Gaza and the Next Lebanon War

And HB has many thousand of these weapons

“As most Western militaries that share the IDF’s values and legal adherence know too well, the doctrine described by Kochavi is currently the least bad of several bad options. This doctrine will no doubt be tested again, not just in Gaza, but also in Lebanon, where Hezbollah’s arsenal is ten times larger than Hamas’s and its fighting forces are much more powerful. Sadly, the Gaza conflict may have been just a trailer for the full disaster film awaiting the parties in Lebanon. For example, Gaza militants launched around 400 rockets per day at Israel in this round, but Hezbollah could sustain five to ten times that pace using heavier, more accurate weapons. At the same time, the IDF is capable of conducting at least a dozen times more daily strikes than its Gaza tally of around 150 strikes per day, perhaps hitting thousands of targets daily in a Lebanon war. These ballpark strike numbers could result in thousands of fatalities, especially since Lebanon’s size and the expected intensity of conflict would make it difficult for the IDF to practice the same collateral mitigating measures it used so widely in Gaza.”

Comment: And, pilgrim turcopoles, Israel is also a mighty small country where the density of of population targets will make a multitude of counter-value targets available to HB. Note that this retired brigadier refers to the possibility of a “cataclysm” if such an event occurs.

The Jewish population of Israel is afraid of the hammer and anvil effect of Hizbullah in the north and Hamas in the south just as the IAF and IDF ground forces fear the combination.

I have been crying like Cassandra since shortly after 2006 warning the Israelis that their position is untenable.

The Hizbullahis remember well that Benny Ganz (the very same) fought a remarkably unsuccessful war against them and when he could not win with his fighter bombers against them remembered the murderous Trenchard/Douhet/Billy Michell books he had read over the years and unleashed a campaign of aerial terror against the whole country, not just Hizbullah assets; the defense line, storage facilities and launch positions. They have no reason to think the Israelis will not do it again so they might as well “let it all hang out.”

They now have the word of this IDF strategist that this what is contemplated. Do you think they cannot read English? pl

Sword of Jerusalem vs. Guardian of the Walls: Gaza and the Next Lebanon War | The Washington Institute

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28 Responses to Gaza and the Next Lebanon War

  1. EEngineer says:

    Any chance the Russians make Lebanon and or Syria a “no fly zone” to cool things down?

    • Leith says:

      How would they implement it? Putin is too smart to give an ultimatum that he cannot enforce.

      • EEngineer says:

        Agreed, that he’s much to savvy to issue an ultimatum. But moving a large amount of forces to the area sends the message indirectly. He seems to be doing just that.

        Putin’s performance in Geneva today reminds one of a patient adult trying to prevent a drunk teenager from puking on his shoes.

        • simon S says:

          Russia could simply cover Southern Syria by embedding some technicians in Syrian air defence. Then make clear they will shoot down anything that threatens Russina servicemen. Then let the Syrians try to shoot down anything flying over Lebanon.

  2. JohninMK says:

    There is no mention in Assaf Orion’s article of the effect that the arrival of possibly 1000s of accurate missiles onto military targets would have on degrading the activities of the Israeli military.

    I assume that such targets, especially the airfields, will be the priority destination and, whilst they are as hardened as they can be, operating under the random fall of missiles will be quite different and much less effective than their operations we have just seen attacking Gaza. Especially as the exact co-ordinates of the prime targets and choke points are known.

    Neither does he mention the less than stellar performance last time against Hizbullah.

    As you say Colonel, Israel faces the worst fate for any country, a simultaneous two front war. No doubt they view their nukes as their trump card but times have changed, even in the last five years, now, if they attempt to neuter Hizbullah that way, they face devastation from a third front, Iran’s long range missiles.

    If the leaders want there to still be an Israel for the rest of their lifetimes, let alone their children’s, it might pay them soften their social structures and to deploy their economic rather than military might more locally than way down the Gulf. The longer they leave it the worse the options will become. The US can only help so far.

    My takeaway on this is that Iran and their missiles are changing the face of the ME and Israel was too arrogant to see it coming..

    • Yeah, Right says:

      This raises an interesting question: is the much-vaunted Israeli air force able to operate from dispersed / improvised runways?

      If it isn’t then the IDF may not be “capable of conducting at least a dozen times more daily strikes than its Gaza tally”.

  3. mcahoon says:

    The question should be whether Iran can survive an israeli ballistic missile attack.Total destruction of oil production facilities will have serious consequences for Iran but not arab oil producing states.It would also seriously impact China who is highly dependent on iranian oil.
    It is this threat that the Iranians most fear because it will force China to strengthen its grip on Iran.

  4. Polish Janitor says:

    So if another round of urban conflict erupts-as the brig. general suggested- the IDF’s strategy will be whatever it did in Gaza but much more intense and much more dependent on reliable operational intelligence in order to mitigate the volume and intensity of incoming rocket attacks from the Axis of Resistance on the one hand, and on the other conducting precise areal attacks to be able to capture the upper hand on the ‘messaging’ and ‘ international perception’ aspects of the war. Admittedly, according to the brig general this strategy is “the least bad option” that the IDF can pursue. But there is more:

    Last month’s episode in Gaza had several significant developments that are missed in the WINEP analysis. Allow me to mention some of them:

    * The Axis of Resistance is now “Axis of Resistance Plus”: The PIJ and Hamas and several of their affiliates are now officially part of the broader resistance movement and as the writer mentioned correctly, they now share the operation room, intelligence, advisors, planning and perhaps even arsenal. PIJ and Hamas are Sunni and have long been affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey and Qatar i.e. the Sunni version of political Islam. The Gaza war brought the PIJ and Hamas closer to the orbit of Iran, the leader of the Shi’ite version of the political Islam. As Turkey’s hands, the longtime backer of political Sunni Islamism, are full in Libya, Idlib, Iraq’s Sanjar and Qandil and Karabakh enclave in Azerbaijan, Iran seems to be find opportunity in absorbing sponsor-less Sunni movements and diversifying the Axis of Resistance with new additions, e.g. PIJ and Hamas at time when Turkey is massively over-extended. Let’s not forget that Hamas was a strong backer of the Syrian anti-Assad forces and the so-called ‘moderate rebels’ that waged extensive campaign in Syria back in 2011. This put them at odds against Iran and Russia who supported Assad and groups such as Hezbollah who fought extensively against the Syrian rebels at the peak of the war. But now we see that these once-enemy non-state actors have became allied and are inaugurated as new additions to the broader Axis of Resistance+ movement.

    *Turkey is bleeding diplomatically and economically: Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman vision of MENA is disappearing for several reasons: 1. Incoming economic squeeze, which recently made headlines as the Turkish Lira reached record low levels. 2. Biden earlier this year imposed economic sanctions on Turkey and put several of its state-owned defense firms under CATSA sanctions. 3. The whole S-400 and F-35 sagas that needs no further explanation. 4. Turkey’s recent episodes of tension with France and personal attacks against Macron which isolates it even more. 5. Erdogan’s personal relationship with Trump which is no longer anything to be proud of these days. 6. The Biden admin’s condemnation of the Turkish genocide of Armenians during World War I. 7. The West’s perception of Turkey as an Illiberal Democracy (akin to Hungry’s Orban) at best and an Authoritarian regime at worst which makes matters more difficult for Erdogan. So Iran’s seems to notice these developments and is ‘receptive’ of the idea of ‘Resistance plus’.

    *Hamas and PIJ at the peak of the recent war in Gaza made several pledges to Iran to give them more advanced weapons and especially the remarkably effective Qasef 2k loitering drones and extremely accurate Fateh-110 (and its derivatives) ballistic missiles. But Iran, I believe, is smart enough not to rush for Hamas and PIJ’s demands right away as there is still needs to be trust established between these non-state actors and Iran. Politically, diplomatically, and ideologically (not necessarily religiously), Hamas and PIJ are part of the new ‘Axis of Resistance Plus’. Nonetheless, I believe it takes time and special circumstances to build a similar relationship that Iran now has with Ansarallah, Hashd al-Sha’bi, Fatemiyoon, Zeinabiyoon and Hezbollah. So when the brig. general notes that the Axis of Resistance does not shy away from combat and probably even welcomes it (even in limited fashion) makes sense in this context, that it is during times of war and crisis that new relationships form and new alliances develop in the face of the common enemy, i.e. Israel.

    * If Israel the U.S. and the West in general make another move and pursue democratization (not liberalization!) in the form of regime change in Sunni Arab dictatorships for example in Jordan or once more in Egypt similar to Arab Spring in 2011, Iran will be able to activate its policy that it is masterful at andreap benefits and gain more allies and absorb new non-state groups to its broader axis of resistance.

    So massive areal attack or no areal attack, three or four decades of geopolitical pattern and evidence leads me to suggest that Israel’s options grow more and more limited and especially with a Democrat in the WH. Time for the two-state solution? We’ll see.

    • LeaNder says:

      I love this passage, Janitor, had exchanges about ‘the Polish’ at such somewhere else, thus would prefer to leave them out:
      “… on the other conducting precise areal attacks to be able to capture the upper hand on the ‘messaging’ and ‘ international perception’ aspects of the war

      I may be stealing this longterm, it’s too lovely not to,
      precise areal attacks in political messaging and on international perception.

      *********
      I have been wondering about France and whatever HTS related fighters too lately. … But I guess that’s not quite what you are alluding to under:
      4. Turkey’s recent episodes of tension with France and personal attacks against Macron which isolates it even more.

      The slap, you feel might belong into a larger pattern? Guessing here.

      • Polish Janitor says:

        leaNder,

        Be my guest and feel free to use anything you have found interesting friend.
        Regarding the slap Macron received from that man I think it was purely a domestic/isolated matter and don’t think it had something to do with Turkey or else. Nevertheless, Macron’s primary problems lie inside France, yet he is trying to solve them by searching for solutions/distractions outside. Think of France’s increasing role in the Mediterranean front, e.g. in Greece, Libya, and Lebanon, plus its longtime anti-terror presence in Mali, Chad, and Burkina Faso which have over-stretched the country to a point of no return.
        At home the French military and internal security apparatus are very upset at Macron for his alleged gross negligence and ignoring the problem of radical Islamism especially in no-go zones with high density of immigrants from allover the Françafrique. Recent polls show that Marine LePen’s stocks are rising and that she may be able to pose a serious challenge to French centrist technocrats in next year’s election. The more the security issue emboldens, the less these centrists are able to hold on to power.

  5. Christian J. Chuba says:

    Regarding the linked article, “Sword of Jerusalem … “, I am so done with the ‘human shields’ argument and Israel’s heroic attempt to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza. I actually do believe that part. They avoided gratuitous slaughter of civilians as evidence of the warning they gave to evacuate buildings.

    But the destruction of the 9 apartment buildings was the IDF inflicting collective punishment on the Palestinians to warn them not to support Hamas. It goes along their the mentality of destroying the homes of family members of non-Israelis arrested (or killed) while attacking Israelis. The Israelis brag about doing that. So why wouldn’t they extend it to this situation?

  6. Barbara Ann says:

    The first sentence quoted is interesting: “..Western militaries that share the IDF’s values and legal adherence..”. I am not familiar with another Western military in which service members compete to shoot out the knees of unarmed civilians. The IDF seems to stand above the rest in cherishing that value.

    A Lebanon reduced to the Stone Age would at least give Gantz material for another campaign video.

    Cassandra indeed. Among many other things, your memoir is a litany of episodes demonstrating your affliction with that particular curse, Colonel.

  7. d74 says:

    Are non-nuclear missiles effective?

    There have already been wars with missiles: London 1944, Iran-Iraq war, Nagorno-Karabakh-Azerbaijan war, Houthis-Saudi Arabia war.

    They did not change the outcome of the fighting. Or not yet.

    Of course, a resolute population is needed. After an initial shock, courage and the will to endure are quickly reached because one cannot capitulate before missiles. Fear is quickly erased. And offensive and passive protections exist.
    The only consequences are economic but in the war…

    Things would change with a load of more than 2 tons, a metric precision, an arrival speed of mach 3 or more and a non predictable trajectory (not parabolic). And especially a large number to saturate the active and passive defenses.
    We are far from it.

    Now between Israel and Hizbullah the war of nerves uses missiles. It’s trendy.

    • JohninMK says:

      I think that you underestimate their effectiveness as a civilian population is rarely the target. Also whilst the West tends to use its air forces as the prime strike force others use missiles.

      In a military target context a non ballistic path system like an Iskander or the other around 100 mile mile range systems can be hard to counter, especially when, as per the West, there are inadequate SAM systems.

      I would suggest that in Yemen they have had a big effect, both tactically in wiping out groups of soldiers, including many senior ones, and strategically in terms of bringing Saudi to the negotiating table. Whilst in Gaza the reputation of the acclaimed Iron Dome took a direct hit.

      Also in a military context the Iraq wars demonstrated that missiles, air or ground launched, are the only way to ‘safely’ attack a well defended military site and can be very effective. The Iranians have shown how effective theirs are a couple of times, once in Deir in 2017 and then at Ayn al-Asad 18 months ago.

      We are well into the age of missiles.

      • d74 says:

        Your arguments are worthy.

        Except for the war in Yemen. It’s a fight of roosters who bleed each other for a long time. Painful to see but nothing decisive. It is true that the resistance of the Houthis worth defeat for Saudi Arabia. But this is not a foregone conclusion. Missiles have a small part to play.
        It will be noticed that the civilians ‘seem’ to be a target of choice, without results. They suffer and do not recognize their defeat. Saudi missiles would have done the same.

        Motivated fighters are more effective, as always. Technology is the problem, not the solution. Technology is a new Maginot Line that relieves military leaders from being smart. (For larger view, read Norman F. Dixon, On the psychology of military incompetence. Jonathan Cape, London, 1976-1977. Norman Dixon is or was captain in the British Army. Worth the read, British humor guaranteed.)

        However hardware with massive numbers and large superiority in technology is usefull. This is no longer the case anywhere, for the moment and in the current wars.

        Coming back to Hizbullah, the missiles are a one-shot gun in front of a rabbit. As long as they don’t shoot, they are strong. If they shoot…
        Perhaps this threat could be useful in convincing Izzies that the armored rides to Beirut are over.

    • Pat Lang says:

      d74
      That depends on whether or not you are at the point of impact.

      • d74 says:

        Colonel,

        In the opinion stated above, I am looking at a whole country.

        When I was young, I had time to think.
        My view was that my country deserved my sacrifice, a profitable sacrifice if possible, in a war of national survival, not a colonial one.

        Now that I am old, I know that I can die stupidly with a butcher knife, 7.62 bullet, 120 and 155mm shells and even a missile, handled by wasteful jerks.

  8. mcboony says:

    Fred.

    China will succeed in Iran where the USA failed because they make cheaper socks.

    https://www.mei.edu/publications/china-iran-deal-and-reinvention-iranian-revolution.

    Just read the article.

  9. Mark Logan says:

    Seems to me the Izzies and HB have achieved a form of MAD. Should it hit the fan both sides’ cities are in for a pounding. Considering their recent expenditure of men and materials in Syria it’s difficult to picture HB itching for a fight at this moment. Israel? If they pick a fight with HB we will know the new leadership is even more messianic than the old one was.

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