaks. Part of the bridge collapsed. The 1-mile-long (1.6-kilometer-long) structure has been hit several times since the fighting began.


The situation along the border as described by the press and bloggers consistently shows a Hezbollah force of tremendous sophistication and firepower, with state of the art weapons and high quality training. Recent events have shown the extent of the threat that has been ranged not only against Israel but the Lebanese state. It is also suggestive of the threat which may be building against the West from Iran. Bill Roggio put it well:

The successful Hezbollah raid on the Israeli outpost that started the conflict, followed by the firing of rockets into Haifa and beyond, anti-ship cruise missiles which disabled an Israeli warship and sunk a civilian freighter, and the construction and presence of a fortified bunker network along the border have caught the Israeli intelligence community (Aman and Mossad) flat footed. In the words of an American military officer, "If we didn't know this about Hezbollah's capabilities, just think of what we don't know about Iran's capabilities."

The "international community" relied upon UNIFIL to monitor the threat of Hezbollah. And as Meryl Yourish notes in her "Speak Kofi, Speak" post, the UN assured the world that things were well in hand. As Annan said in 2005:

But I think when it comes to 1559, let us be clear here: a large part of the mandate has been fulfilled. The key elements of the mandate were to ensure that Syrian military redeployed out of Lebanon; that has been done. That the security apparatus is withdrawn; and they have done that. And that free and fair elections were organized; and that has also happened. As to the issue of disarmament of the militia, this is something that we are discussing with the Lebanese, it is the Lebanese Government that will have to do it. We are discussing it with them and they will have to determine when and how to do it.

The Hezbollah threat, as it later turned out, was nothing like the UNIFIL had reported. We can only hope that the world is being better served by Mohammed el-Baradei and the IAEA. That and how deep the IDF will go into Lebanon are things we can only guess at, but whose resolution we will soon know -- not always to our satisfaction.


Blogger DanMyers said...

For info - Sagger.

7/21/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

Much of this reminds me of points that Martin van Creveld has been making for a number of years. The Russian Kornet missile, while dangerous, is arguably not very sophisticated. Lightweight, easy to manufacture, and requiring only minimal training to use with devastating effect. Cheap, too. The cost of the missiles is nothing compared to the development of the Merkava tank.

True, one could argue that the Kornet is rather advanced for a terrorist organization. But it only seems a very natural transition from the AK-47 and the RPG-7. Terrorists have become a little more organized, to the point that there command and control surpasses that of some states. They've finally moved beyond last century's technology in weaponry and the result has been one of the 20th century's most bold and daring armed forces in the attack, one with arguably the most sophisticated intelligence apparus, being reduced to exceptionally cautious probes.

Perhaps there are some lessons here for America's armed forces.

It was reported yesterday that the US Air Force has requested billions of dollars for the development of a new bomber. Considering the general worthlessness of bombers in Vietnam or in post-Saddam Iraq, this may seem surprising. Then again, the US is still pumping billions into the F/A-22. And then, of course, there are the billions going to construct the Future Combat Systems, an elaborate set of machines designed to create an integrated ground force, all of which could be easily rendered useless by something as simple as the Kornet - not to mention whatever devices China can mass produce from its factories in the coming years.

The ongoing situation in Lebanon is certainly fascinating. The political alignment of Arab states in a position seemingly supportive of Israel is a positive and useful development. However, seeing Israel in its current predicament should give many Americans something to think about in terms of future force development.

7/21/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Russia had a policy of supplying client states with modern weapons. Integrated air defense for North Vietnam and Egypt in the 1970s. Hanoi was more heavily defended, by some accounts, than Moscow. But now that policy has been adopted by Iran and Syria at least, to nonstates like Hezbollah.

This makes a nonsense of Geneva and all the traditional notions of warfare. It was one thing to supply people like Carlos with small arms, but this is arming terrorist organizations on the scale of states. It's a a revolution in international relations to some extent.

After September 11 GWB talked about the "state sponsors of terrorism" and got a big ha-ha from all the "adults" in the foreign policy field. Maybe the President was onto something.

7/21/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

We Americans should thank the Israelis for doing all of the nasty work. I am so sad the US Air Force is still not bombing IRAN and SYRIA. I, along with many Americans, look forward to dancing in the street upon the news of a MAJOR BOMBING CAMPAIGN to DESTROY the DEMENTED IRANIAN MULLAHS. I want to dance in the street when we BLOW UP TEHRAN.
Looking forward to the death and destruction of the Mullahs and the sick ideology of Islamic Fascism!

Three cheers to Israel !!!

7/21/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

And it's not just the Hez that are getting the support. It's groups in Iraq, too. And it is becoming politically possible now to say who is behind them.

The Daily Telegraph says British forces arrested Sajjad Badr Adal Saeed who ordered the killing of many British soldiers in roadside attacks, was taken from his home in Basra last Saturday night. A 2 ton cache of explosives was also found.

7/21/2006 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...


I think you might be overemphasizing the newness of this. True, Russia did not supply missiles to Hezbollah directly. But states supplying non-state actors with arms is hardly something new. The Red Army in Afghanistan took some major blows by CIA supplied Stinger missiles, for example. Other examples come to mind, as well.

You're right, of course, that it does throw Geneva concepts into a state of worthlessness. More deeply, it arguably it renders the entire Clausewitzian notion of trinitarian warfare as an obsolete way of thinking about armed conflict.

7/21/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

What is politically possible now is major, major anger by America. I recommend reading Victor Hansen's article (see link):

More and more and more "ordinary" Americans are sick and disgusted with everything Mullah and everything Islamic.
Islamic Fascists out there, heed the warning: know that there are many Americans who will be happy to see you all dead.

7/21/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger lmg said...

Many people take antibiotics, but not the full course, stopping before the infection is truly killed. This kills off the weaker bacteria, leaving the stronger, and through the process of Darwinian natural selection, results in a new strain of tougher, more antibiotic-resistant disease.

Through Israel's half-hearted attacks, and through the actions of the "international community", a new strain of tougher, smarter, more resistant terrorist has evolved. This one is called "Hezbollah", but there are or will be others, if we don't alter our tactics.

7/21/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

IDF suffered some catastrophic armor losses to early Soviet Saggers, in the Yom Kippur War. I doubt that they'll let that happen again. That is, it won't be a surprise to the institution, again, if it does.

I think I'm going to be nauseated over the understatement of Wretchard's "The Hezbollah threat, as it later turned out, was nothing like the UNIFIL had reported. We can only hope that the world is being better served by Mohammed el-Baradei and the IAEA."

7/21/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger Final Historian said...

Wretchard, it occurs to me that one of the varied effects of globablization is to make it so that guided munitions, be they MANPADs or ASMs, will eventually be able to be manufactured using off the shelf parts and the assistance of a decent machine shop or two, plus sufficient funding of course. The same principles that apply to the Three Conjectures apply to conventional, guided weapons as well, and I strongly doubt that there is the same kind of awareness, realization or focus that is applied to nuclear weapons. It might be that in the future states need not ship the weapons to terrorists groups, but rather ship the parts, plans and people necessary to make those weapons "on-site", in a failed state. Like Lebanon, for instance. Or Somalia. Or (insert name here).

7/21/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

220 mm Rockets of recent Syrian manufacture.
Air Campaign shifted from Beirut:
Farther South, Farther East, Tyre.
IDF launches raid in West Bank targeting Hezbollah militants.
I'll repost this prophetic Totten link:
Michael Totten April 28, 2006
“Everything Could Explode at Any Moment”
, describing his visit last year to the Israel-Lebanon border:

Iran has moved into South Lebanon. Intelligence agents are helping Hezbollah construct watch towers fitted with one-way bullet-proof windows right next to Israeli army positions.
Here's what one officer said:
This is now Iran's front line with Israel. The Iranians are using Hizbollah to spy on us so that they can collect information for future attacks. And there is very little we can do about it.
More powerful weapons, including missiles with a range of 30 miles, are also being brought in.

Mohammed el-Baradei is of the Same Cloth as the worse than worthless Koffi.
Lebanon's leader will defend Hizbollah, but of course everything would have become sweetness and light if it weren't for the damned J....

7/21/2006 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

I hope that the lesson of the first decade of the 21st century is that Treaties are worthless if not enforced - immediately.

Then again, I seem to remember some treaty signed at a French palace in the first quarter of the last century that was similarly relaxed to bad result.

Totally seperate, but in keeping with the minimalizing of posts attempts:

Why is anyone surprised that the declining net benefits of economies of scale would apply to armed conflict? All weapons are applied technology. All applied technology has grown exponentially cheaper. Finish the syllogism.

Many integrated weapons platforms are still very expensive. Plastic explosive, solid propellants, metal tubing, and silicon chips. None of these are expensive. A couple of cheap servers and you can improve your warhead design and guidance package rapidly.

No need to be a superpower any longer. Like the impasse of machine guns/accurate artillery/trench warfare it has become cheaper hold ground than to take it. Looks like the number and quality of trained men is once again a valid metric.

7/21/2006 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

I see where Hugo Chavez just purchased a billion dollars worth of Su-30's from our friends the Russians.
I'll bet our Air Force is just drooling over dueling with some Gomez with 20 hours of seat time in one of those babies.
Venezuela is being very bad and we are very close to them ..short interior lines make for good killing.

7/21/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger d_Brit said...

There is a night and day difference between a 'mob' of hate filled terrorists armed with mobile weaponry and a modern highly-trained combat unit operating with military precision as a single 'entity'. One that can call in 'back-up' whenever needed.

7/21/2006 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Let me make this clear:



I am "assigning" my 2 comments to PossumTater.

I'm much more interested in what he has to say, than in listening to myself babble on about stuff I don't know squat about, anyway.

Besides, he is a Mississippi Marsupial, as evidenced by his high intellect, erudite composure, and lofty ethical standards (you can tell this by the fact that he won't chew your um, privates off with those little sharp, pointy teeth, unless you're not looking.)

So go to it, PossumTater, if you can whip out a couple of quick ones while the old ex-Jarhead is in the head, you're paid in advance.

7/21/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger HK Vol said...

Israel should proceed up to the Litani River and hold it for the next few months. It should also expel every male in the area between the ages of 16 and 65.
Then bring in 20,000 SERIOUS troops. French, Australian, British, Canadian, US, whatever. Have a robust enforcement of the 1,000 square miles. 20 men per square mile enough? Curfews for the forseeable future. Men searched before returning home. Each and every square inch inspected for hidden munitions. And then, over a series of years with expert training, allow a multi-religious Lebananes army to control the area. I don't see anything less doing much good but delaying the inevitable.

Question: would this be acceptable to the "international community" or is it too "harsh" with the temporary expulsion of all males until a thorough monitoring process can be installed?

7/21/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...


Well, thank the good Lord that Sr. Chavez is blowing his money on shiny toys and not an equivalent dollar amount of Iranian made anti-ship batteries to protect his HUGE coastline from Marine landing craft.

Especially since those Iranian anti-ship missles have (in admittedly limited action) hit ships 100% of the time, and, more importantly, the ship they were aiming at 50% of the time. Fifty years ago the US couldn't claim rates like that with their anti-surface defense.

7/21/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cogitatus Incognito said...

Perhaps, given the firepower and training involved, we might better define Hezballah as the 'terrorist divisions' of the Iranian armed forces rather than as 'non-state actors.' Perhaps the US should consider creating similar 'terrorist' divisions to wreak havoc upon the Iranians and Syrians. Though I imagine we would prefer to use such forces only against legitimate military targets rather than civilians.

7/21/2006 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Mark White said...

If the mullahs can build up a highly capable Hezbollah, then the wahabbis can build up a highly capable Hamas. The only way to stop this is to defund the mullahs and the wahabbis, and that means liberating the Shia Arabs who live in Iran's Khuzestan province and Saudi Arabia's Hasa province.

At Strategy Page yesterday, Karl Meier suggested destroying the Khuzestan oil fields to defund the mullahs, but that just provokes a global financial and humanitarian crisis. For Freedom here suggests destroying the mullahs, and as satisfying as that might be, they'd probably retaliate by destroying the oil fields. What makes sense is keeping Teheran and Riyadh intact as hostages, explaining to the mullahs and the wahhabis that we're going to march on the oil fields, and if they stay intact, then the ministries in the capitals will stay intact. If the oil fields are rigged for destruction and those regimes pull the trigger, then it's going to be shock and awe in every ministry and every minister's home throughout the capital. If the oil fields are left alone, then the capitals will be too.

The mullahs and the wahabbis never have taken hiding to the fine level of art that Saddam did, so if they oppose us, they're quite vulnerable. If they don't oppose us, we might even let them keep some of their assets, although they can forget about the oil income. That would go to infrastructure throughout the Middle East -- roads not nukes, engineering schools not madrassas.

7/21/2006 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

While reading Wretchards article, I found a far more interesting one saying the Iraq National Council is concluding that flooding Baghdad with 50,000 soldiers to restore order is a futile move.

No way will a "purple-fingered, freedom-loving, democracy-hungry" Shiite soldier kill his fellow Shiites brothers as part of a US-assembled brigade. Same with the rare Sunni brigades. And the US is backing down from the idea that it alone will have to fight and waste thousands of casualties to "give the noble Iraqi people" their "re-democracy" in Baghdad.;jsessionid=LTDIRLHE0W0HHQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2006/07/22/wirq122.xml

The plan is Partition of Baghdad.

To the West of the Tigris, Sunnis will be not slaughtered. To the East of the Tigris will be purified and cleansed of non-Shiites.

And once the Parties realize the US acquiesces to Partition, the bullets start flying elsewhere until the Sunnis are cleansed off Shiite or Kurd land.

We might just be out of Iraq sooner rather than later.

Call it a 700 billion, 18,000 casualty, learning lesson - in the futility of trying to nation-build a pack of shitheads, or ever letting a small pack of ideologues of dubious agenda take control of American Foreign Policy.

7/21/2006 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but I do believe that Syria and Israel are still to this day in a state of declared war dating back to 1973, and perhaps 1948. There has been no peace treaty signed to end the hostilities between Israel and Syria. Therefore, under the rules of warfare, Israel is free to exercise its military power against a declared enemy. Syria has provided the provocation to renew hostilities: resupplying Hezbollah. All that is needed on the Israeli side is to remind the UN (world) that Israel and Syria are still at war and that Article H of the 1974 Agreement on Disengagement by Syria and Israel emphatically states that "This agreement is not a peace agreement". With no peace treaty between them, Israel is therefore committed to ending the thirty-three year old war, on its terms. Drive the IDF all the way to Damascus. Iranians want to jump in? As Khan said in Star Trek II, "So much the better".

7/21/2006 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

I cud hear ya'll all da way down at behind the Old Goat Market where a messa ole ribs done been thowd oot.
Had my date lass nite so I got dat blue bird on my shoulder thang goin on..and i witness i nevr new ha sista was jus like hur. whew.
I'm say'in here and now dat Batesville is try'in hard to git dem hezballsa to buy up a mess of thar caskets. I here them hezballsa need mo smaller uns for the arms and legs. Jus think'in 'bout that soft tissue....emm emm.
Tonight Habu out gigg'in. sez he save a big'un jus fur me. he done give me a ole mellon rin so i chewed it on down.
i hopes you do'in gud..say when you gonna git dat big money over in
Tunica? We cud then git up to Memphis and some blues
Bro ..sleep well, Chesty got it covered for us. Tater

7/21/2006 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

C-4's link:
"The division between Baghdad's west and east is not a clean-cut one, with large pockets of both communities on both sides.
Forced separation would likely result in an urban war, potentially resembling Beirut in the 1970s."
Don't recall who I was reading that said this was a reason Tehran chose the timing for the Hezzie's assault, just as Iran was stepping up efforts to the maximum in destabilizing Iraq.
The Prevent Defense rarely results in victory.
Opportunities repeatedly squandered, 5th column sabotages never addressed, etc.

7/21/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

Some educational reading:
West losing patience with Islamic Fascists

Bibi was right

The Great Test of this Generation

Three cheers to Israel!
As Ledeen often says: "Faster, Please!"

7/21/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Buddy L
"IDF suffered some catastrophic armor losses to early Soviet Saggers, in the Yom Kippur War. I doubt that they'll let that happen again. That is, it won't be a surprise to the institution, again, if it does."

It already happened, with the surface-to-surface missile and the Israeli frigate.

7/21/2006 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

Cedarford said...

"While reading Wretchards article, I found a far more interesting one..."

While reading C4's comment, I scrolled down and found a far more interesting comment by PossumTater.

7/21/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

-Joshua.M.Landis- has an interesting round-up this time, including:

Michael Oren, a classmate of mine from Princeton and author of "The 1967 War”, is urging war with Syria in (2006-07-20) "Attacking Syria Would Ensure Cease-Fire in North" :

"The answer lies in delivering an unequivocal blow to Syrian ground forces deployed near the Lebanese border. By eliminating 500 Syrian tanks -- tanks that Syrian President Bashar Al Assad needs to preserve his regime -- Israel could signal its refusal to return to the status quo in Lebanon.
Supporting Hezbollah carries a prohibitive price, the action would say.
Of course, Syria could respond with missile attacks against Israeli cities, but given the dilapidated state of Syria's army, the chances are greater that Assad will simply internalize the message. Presented with a choice between saving Hezbollah and staying alive, Syria's dictator will probably choose the latter. And the message of Israel's determination will also be received in Tehran."
In my world, WE would take out those tanks, but then punishing terrorism's sponsors is SO 2002, and all Syria has done is make a mockery of the UN Resolution, supported Hizbollah, exported weapons to terrorists, and etc ensuring Lebanon's destruction AGAIN.
No big thing, these days.

7/21/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Hell doug, in your world...

7/21/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

hk vol wrote:

Question: would this be acceptable to the "international community" or is it too "harsh" with the temporary expulsion of all males until a thorough monitoring process can be installed?

Expulsion of all males? They have already mutated. Not the greatest milestone in women's liberation.

Al-Aksa announce female bomber unit

A group belonging to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party announced on Monday that it had recruited 100 Palestinian women to launch suicide attacks against Israel.

7/21/2006 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Clear out the south - 20 miles - while your unconventional forces work down from the north. Gradual pullback in the south for intl forces (Russians, French, Canadians, Spanish, UK); unvonventional stay and continue to operate.

Syrian border's a problem, though. You can station teams, but never enough.

7/21/2006 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

hk vol

That type thing was called "Ethnic Cleansing" when it occurred in Bosnia. In Lebanon it'd be "Sectarian Cleansing"

War Crimes trials and the like came afterward, in Bosnia.

7/21/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Mark said:

Perhaps the US should consider creating similar 'terrorist' divisions to wreak havoc upon the Iranians and Syrians. Though I imagine we would prefer to use such forces only against legitimate military targets rather than civilians.

There's a precedent. On July 3, 1988, USS Vincennes shot down an Iran Air Airbus A300B2 over the Strait of Hormuz, killing all 290 aboard. The Iranians weren't quite so uppity for a long time after that.

7/21/2006 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger HK Vol said...

Move the males out or round them up for a 2-3 month of time until a peacekeeping force can enforce rules, regulations, curfews, and elmination of weapons.

Similar to the conditions the US enforced in allowing citizens to re-enter Fallujah.

7/21/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Jaimo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/21/2006 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.’

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.”

General George Patton

Since 1991, the West has perfected a military doctrine which Iran has studied carefully. The well fortified Blue Line defenses prove that they have been meticulous. However, as General Patton observed, defense is ultimately a losing game.

The Israeli forces have been probing the Blue Line patiently. It has not been pretty but information has been gleaned from every encounter with the Hezbollah defenders, humans being creatures of habit.

It should not be forgotten that someone in Israel is thinking, and in a typically Jewish way, not like everyone else. A method for cracking the Blue Line, without the unnecessary loss of Israeli lives will be found.

It is just an opinion, but I don’t see either the US or Israel allowing this struggle to end to the disadvantage of either. A cease-fire or the status quo would do exactly that.

7/21/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Conventional have about 3 weeks, allen.

I think what I outlined is close enough to the actual idea.

7/21/2006 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Jaimo said...

This is my first attempt at a lengthy (hopefully thoughtful) post here at the BC.

Earlier today Teresita posted a link to this frightening article in the World Tribune

Friday, July 21, 2006
"TEL AVIV — Israel's new chief of staff, an air force general, believed that most of Israel's future operations would be conducted from the air.

Military leaders were convinced that with superior communications and air power they did not even need new U.S. "bunker buster" munitions to root out terror leaders in underground hideaways.

Today, this vision of air power as a panacea has been shattered.

Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz and his advisers have been stunned by the failure of Israel's air war against Hizbullah, which has shrugged massive air bombings on its headquarters in Beirut to maintain the rocket war against the Jewish state.

"Air power is not the answer here," a senior officer said. 'You have to go from one Hizbullah [weapons] bunker to another. Some of these bunkers are seven meters deep and can't be destroyed by aircraft, even if you could find them."
The air force learned that lesson in Beirut as fighter-jets sought to destroy Hizbullah headquarters, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials acknowledged that 23 tons of munitions failed to penetrate the thick walls of the underground command headquarters constructed by Iran.

Indeed, the air force did not even deem the purchase of deep penetration munitions a priority. Earlier this year, Israel decided against purchasing U.S.-origin bunker-buster weapons regarded as a requirement for any air strike against Iran or Syria.

Military sources said Halutz was convinced that communications and air power rather than troops would rapidly win Israel's wars. They said the air force was surprised by its failure to halt or even reduce Hizbullah rocket strikes.

Only a month ago, Lt. Col. Itay Brun explained the concept of Israel's military. The concept envisioned an army based largely on special operations units and backed by air power.

As Brun described it, most of Israel's operations would be conducted from the air. Fighter-jets would destroy guerrilla strongholds, helicopters would pick off enemy combatants while unmanned aerial vehicles would select and track targets. Most of the tactics would also be used in a conventional war. "

I recommend reading the entire post. It had a chilling effect on me. Sucked a lot of the hopeful enthusiasm for Israeli success in this engagement out of me. For the
following reasons:

Israel has to fight this war by different rules than the Hez's. Israel MUST be victorious. Hez "wins" any result short of total annihilation. (of course Hez would prefer a tie, and the opportunity to keep most of their nasty toys to fight again.)

Israel is guilty of complacency and arrogance. They've gotten quite used to their tech superiority. Against a ruthless & relentless enemy whose only obsession is wiping Israel off the map. Hez has been working diligently for years & years to defeat/overcome the Israeli technical advantage. The success of recent infiltration attacks AND the Hez success at building massive infrastructure and weapons caches unknown to the world speak to this point.

The fight is in Hez's backyard. A backyard "known" to Israel, but relentlessly "relandscaped" & heavily fortified. A large area, whose terrain adapts well to a killing ground. There are only so many routes available to Israel. Hez has no doubt plotted long and hard to create choke points. Slow down/stop the armor. Use previously mentioned "manpads" on Air Power sent in to rescue armor/infantry. Shock/demoralize the Israely public & the world. Build momentum for Arab street support, or UN intervention.

Now, as a student of military history I'm reminded of the phrase "amateurs talk tactics, professional talk logistics". I'd love to hear from the more experienced commenters here about who has the advantage in the logistical area?

Also, the question of WILL. Hez_ relentless fanatics, but how many "A Team" bodies do they have for the fight? They will be "degraded", how long can they fight?

Israel: tons of political pressure from the world, and at home (IF the Israeli body count becomes horrific, in addition to World opinion when they have to take to gloves off and "let loose the dogs of war".

I guess I'm trying to say I'm rooting for Israel. I'm becoming more concerned about their prospects.

7/21/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger ag1 said...

I am afraid that S. Lebanon is set up as a trap. Therefore I would prefer them to hit Syria.

7/21/2006 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Holy Roman Umpire said...

I think some of you guys need to chill out. This is the opening battle of what is looking like a long war. In WWII, it took us several weeks to break out of French hedgerow country -- several weeks of tough fighing.

The post about the Israeli's plans for 3 - 5 divisions on the front is an indication that they get it, however belatedly.

One final thot: grunt infantry has won (or lost) every war ever fought and this will likely remain true for a long time to come. But it sure helps to have commo, logistics and firepower. My only real concern at this point is Israeli staying power. For the size country they are, this is getting close to a max effort.

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

7/21/2006 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

"It should not be forgotten that someone in Israel is thinking, and in a typically Jewish way, not like everyone else. A method for cracking the Blue Line, without the unnecessary loss of Israeli lives will be found."

Simple solution: Themobaric weapons. The Hez boys won't be staying in those bunkers very long if the IAF starts guiding in a few bunker busters. But being out in the open isn't a picnic either. If Hezbollah decides to stand and fight, South Lebanon will turn into a killing field. Doubt the muted response from the Arab nations will stay that way once Israel starts rampaging through the Hezbollah positions.

7/21/2006 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

trish; 9:44 PM

Politically, I think it will be hard to go beyond the time frame you have in mind unless the President and Dr. Rice are as frightened as they should be and remain onboard. Mr. Anan can be relied upon to undermine us if given an opening.

To her credit, Dr. Rice's news conference today gave the impression of the channeling of Mrs. Thatcher. Let's hope she is not merely posturing.

Of course, Mr. Bolton was, today, unapologetically Mr. Bolton. How do we get more like him?

Such an opportunity as this, one that can have a strategic impact, will not again so easily come our way. Do you think the wise man sees the danger?

7/21/2006 11:09:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...


It's not a quick fix, what Israel will undertake. It'll take time.

They've got that time.

Don't forget that.

7/21/2006 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger gokart-mozart said...

jaimo 9:46PM: Air power has always been oversold. Its utility against undefended battleships moored in rows is spectacular, but against organized and dug-in enemies filled with fighting spirit it has almost no effect.

The desire to believe is powerful, however, especially for states with high technological ability and low numbers of males with knives who are fearless and who enjoy killing.

To take these bunkers and tunnels is going to require regimental-strength units of fanatics armed with flamethrowers and hand grenades, who can take casualties and keep going. I don't know where they are going to come from, since most Auschwitz survivors are now in their seventies, or older.

You are right to worry about Israel. They've been called out to fight a war they don't want to fight.

So have we.

7/22/2006 04:22:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


Did you get your material from the Metrosexual's Guide To Wimpdom?

That's about the most misinformed view I've seen this side of Kos.

7/22/2006 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

So is Hezbollah ever going to invade Israel and exterminate the Jews? How? When? Everyone seems to be forgetting that's their goal. They're no closer to it now than they've ever been. They're losing and running for their lives and fooling themselves into thinking that they're crushing Israel.

7/23/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Griswel said...

The flip side of this is that Hizbollah is so powerful that it now has many things which can be taken away.

It owns hotels, insurance companies, and is the democratically elected and supported government of southern Lebanon.

Israel can destroy the hotels and other property of the terrorists. In the south, in my view, Israel ought to destroy the villages of the terrorist supporters.

Only when Hizbollah's disincentives exceed its incentives to attack will the attack stop.

7/24/2006 07:06:00 AM  

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