Thursday, August 10, 2006

Israel expands its military effort

Hezbollah is firing missiles from civilian areas in Lebanon into civilian areas of Israel. It seeks a double bonus since it wants to kill Jews and to claim the propaganda rewards from dead Lebanese civilians.

Hezbollah is skillfully exploiting missile technology to realise these 'rewards'. As Greg Sheridan in the Australian remarks:

Missiles, like most weapons, are becoming more sophisticated yet, paradoxically, simpler to operate. Thus, Israel has technology that can trace the line of an incoming missile and hit the point from which it was fired. But missile launchers are almost throwaway items now.So Hezbollah can set up a missile launcher with a couple of soldiers, move them away from the launcher, then fire it by remote control. When the Israeli retaliation hits, the Hezbollah fighters are well out of range.

Even worse, in a way, they can set up the missile launchers in areas, especially civilian areas, where they know that an Israeli hit will cause Israel big political damage.

Missiles are fascinating because they are a weapon of conventional warfare and, increasingly, a weapon of terrorism. They are used in symmetric warfare, between powers of comparable military strength, and in asymmetric warfare. In other words, they are a weapon that a weaker power can use to inflict unacceptable damage on a stronger power.
Israel is justified in expanding its ground-based military operations in Lebanon to prevent missile attacks on its territories. However justification is becoming of secondary importance. The issue is can it win with these tactics at acceptible cost? Hezbollah might not be widely loved among non-religious fanatics but its popularity is increasing in some circles.

The bad guy can win.


whyisitso said...

"The bad guy can win"

No doubt, but I reckon you and Andrew Bolt are being rather negative, Harry. Things were much worse for Britain after Dunkirk, but there was no talk of defeat. Churchill's greatest speech finished with:

"Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."

That spirit is needed today as much as ever.

hc said...

I think being optimistic alone is not enough. If Israel proceeds with a massive ground invasion - it is holding off at the present - there will be huge casualties. It could be threatening a mass invasion to pressure Lebanon to back the current UN peace proposals.

Bring Back EP at LP said...

They are both bad guys.
I think you should check when these rockets first started to be fired on Israel.

Israel is now paying for being overconfident in its soldiers who are actually being shown up by Hezbollah guerrillas.
in addition it appears not to have learned anything from any previous guerrilla campaign.
your complaints are almost echoes of Kitchener of the Boers!

moreover air assaults never intimidate a population indeed it can have the opposite effect.

All of this leaves Hezbollah is a more stronger position.
congratulations perhaps next time you might think about what you are supporting.

Anonymous said...

It is good news (for those civilians directly under fire) that a ceasefire has been agreed to. Lebanon might now want to look at how to avoid this happening again. Will stand corrected by those with more detailed historical knowledge, but one thing is that, like Jordan since the early 1970s (when it ruthlessly dealt with the PLO), Lebanon has to stop being a base for private armies dedicated to war against its neighbour (first the PLO and then Hezbollah). I appreciate that Lebanon's civil war probably contributed heavily to this. But as far as I know Jordan has not been involved in anywhere near the problems with Israel over the same period. The comparison is striking.