Sounds Like They Couldn’t Stand The Heat.


The IDF pulled its ground forces out of Bint Jbeil Saturday all the way back into Galilee.

They fought there for days to take the town, lost some men and then started house demolitions.

According to my Israeli sources, Hizbullah counter-attacked in strength starting Friday night.  The next day Israel withdrew from the town.

It sounds like the politicians couldn’t stand the prospect of real war.  Or, more fancifully the IAF has laid an elaborate trap for HA.  Some of the members of our seminar will prefer that idea.

Pat Lang

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43 Responses to Sounds Like They Couldn’t Stand The Heat.

  1. Steve Kimbrough says:

    Why should the Israelis fight if a “robust” international force will be inserted to secure the border? It strikes me that what is on the table amounts to an international subsidy of Israel’s defense. Securing the border with Lebanon will reduce Israel’s costs and make it easier for them to work their will on the Palistinians. My point here is not a moral or judgmental one. Rather, I am saying that the outcome of the war may in fact be very favorable to Israel. This time it would be Israel that wins by losing.

  2. zanzibar says:

    In a televised speech Saturday evening, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah vowed rocket strikes on towns in central Israel.
    “The bombardment of Afula and its military base is the beginning … Many
    cities in the center [of Israel] will be targeted in the ‘beyond Haifa’ phase if the savage aggression continues on our country, people and villages,” Nasrallah said in a speech aired on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television.
    According to Nasrallah, “Israel is ready for a cease-fire, but the United States insists on continued fighting in Lebanon. Israel has been exposed as a slave of the U.S.,” he said.
    Two things stand out. One, despite the intense aerial attack and complete Israeli air superiority al-Manar TV is till operating. Nasrallah is clearly now trying to gin up the propaganda against the US and laying the ground work for a cease-fire where they can claim victory to the al-Jazeera audience in every Arab country.

  3. b says:

    My guess is this is the civilian prime minister ruling (rightfully) over the military.
    Olmert did see at a point that he had been pushed into this whole desaster by IDF chief Halutz.
    When the decision was made to attack Lebanon instead to just negotiate a prisoner exchange, it was Halutz who presented only one prepacked plan of all out air war – no alternative (this according to some Israeli press reports.)
    When the response came in first from Hizbulla, then from the world public, Olmert did see the error and asserted himself. The planed occupation of South Lebanon was called off.
    Inbetween the “elite” Golan brigade did stumble into a prepared ambush when they wanted to catch the symbolic city of Bint Jbeil. To recover their dead the pressed on and received more dead comerades (I’ll never understand the sense of this. Do you want to win or gain dead bodies?)
    From there it just went down. A helo was hit, and more bodybags were needed.
    The decision now is not about not being able to take the heat.
    This war isn´t about Israels existance. A hundred bodybags to rule the rubble of what would be left of Bint Jbeil just makes no sense. Especially when it will have to be given back eventually.
    I hope Olmert stays this strong now and stops this shit. Nasrallah just made a speech and said the US is holding back Israel from agreeing to a ceasefire. After seeing Bush’s stupid talk yesterday, this rings true to me.
    Rice just landed in Tel Aviv. I hope sincerally that Olmert withstands the heat she will give him.
    There is nothing to win for Israel in this pointless war.

  4. Michael D. Adams says:

    Since the Israeli leadership seems to have gone as batpoop crazy as the US leadership I’M getting the distinct feeling that there is a newly arrived MADE IN USA thermobaric device in some town’s future.

  5. The Agonist says:

    Political Cowardice

    Looks like the Israeli political leadership, most likely Ehud Olmert, didn’t have the courage to follow through. This whole thing was about Olmert proving he had stones as big as Sharon.
    He doesn’t. And innocent Israelis will suffer and die for his arrog

  6. jonst says:

    There is no going backwards now without paying a significant price. It may be a “price” worth paying. Don’t get me wrong. But, of course, defeats, real or imagined, create their own internal and external dynamics.
    Further, as the Col and others have pointed out….what the hell good is a buffer zone? If necessity is the mother of invention, or inventive thinking/tactics…we have just placed a premium on longer range weapons. I suspect that “premium” will induced the ‘suppliers’ to see that the ‘demand’ is met. Then we are right back where we began. . And ironically enough, the IDF attack spurred the tech race which will now see Hizballah getting weapons capable of hitting all of Israel. I’m sure they would have gotten them in any event. But as I note….now there will a premium to rush. Wars can be ironic if nothing else.

  7. canuck says:

    Olmert won the Israeli election by the skin of his teeth. I suppose even with his lack of military experience that even he could be coming to the conclusion that the incursion into Lebanon won’t produce any results? Hibullah, if anything grows because of the bombing campaign. The longer IDF stays in Lebanon, the more Hibullah will grow.
    Being a politician now he’ll have to consult with Rice to see how he can save some face? I doubt the multi national force is viable now that the UN has withdrawn the observers from Lebanon’s borders, unless of course, Olmert and Rice are willing to beg Kofi Annan. Eating some humble pie may be in order? Could somehow Bolton be given a large slice too?

  8. Sean-Paul says:

    Col. am I correct in my reading that Hezbollah inflicted a conventional warfare loss on the Israelis, and not necessarily a guerilla warfare loss?
    Is that an accurate assesment of your reading of the situation?
    If so, Israel really shot itself in the foot, no?

  9. W. Patrick Lang says:

    This represents a signifcant transition on the part of HA.
    We will now see if the Israelis bring up enough force to decide the issue.
    Yes. This is a self inflicted wound. pl

  10. Mike says:

    I have to agree with Michael. Is there any indication that the IDF pulled back far enough to: 1) nail Hizb’s running out of the town and 2) avoid the effects of a couple of MOB’s?

  11. W. Patrick Lang says:

    This is a sizable town. Arab villages are called that becasue of the social organization of the locale, not because of size.
    Bombing the place will make the masonry buildings into rubble which makes for better fightng positions. pl

    Bush’s gang of mad beekeepers
    March 19, 2003
    The full-scale, unilateral US invasion of Iraq is imminent. President Bush’s gang and their “allies” do not realize their miscalculation: that the costs of invasion will outweigh any benefits.
    Counting the cost… eventually
    The course is charted, arrogant use of the military is all the US ruling class has to maintain its dominance. After Iraq, asymmetric warfare, “terrorism,” will be directed at Americans, American institutions, American targets, and American allies. When the rest of the world recognizes how thinly spread the US military is, thinly spread physically, and economically, because it is not a sustainable institution in its current incarnation, rebellions will occur. Indeed they have already started. The response of the weakening US will be to lash out, often with unforeseeable consequences, just as the consequences of this impending invasion are unforeseeable, and unknown
    Sturm and Drang
    Military might is a sign of strength, but the US military is not invincible worldwide. America’s use of force as both first and last resort is a sign of profound systemic weakness. Its employment today will destabilize the world, and cause us to stumble into a Third World War: The War of Unintended Consequences.

  13. ikonoklast says:

    “We will now see if the Israelis bring up enough force to decide the issue.” PL
    “Our sources add that from Saturday, July 29, the tempo of the American munitions airlift to Israel, begun last Wednesday … has speeded up. During Saturday, giant US Air Force C-114 cargo transports en route for Israel touched down in Scotland for refueling every few hours.”

  14. Billmon says:

    “Or, more fancifully the IAF has laid an elaborate trap for HA.”
    Oh yeah, right: “First we lure them into Haifa and then POW, we’ll have ’em right where we want them!”
    I’ve never drunken the Kool Aid about the unbeatable IDF, but even I’m astounded at how this is playing out.

  15. MarcLord says:

    It seems that Israel prominently attended the inauguration of the BTC (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan) oil pipeline on July 13th, as claimed in this article at
    The article quotes a number of sources and makes conclusions that put Israel’s recent actions in Lebanon into a context which begins to make sense. Since it first started, my thoughts have been dwelling on how this round of the Israel-Lebanon conflict fits into the wider energy control contest. In short, I think the main features of the grand plan are to blockade Iran’s oil into the soil, generate leverage over China’s $100-billion-plus development contracts there, and make Iran’s mullah’s compliant by putting them “over a barrel.” Iran could be neutralized as a regional threat, western oil companies could gain a share of Iran’s profits, and China’s growth plans could be thwarted.
    Israel’s grand plan is apparently to become a power player in oil, and it was already promised a quid pro quo of direct access to Iraqi oil back in 2003: . Israel would be cut into the deal in exchange for providing both the heavy security and the central staging area.
    The trouble with theory is practice, and yet again a blitzkrieg army has been very expensively drawn into a sitzkrieg conflict, and has failed.

  16. ali says:

    The IDF are used to bulldozing the homes of the badly organized and poorly armed Palestinians.
    Hezbollah are simply in a different class. They are a well trained, disciplined force with a strong ideological base and solid support in the population.
    They have a lot in common with the IDF of 40 years ago. This was never going to be easy.

  17. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I cannot credit this.
    There is not that much oil in the Caspian basin. Secondly there are significant barriers to getting oil rigs to the Caspian Sea; you cannot air lift a rig there; it essentially has to be built in site; that capacity simly does not exist.
    A fundamental problem with your suggestions is that it assumes that there ae a lot of very many smart people in the world.
    I am convinced of the opposite and most of the world governments do not seem to be staffed with many bright people (Nixon and Khruschev were exceptions rather than the rule).

  18. Matthew says:

    Marc Lord: The “grand plan” you describe has a simple name in the real world: theft. Thank God it’s failing.

  19. lina says:

    The inimitable David Brooks writing from his ivory tower:
    “To its enormous credit, the Bush administration has kept its focus on that core reality, and it has developed a strategy to reverse the momentum: let Israel weaken Hezbollah, then build an international force to help create a better Lebanon.
    Yet, having spent a week on the phone with experts and policy makers, I’d be lying if I said that I was optimistic the strategy will work. The renovation of Lebanon will require scaffolding, and the fact is the scaffolding of the West is corroding at every joint.
    The U.S. lacks authority because of Iraq. Over the past few days, Israel has grown wary of getting into Lebanon, because it might have no help getting out. The Europeans, being the Europeans, are again squandering a chance to play a big role in world affairs. The “moderate” Arabs are finding that if you spend a generation inciting hatred of Israel you will wind up prisoner to groups who hate Israel more than you do. The U.N. is simply feckless.
    The U.S. is right to resist the calls for a quick-fix cease-fire. But when you step back, you see once again the power of ideas. The terrorists are more unified by their ideas than we in the civilized world are unified by ours.”
    nytimes 7/30/06

  20. Billmon says:

    Brooks: The U.S. is right to resist the calls for a quick-fix cease-fire.
    But it’s the ISRAELIS who are now hinting they would like a quick ceasefire:
    “On Saturday, [Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark] Regev suggested that Israel might agree to a cease-fire before Hezbollah had been disarmed, calling a cease-fire ‘a catalyst’ toward disarming Hezbollah.”
    So I imagine we can expect Brooks to change his line in a day or two. Heroic Israelis make ultimate sacrifice for peace, etc.

  21. Matthew says:

    Ah, David Brooks, on what meat do these Neo-Cons feed that makes them so great? The Europeans don’t have AIPAC, so maybe their don’t feel like sacrificing their kids to support to the Zionist project. The Arabs, far from suffering from the results from incitement, have no interest in helping the last European entity in the Middle East. When Israelis say the Arabs can’t stand the fact of Israel, they are right. And it’s not about the land. It’s the double standards, the bending of international law, and, frankly, the thinly disguised higher valuing of Israeli lives over theirs. Our policy is faling because it’s not our policy; it’s Israel’s policy. It’s to our everlasting shame that we are only reinforcing failure instead of questioning our assumptions. But, then again, any president who takes calls from John Hagee…

  22. Joaquin says:

    Just a question: does anyone have ideas about the most recent IDF casualties? It sounds, from the vague news reports, like the IDF might have lost a hilltop near Bint Jbeil. It seems like such a thing could say a lot about Hizbullah’s fighting capabilities.

  23. Sean-Paul says:

    Col. Lang,
    What do you make of this:
    Jerusalem Post“The IDF wrapped up its operations in the southern Lebanese village of Bint Jbail on Saturday and withdrew most of its troops from the area. At the same time, the army was gearing up for a new ground incursion into Lebanon.
    “Also Saturday night, the IAF struck a road along the Lebanese border with Syria that the IDF said was being used by Damascus to smuggle weapons to Hizbullah.”

    They’ve mucked things up badly, thus far but some are insistent the Israelis are just getting warmed up.
    Not a rhetorical question, and I’m not trolling. Just looking for your take on these possibly new developments.

  24. PrahaPartizan says:

    The Israeli operation seemed to have jumped off on the wrong foot when it attacked Lebanese targets rather than the source of its frustration – the Hisbollah strongholds along the border. Had it suddenly conducted a strong ground operation assisted by close air support to seize the Hisbollah locations launching their battlefield rockets against northern Israel, they might have been able to keep world public opinion, maybe even Arab opinion, on their side. Starting off by bombing everything in Lebanon was a terrible way to proclaim that you were defending yourself. If it looks like terror bombing, sounds like terror bombing, and smells like terror bombing, then it probably is terror bombing. The IDF needs to be massively shaken up after this debacle.

  25. b says:

    Ze’ev Schiff, the hawkish military correspondent fro Haaretz agrees with Nasrallah. It is a US game and its Rice who is pressing on.
    Israel failing to give U.S. the military cards it needs
    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is the figure leading the strategy of changing the situation in Lebanon, not Prime Minister Ehud Olmert or Defense Minister Amir Peretz. She has so far managed to withstand international pressure in favor of a cease-fire, even though this will allow Hezbollah to retain its status as a militia armed by Iran and Syria.
    As such, she needs military cards, and unfortunately Israel has not succeeded to date in providing her with any. Besides bringing Hezbollah and Lebanon under fire, all of Israel’s military cards at this stage are in the form of two Lebanese villages near the border that have been captured by the IDF.
    If the military cards Israel is holding do not improve with the continuation of the fighting, it will result in a diplomatic solution that will leave the Hezbollah rocket arsenal in southern Lebanon in its place. The diplomatic solution will necessarily be a reflection of the military realities on the ground./endquote/
    He is calling for a last attack to capture South Lebanon, but I doubt this will happen.

  26. confusedponderer says:

    Wiliam S. Lind made an interesting observation on Israel’s little ground war against Hezbollah:
    “Israeli ground forces have been fighting for days to take Maroun al-Ras, a small village less than 500 yards into Lebanon. The battle has not gone well. Israel has lost five or six troops dead, with undoubtedly more wounded. It still does not control the whole village. According to the Plain Dealer piece by Benjamin Harvey of AP, officers at the scene confirmed there was still fighting to do.
    “‘They’re not fighting like we thought they would,’ one soldier said. ‘They’re fighting harder. They’re good on their own ground….’
    “‘It will take the summer to beat them,’ said [Israeli soldier] Michael Sidorenko….
    “‘They’re guerrillas. They’re very smart.'”
    “Guerrillas” may not be exactly the right term here. As best I can determine from the wilds of Cleveland, Ohio, Hezbollah thus far seems to be waging a conventional light infantry fight for Maroun al-Ras. The line between guerrilla and light infantry tactics is thin, but Hezbollah seems to be putting up a determined fight for a piece of terrain, which guerrillas usually don’t do, because they can’t. The fact that Hezbollah can points to how far (Hezbollah)… has evolved.”
    Good point.

  27. Matthew says:

    Qana = Sabra & Shatila. You can smell the stench from here…If Condi had any decency, she’d leave Jerusalem immediately.

  28. jonst says:

    Rant warning. Long post so if you are not up for it you should stop reading now.
    I’m curious now to see if there are any strong and hard people among our public figures. Other than Murtha that is. Who among them is going to stand up and speak the painful and ominous truth?
    The US nation has suffered its worst tactical defeat since the American Civil War. (yes, I recall, PL, “which side was I referring to?” But we’ll leave that issue aside for the now. The present climate is too dangerous to pick at old wounds).
    The Israelis, for better or worse, our closest ally in the region, have suffered an equally crucial tactical defeat. Our other alleged allies in the region, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia have placed themselves in a very precarious position vis-via the Arab ‘street’. For the first time in their history they actually, albeit briefly, they sided with the rationale Israel gave for attacking an Arab nation.
    Or at minimum, attacking an Arab people. And having taken this incredible, and unprecedented plunge, sure they had backed a winner, in any event, they were shocked to see that their ‘horse may run out of the money’. And of course it did not help them that they tried to change their bet mid-race. It only added insult to injury and made them look even more perfidious than they look now.
    We have suffered this triple defeat in a region our leaders tell us, daily, is “vital” to our national interests. One of our most dedicated foes has come on looking stronger and more influential than ever. If the so called ‘Shia Crescent’ were a figment of people’s imagination before, it is has to be deemed tangible today.
    Diplomatically, we are in as bad a position as we have been since….? Since when? When have we ever been as hated, and isolated, diplomatically as now? Our economy is in trouble, at best, in a shambles, worst. We are running twin deficits, at home and aboard. We are dependant on others to finance our debt. Oil, possibly, as a result of this war, and this defeat, is over a 70$ a barrel and rising.
    Our military is exhausted and undermanned. Our equipment in poor shape. Our manufacturing base at home, depleted. (yeah, someone still has to make the bullets)
    This is sad shape we are in. That we have put ourselves in. I repeat, who is going to tell the people what they need to hear? And what does it mean that they HAVE to be told? That they can’t see this with their own eyes.
    Oh….and OBL et al is still out there. And the Taliban are still out there. And on the march. And lets not say anything about the storm brewing in Somalia where the ‘Islamists’ are on the march. And Ethiopians restless as well. Things are spreading out of control down there while few watch.
    Let’s see who’s the stand up guy now among a nation of communications and marketing majors. Lets see all those MBA’s step up to the plate now. I can count on them to leverage this situation into a personal profit for themselves, ‘danger=opportunity’ and all that shit. There good at that. Lets seem them snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

  29. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Looks like the IDF is continuing its method of small scale raids into southern Lebanon as a complement to the air and artillery both at the tactical and strategic levels. pl

  30. MarcLord says:

    Re: Caspian Sea oil. The amount there is still subject to conjecture, yet British Petroleum thought it enough to build an expensive mostly-underground pipeline to the eastern Mediteranean, and they have been in the oil biz for awhile. I, too, was very skeptical until the pipeline opened in May. BP is saying it will carry 1 million barrels per day, and that the Caspian Sea reserves are comparable in size to Mexico’s offshore. If so this would warrant drilling platform assemblage.

  31. MarcLord says:

    Yes, the Grand Plan is of course theft, and I too am glad it’s not working. It’s not Pontiac and disparate cohorts to be overcome this time, but nation states which know the precise means and methods of the attempted heist. One wonders if our sense of collective entitlement is so great as to start nuclear war out of frustration, a war we would lose.

  32. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The BTC was a politically subsidized project; I cannot vouch for its profitability. But, as you suggest, we have to wait and see.
    Even if comparbale to Mexico, it pales in comparison to the Persian Gulf.

  33. john says:

    There is a dimension to the IDF’s current situation in southern Lebanon that appears to be somewhat overlooked as far as I can tell. Is it possible we are seeing the cumulative affects of twenty plus years of police duty on the readiness and performance of the IDF? If yes, what does this suggest for the future readiness and capabilities of US ground forces? The question has been asked on the Hill and press on and off since Bosnia and may have been dramatically revealed in Task Force Smith all those years ago and therefore forgotten. Perhaps the IDF and the Pentagon are at the receiving end of a reality check. Wonder if the civilian leadership in both countries are paying attention.

  34. MarcLord says:

    Agreed, there was tremendous political pressure to build the pipeline, and I’m unaware of the exact sources and amounts of the funding, only the consortium ownership percentages. BP and Norway, et al, are desperate to replace the North Sea depletion, and this may have fueled wishful thinking.
    I would be interested in more precise information on the pipeline funding if you could point me to it, a finer guide to my skepticism would be most appreciated. 😉

  35. b says:

    The BTC pipeline has one big problem. ANYBODY can distrupt it for little cost and lots of gain. (Ever dealed in oil options?)
    Too many countries, too many upset areas.
    If you have to pay off everybody who could disrupt it, the comercial viability goes deep south.
    If you do not, the throughput will be marginable.

  36. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Financing was partially done through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development which was established in 1991.
    I would like to know if EBRD was capitalized by any Western government.
    Here is a link to their Web site:
    I do not believe that the volume of oil is there in the so-called Republic of Azerbaijan (actually the former Iranian territories of Aran and Nakhchevan), but (geoestrategic) hope seems to grow eternal.

  37. john in LA says:

    The IDF, like the US Army and the Russians, is designed to fight other armies — to take out tanks, concentrated infantry, other aircraft, naval vessels etc.
    Since Dien Bien Phu, the only person stupid enough to field an “army” against Russia/France/US etc., was Saddam Hussein in Gulf War I. And of course Saddam and the Ayatollahs had their WWI equivalent in their war.
    The US weapons/systems haven’t been able to Subdue Fallujah, much less Iraq. And when the Iraqi Shia go after the US forces…well, it will all be over.
    W. unzipped his kimono in the Iraq II invasion and it has now been revealed that the world’s greatest army, backed by a trillion dollar war fund, can be defeated – cold.
    Hizzbullah noticed this! The Hizzbullah lured the Israeli invasion. It was a trap. And when the IDF crosses in force, on the ground, it is going to look an awful lot like the US in Iraq.

  38. ikonoklast says:

    So Israel agreed to a forty-eight hours cessation of the air war on Sunday. Two days. How convenient.
    From the Jerusalem Post:
    “Acknowledging that the operation’s days were numbered, senior officers in the Northern Command said that this Wednesday would be decisive. That is the day when the tens of thousands of reservists called up under the cabinet decision last Thursday will be ready for battle and, if the political echelon permits, the military will recommend sweeping through southern Lebanon in a last-ditch effort to get something out of this campaign.
    Some officers began asking Sunday whether the IDF had made a mistake in the way it approached this war from the outset. The operation’s opening round quickly exhausted itself after the army realized that there was only so much that could be achieved from the air alone. So when the massive air strikes proved to no longer be relevant, the IDF turned to limited ground incursions, short distances from the border.”
    The situation is taking on all the elements of a Greek tragedy – hubris, blood, revenge, madness, rhetoric, fear, betrayal. Maybe some future Thucydides will be able make a lesson of it. Right now I can’t stop thinking of “Ozymandias.” The New American Century, writ in blood and swallowed by the sands. “Look on my works ye mighty, and despair …”

  39. Alex says:

    I’m pretty sure C-114 cargo planes didn’t stop over in Scotland. I’m pretty sure of that because C-114 cargo planes don’t exist. Maybe Debka meant C-141 (are they still in service?).

  40. ikonoklast says:

    Alex –
    Yeah, a more careful check of sources shows:
    “As of 25 September, 2005, there were only eight C-141 aircraft still flying (all from the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson AFB). In 2004, 2005, and 2006, the C-141s stationed at WPAFB participated in missions to Iraq and Afghanistan, mostly for the medical evacuation of wounded servicemembers.” (Wikipedia)
    – and –
    445th Airlift Wing – 7/24/2006 – WRIGHT-PATTERSON, AFB, OHIO
    “Just two months since the C-141 retirement, reservists embarked on the first C-5 mission from here July 19 to Ramstein Air Base, Germany.”
    The rumor mill churns on, however. Reports are now of A310 Airbuses or 747’s, refueling at Prestwick or Mindenhall. The common thread is the flights are all described as “US-chartered.”

  41. confusedponderer says:

    The C-114 did in fact exist, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and was a derivative of the Douglas DC-4 to 7 piston engine driven commercial aircraft series – a more evolved version of the C-54 of Berlin Airlift fame.
    Which makes me think, Alex, you’re rightly confused. But this is more than a humble typo. This is bad research: On Sep 27, 2005 a C-141 C of the 445th Airlift Wing (AFRC) flew the last combat mission of the type, evacuating wounded from Afghanistan. They have now been completely retired from service.
    So in case of an airlift to Israel the US almost unavoidably would be delivering support to Israel with C-17 cargolifters, or C-5 – even though that would limit the number of suitable landing strips. The C-17 would be by far more flexible.
    They could also make use of their civilian reserve B-747, but while they could carry quite some cargo, they would take longer to unload.

  42. BadTux says:

    “and yet again a blitzkrieg army has been very expensively drawn into a sitzkrieg conflict, and has failed.”
    I think that above statement sums it up in a nutshell. It also explains the curious target selection. The IDF appears to be stuck in a 3rd generation warfare mentality. The militaries of the US and Israel are oriented around 3G warfare — mechanized columns supported by air power going against the similar armies of other nation-states, as first practiced in its current form by the Nazis during their blitzkrieg in 1939. But in Lebanon, Israel is not going against a nation-state. They are going against a non-state actor, a non-state actor which has learned the lessons well of past successful wars in Afghanistan, Somalia, etc. where non-state actors prevailed against militaries oriented around mechanized infantry and armor.
    Israel’s target selection would have made sense if their opponent was, say, Nazi Germany, which had a sizable 3rd-generation military that required fuel, roads, ports, etc. in order to operate. By depriving a nation-state of the ability to wage 3rd-generation warfare, you are going after its war-making capacity every bit as much as if you were killing its soldiers upon the battlefield.
    The problem is the Hizballah is not a nation-state, and since it has neither tanks nor fighter aircraft, does not require the extensive logistical tail of a 3rd generation military. Indeed, in Vietnam the majority of the logistical tail for NVA operations in the South was done via coolies carrying ammunition in baskets on their heads, much in the same way the Chinese re-supplied their troops in Korea after we bombed every bridge, every railroad, every road in North Korea into rubble. What would be valid military targets if fighting a conventional military have absolutely no military value when fighting a non-state actor such as Hizballah. Thus why, say, the bombing of the Beirut port resulting in the deaths or injuries of numerous civilian longshoremen was a war crime — there simply was no military value to the port insofar as Hizballah is concerned, since Hizballah neither used the port nor needs the port in order to supply its rather limited needs.
    Yet both Israel and its defenders in the U.S. continue to apply 3rd generation principals to 4th generation warfare. The simple fact of the matter is that sitzkrieg warfare, as vs. blitzkrieg warfare, simply is not something that either the U.S. or Israel is good at. The reasons for this are numerous, ranging from cultural arrogance (residents of neither nation believe that Arabs are as smart as they are) to the simple fact that both the IDF and U.S. Army spent decades preparing to counter existential threats to nations, and ignored training and preparation for the kinds of conflicts that they now find themselves in. Neither Hizballah nor the Iraqi insurgents are an existential threat to the U.S. or Israel — neither could operate outside the sea of civilians that they disappear into when the going gets too hot, thus would never be able to, e.g., mount an invasion of Israel that could destroy the IDF and overthrow the government of Israel. 4th generation warfare depends upon the mountain coming to Mohammed, rather than vice-versa. And both the U.S. and Israel bit, and sent their militaries into situations that are ill-suited for a blitzkrieg military.
    “…and yet again a blitzkrieg army has been very expensively drawn into a sitzkrieg conflict, and has failed.” An apt summary, indeed.
    – BT

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