"On September 11, 2017, he (Liberman) also wrote “I very much advise our northern neighbours not to test us and not to threaten, because we take threats seriously. I do not recommend that they start a conflict with Israel, because for them this will end badly. Very badly”. This is the answer to Syria’s statement about the strike on the Masyaf plant, in the province of Hama in Syria, where according to unconfirmed reports from the Israeli intelligence, a missile production plant operated. “Aggressive actions against the security and stability in the region will have dangerous consequences”, said the communiqué of the Syrian command.
Israel’s Minister of Defence statement of 19 September 2017 was “We do not intend to tolerate any threats or attempts to harm the security of Israel. Whoever tries to undermine our sovereignty, our security, must know that he will pay a very high price. We are ready for any eventuality, from any direction. The IDF will cope with any surprises, problems and threats”. This statement was as a result of the shooting down of the Iranian UAV by the Israeli air defence, launched from southern Lebanon and which has not crossed the Israeli border.
In response Hassan Nasrallah said at the August 13, 2017 rally commemorating the Second Lebanon War that “Israel continuously violates Lebanese airspace, and it complains to the UN about each member of Hezbollah, or any ordinary Lebanese, standing with binoculars on the border”." SF
Yes, the Israelis have a lot of "kit."
Yes, they have hundreds of thousands of reservists of varying ages, levels of physical condition and residual abilities of varying levels derived from their long ago service..
Yes, they have DJT, their "prize bull" At least they do not think of him as a red heifer. If they go to war they will certainly claim they were attacked and that offensives in every direction are necessary for the survival of the Jewish "people." You know, Jewish people like Avigdor Liberman whose native language is Russian. Will Trump yield to the blandishments of his pretty daughter?
In such a war will Israel (and the US?) wage a strategic bombing campaign against civilians in all the surrounding countries? They probably will do that as Israel did in Lebanon in 2006.
But, pilgrims, a basic question remains as to whether or not the Israelis will have the grit to take the casualties that such a war will cost them. pl
No mortars for the infantry battalions? Mortars appear to be all in reserve. (Shudder – makes me as uncomfortable as having open fields larger than 2km in my sector)
From the south front article, the recent exercise were a grand success and Israel can coast to victory:
“The goal of the exercises was the full capitulation of the Hezbollah movement, “depriving them of their ability and willingness to resist”. According to the IDF command, the IDF excelled at these tasks.”
Conveniently, the game scenario has nada to do with the likely military challenge, suggesting that rather than address the 2006 loss, Israel prefers bravado.
Most interesting was the argument that Hezbollah will exhaust Iron dome on short range missiles then start the long distance missile attacks.
What’s more, it seems like Israel is set to refight the 2002 war, while it seems likely that Hezbollah has gained serious experience in Syria and will have improvements not present in 2006.
IMO the Israeli’s don’t have the will to fight Hezbollah. The following on the IDF exercises is wishful thinking IMO.
The goal of the exercises was the full capitulation of the Hezbollah movement, “depriving them of their ability and willingness to resist”. According to the IDF command, the IDF excelled at these tasks.
Like other western countries Israel suffers from hubris and too much faith in technology.
Some time ago jdledell (I think) wrote that Israeli regulars are very reluctant to fight Hezbollah. What about the reserves?
Lebanon is not Ghaza or the West Bank. Hezbollah will stay and will fight. They are not afraid of casualties, are experienced (now even more) and have shown they can fight the IDF. I’ve been reading some Nasrallah speeches and on October 4th he said this:
Before the [Israeli military manoeuvres] Northern Front [in September 2017, the largest in 20 years] and after, while Israel continues its offensive in Syria, claiming to prevent further arms reaching the Resistance (Hezbollah) continues its violations in Lebanese [airspace] in various ways, and works to push the region to war under any pretext.
The current Israeli government led by Netanyahu is leading your people to annihilation and destruction. For he makes only plans for war, and only searches war.
He has worked in the past to prevent the signing of the nuclear deal with Iran, and he failed. He is currently working with Trump to tear this agreement and to push the region to a new war. If Trump and Netanyahu push the region to a new war, this will be at your expense [Israelis], and it is you who will pay a very high price for the stupid policies of the head of your government.
IMO HB will shower Israel with rockets and in combination with IDF casualties the willingness and public support to continue the war (although I doubt there will be much initial support at all) will vanish very quickly.
This. A thousand times this.
“What’s more, it seems like Israel is set to refight the 2002 war, while it seems likely that Hezbollah has gained serious experience in Syria and will have improvements not present in 2006.”
Post Aleppo, probably unwise to engage Hezbollah in urban warfare.
However surely tactics would differ in fighting a more heavily armed foe with strong air support.
Plus, what fraction of Israel’s economy can function with the reserves fully mobilized and most everyone else in bomb shelters?
Hezbollah has surely improved their rocket technology since 2006 re both accuracy and payload. These rockets are well hidden and hardened against aerial assault. I would think the objective would be 2 fold–close Ben Grunion Airport and all port facilities. Leave the urban areas mostly alone unless Israel decides to carpet bomb Lebanon–then all bets are off. If Hezbollah can do that, the Israeli economy will be brought to it’s knees. Given the experience of 2006, I doubt Israel would be begin a ground assault against Hezbollah. Despite all the bravado–the reality is that Israel has lost ground against Hezbollah since 2006. I am saying this as someone with zero military experience. I would be interested in hearing from people who actually know what they are talking about!!!
On the point about the capacity to absorb casualties, its germane to note the ultra-orthodox faction of the population account for 1 in 4 Jewish births in the country. These people mostly leave the increasingly hedonistic secularists/less religious Israeli Jews to shoulder the weight of the military burden. The twin trends of a rising orthodox population plus the decline of the old kibbutz spirit of self-sacrifice for the greater good must be effecting national military potential.
I guess I am wondering that if this did kick off, wouldn’t Syria be right back on the Izzies hit list? So why wouldn’t they throw in with Hez? I mean, after all, they are already mobilized. And where would Russia be in this, assuming the Izzies nailed them too, and then ‘apologized’ for their poor American targeting systems…?
I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in Hell that the IDF will take on Hezballah on the ground in Lebanon. The price in IDF casualties, especially if they call up the reserves, will be far too high for Israel to tolerate. Israel’s reservists are not as well trained as units in the past. Far too many receive exemptions from their annual required reserve duty. Furthermore while the reservists had active army experience in the past, except for Lebanon, the current IDF has little real world experience in war. My Golani nephew says the reserevists are “fat, dumb and happy”.
Israel knows it cannot support a longer term ground war since a massive reservist call up would crater their economy. Israel will do nothing but massively bomb Lebanon hoping that it will lead to Lebanon rejecting Hezballah. That has not worked in the past but according to my cousin who is an F-16 jockey, that is still the current IAF plan.
At what point does that inconvenient Giraldi question become important…?
If I were of a Presbyterian Northern Irish background would I be content to observe some diplomat of a different tradition calmly tell me an mine:
Get over it!
Of course the only people who have the right to think that are Zionist.
re: “what fraction of Israel’s economy can function with the reserves fully mobilized and most everyone else in bomb shelters?”
I recall the Israelis last grand adventure with Hezbollah in 2006. I don’t think the problem is so much mobilisation and everybody going to shelters.
That’ll have a role, and it would cause harm, but likely it wouldn’t be the key poblem. It’d rather be about whether Israel is eventually facing opponents that can fight back, and can do that even when under Israeli firepower and attack. Let’s look back at 2006:
For one, the Israelis were quite disturbed to find Hezbollah not only well prepared but also well equipped and well trained and quite capable to fight back, and to do so effectively.
It cost the Israelis considerably when they tried to seize border towns and villages – and in many cases the Israelis withdrew when not getting success.
Secondly, the Israelis lamented a lot and aloud, and they still lament, about Hezbollah and arms delivery from Iran and the like. IMO the interesting thing here is that the last experiment in Lebanon showed them that Hezbollah had …
(a) combat control that survived even under Israel’s precision bombs and electronic warfare and …
(b) that Hezbollah’s artillery had a far greater range than expected, and …
(c) a better accuracy than expected and …
(d) that Hezbollah even was doing air reconaissance over Israel with drones and …
(e) that Hezbollah had able intelligence and counter-intelligence capabilities
(f) that Hezbollah was able to shell israeli defence industry and depot facilities in considerable range to the border (‘hit the backyard’) with …
(g) disturbing precision of that fire.
From that one could learn, if willing to learn, to not try anything like that again. Or, of course, one could call a defeat victory, and try to go for it again.
After all, reality on successes or defeats is apparently depending on point of view. And the Israelis are good and diligent at making new realities, so to speak. They kid the US and they kid themselves.
Israel lives under constant ‘censorship for national safety’ – and using the influence and control that comes with that the Israelis are able to and do supress reports on (a) – (g) since talking about such invconvenient reports would reduce the worth Israel’s permanent iteration to the US and themselves on how awesome, super moral, undefeatable and supremely superior they are.
I think that, if it came to a chosen war between the IDF and Hezbollah, the Israelis would go on another unopposed bombardement spree on their neighbour country. Likely, israel would then be targeting civilian and infrastructure targets as much as real or imagined military targets.
The idea behind doing such a thing is, summed up, to punish the civilians so they may end up opposing Hezbollah, making them responsible for the harm caused by Israel.
Most likely the Israelis would for doing that receive retaliation fire, which they would call ‘agression’ and/or ‘anti-semitism’ and/or ‘shiaism’, ‘whatever else’ etc. pp.
In Israeli reports and comments it would be just as if the Israelis didn’t provoke anything by bombing folks and things Lebanon. It would just be “shooting”, not “shooting back”, and how effective that response would be suppressed since that would be unwanted reports on unwanted facts.
Two links to some Pentagon analysis on the 2006 war:
i can’t find a link at the moment but i have a clear memory from the time that all the people in northern israel who could not go to work because of the rockets were given a stipend from america
If it does not work, let’s blame the Russians since, after much begging in Moscow, Putin didn’t budge:
How Israel Caught Russian Hackers Scouring the World for U.S. Secrets
Israel hacked Kaspersky, then tipped the NSA that its tools had been breached
re: “Post Aleppo, probably unwise to engage Hezbollah in urban warfare.”
Looking back at 2006, it seems that Hezbollah was already pretty good at fighting the Israelis. Fighting them they survived, thought and learned. There likely isn’t all that much new for them to learn from jihadi folks in Syria.
That’s the side effect of using superior firepower so often, just because you have it. If you don’t kill the enemies all quickly, at some point the folks targeted with an approach like that learn and adapt. Apparently, Hezbollah survived, learned and adapted rather successfully.
That is to say that Hezbollah doesn’t need to go to Aleppo to get lessons from jihadis in how to successfully fight a war. They had ample opportunity and reason to train and learn while fighting in their own neighbourhood.
Has Hezbollah gained/improved air defenses.? That would be a real game changer since Israel relies so heavily on air power. I doubt Israel will attack Hezbollah but I wonder if Syria would offer support if they did and especially if Syria would offer air defenses from Syria. An Israeli attack on Hezbollah might be seen as an opportunity to take back the Syrian Golan Heights as well.
That’s essentially all they can or will do. I think the phrase they enjoy employing as a threat every few months is that they will “bomb Lebanon back to the stone age.”
While the Party of God has spent the last 11 years training, equipping, and, now, has battle hardened vets from fighting in Syria, the IDF has mainly continued to stick to convention: focusing on air superiority and policing the uppity Palestinians.
Tel Aviv/Israeli citizens in no way would accept the casualties and POWs that would arise from a real war.
I beg to differ. Hezbollah most likely learned a lot from Russia, as did the SAA, and in particular, against the tactics that the US taught our “good jihadi’s”. In 2006, Hezbollah, held ground. In SAA, they learned how to take ground, set up cauldron’s, etc., which have been very effective against US proxies (Ukraine, the good jihadi’s in Syria, or heck, even the Iraqi army). I think this is because US strategy assumes overwhelming airpower / drone power which will shape the battlefield as desired.
What was very impressive about the Russian effort in Syria was how minimalistic it was. Russia could have brought far more power to bear (aka the Powell doctrine), but didn’t. One benefit is that the Russian proxy (SAA) developed an effective military capability (was stood up!), rather than remaining a co-dependent military of typical developing world capability – Iraq, despite gobs of funds for training, was incapable of advancing into Mosul except after the US reduced the way ahead to rubble. Sadly, rubble-izing Suni neighborhoods makes the Shia feel good, but ensures another ISIS).
Hezbollah proved that Israeli airpower could not shape the battlefield in 2006.
I will predict that if there is a Lebanon 2017, Hezbollah will take and briefly occupy one or more Israeli towns near the border and also capture many soldier POWs, in part from having done the intel /infiltration preparatory work, and in part from new capabilities.
“Israel will do nothing but massively bomb Lebanon hoping that it will lead to Lebanon rejecting Hezballah.”
And what if Hizbullah says what they mean and throwing their hands up with, “Eff this. they have been fairly warned” and unleash an all out rocket barrage on Tel Aviv? Will your kinsman stay around to rebuild it the morning after? Will their neighbors?
If the Israelis are losing big in Lebanon, they can then pound Gaza, call it victory, and go home.
For those who can read French ( I know Colonel Lang is one of them )and as I haven’t found anything like that in english.
Well, maybe, or maybe not. Bernhard’s take on this stuff over at Moon of Alabama is worth checking out.
Isn’t it just so interesting that while attacks on Kaspersky are underway, simultaneously attacks on SouthFront (addressed in Col. Lang’s succeeding post to this one) are picking up momentum? And also that there are “investigations” underway (attacks in actuality) on RT and Sputnik that may lead to these organizations having to register under the FARA Act, along with any and all of the people who have shows there or who post there (such as leftist critics of the burgeoning surveillance state/muffled zone in which we increasingly find ourselves such as Chris Hedges)? Will this mean that websites – well, jeez, maybe even SST – who post links to these “entartete media” will also have to register under the FARA Act? Read all about it in Philip Giraldi’s latest post over at the Unz Review:
Yeah, this is happening RIGHT NOW, and will only be picking up momentum the longer that it is allowed to go unchallenged.
Welcome to The Muffled Zone.
And a question, seriously posed, to our other guest posters, TTG, Publius Tacitus, et al. Are you ready to be forced to register under the FARA Act merely because your posts appear from time to time on a website that posts links to these Russian websites? ‘Cause it may just come to this. Does this strike you as being violative of your rights? Gentlemen?
U S House Foreign Affairs Committee chaired by Ed Royce heard testimony on US policy toward Iran (Hezbollah) & especially future of JCPOA from
Gen. Charles Wald (Bipartisan Policy Institute, extremely anti-Iran with propensity to take military action);
David Albright (reliable neocon nincompoop);
James Jeffrey, former US ambassador to Iraq, now w/ WINEP;
Jake Sullivan, who participated in first drafts of JCPOA, had been Hillary Clinton’s security advisor and close campaign supporter.
Yellow-jacketed MEK supporters comprised most of the small audience.
Of the four, Sullivan, a very young fellow, made the most sense, was the most rational and strategically minded; caused me to think a Hillary administration might have handled Iran better.
An interesting moment occurred after hawk Wald said he’d bet – “there’s a 99% possibility” that Iran is cheating on nuclear weapons development. Rep. Greg Meeks took Wald to task: “Your speculation without facts is VERY dangerous . . .” Wald tried to argue, Meeks shut him down. Wald left shortly thereafter.
The representatives — about a dozen of them — competed to come up with the harshest ways to characterize Iran: “liars, murderers, terrorists.” The Committee is incensed that Assad is still in power and may be able to regain sovereignty over his entire country. One or two of the Reps seemed to take a reasonable approach, but the hot-head Israel firsters rolled over them, as did the witnesses.
If this Committee has the greater share of power over US-Iran policy, and policy toward Syria and support for a war against Hezbollah-Lebanon, we are in trouble. Israel will be given a green light to start a fight that US will be called upon to finish.
Caught with the hand in the cookie jar