Cheat-Seeking Missles

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Israel, Vanquished?

For a much darker view than mine (see post below) of the Israel-Lebanon war , go no further than Hezbollah 3, Israel 0, a NYPost column by Ralph Peters.

Hezbollah's 3, in Peters' eyes:

* Despite the physical damage the Israeli Defense Forces inflicted, Hezbollah's terror-troops were still standing (and firing rockets) when the bell rang.

* At the strategic level, Hezbollah's masterful manipulation of the seduce-me-please media convinced the region's Shi'a and Sunni spectators alike that Hassan Nasrallah is the new Great Arab Hope. He's got a powerful Persian cheering section, too.

* While Israel couldn't plan or execute a winning campaign, it also failed to think beyond the inevitable cease-fire. But Hezbollah did. The terrorists had mapped out precisely what they had to do the moment the shooting stopped: Hand out Iranian money, promise they'll rebuild what Israel destroyed - and simply refuse to honor the terms of the U.N. resolution.

I think he's wrong on the first because he's using the wrong measure: that of conventional warfare. He's definitely right on the second. Time will tell on the third; I think he's wrong, though.

Israel's 0 is more troubling. Beyond Olmert's dizzyingly bad management of the war and the obvious military failures, missteps and misplaced faith in an air war, Peters outlines a very troubling portrait of a country he supports.

  • "The serious news is that the IDF's reserve forces were a shambles when they mobilized. Information from an inside source reveals that, when the reserves' warehouses and depots were opened, key stocks were missing - stolen. What was gone? Fuel, weapons, ammunition, food, spare parts - all that a modern military needs to go to war Iceland."

  • "Israeli leaders dreaded friendly casualties. And IDF troops - except in elite units - lacked the will to close with the enemy and defeat him at close quarters."

  • "As one senior American general put it, 'The IDF's been living on fumes since 1967.'"

As I've said ad nauseum, Israel needed the ceasefire more than Hezbollah. I'm hopeful it can steel itself for the next war during this time; Peters thinks the problems are far too deep for quick fixes.

We both agree: The next war is coming soon, so there's not much time.

hat-tip: Real Clear Politics
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