HEZBOLLAH: Engine of Death

Ambassador to the UN Gillerman, (who along with a number of other Israeli spokesmen deserve medals of Honor) characterized Hezbollah as an "Engine of Death".

He's absolutely right, Hezbollah is a radical Islamist terrorist organization, the most built up terrorist group in the World in fact.

  1. Hezbollah dwarfs Al Qaeda in scale, both in terms of sheer size, capability, & resources.
  2. Hezbollah was striking international targets from its very inception in 1982 as a proxy for Iran in Lebanon.
  3. Hezbollah's terror chief Imad Muginyeh has been on the FBI most wanted list for decades now, he's also wanted across Europe and Israel.
  4. Hezbollah's leader Nassrallah is no less coveted by Israel, the target himself of a decapitation attempt last night with heavy duty ordinance.

Israel having committed itself to self defense of the nation now needs to secure some victories having entered the mid phase of this campaign. But what are those victory conditions and are are they attainable?

Operational Goals in Lebanon

  • Secure the return of 3 Israeli soldiers (1 with Hamas)
  • Elimination of the rocket threat on Israel
  • Disarming of Hezbollah, and implementation of security council resolution 1559

Each of these goals cannot be met militarily, they require sustainability that can only be put in place with diplomatic resolution. Having said that no diplomatic resolution is possible without first using military force to prepare the ground. Hezbollah is as stated an Islamic terrorist organization, they won't just give up.. They prefer martyrdom, no matter what Hezbollah must be severely weakened to the point where its state sponsors view any continuation as a strategic threat to their proxy.

The air campaign has been running around the clock with great credit. Israel is claiming that about 50% of Hezbollah's operational capability is destroyed, that seems like a positive estimate. That or the IDF is doing a very poor job in getting out the PR on these matters because Hezbollah does not appear on the surface all that beat up. A reality is dawning, and it is one that became very clear this past year in regards to the Gaza strip..

Air Power alone will not secure the military objective aspects of Israel's goals

In Gaza, Israel has been fighting for a month now with combined ground & air forces simply because after a year of air operations alone despite the effectiveness and enhanced abilities of the air force, unless Israel gets it hands somewhat dirty the gains are nearly impossible to maintain. Israel's initial forays into border areas yesterday only to meet surprise Hezbollah terrorists and bunker networks is not a good thing 8 days in. The IDF needs to step it up, chalk up some gains, and start touting them loudly.

Two soldiers were killed in that border ambush (both 21) and that is only the initial fighting, it will get worse in that terrible column before it gets better. But unless Israel starts committing some more serious assets, the casualties will only be that much higher. The IDF has warned again with flyers for south Lebanese to leave the area, those warnings have gone out multiple times and it is now 8 days in, it's time to turn 2 or 3 KMs from the border into an artillery wasteland and pander a little less to the media reports about civilians & harming them. There's no civilian still sitting a kilometer from the border after 8 days of fighting.. Only Hezbollah.

With Gaza progressing very slowly, the West Bank now shut tight due to terror threats and the Lebanon front Israel has plenty on the plate and is at war. In one of these theatres an advance of some sort is needed. These very small stabbing insertions by small groups of soldiers are not enough it appears to me, you want to stab that's fine. But please start using some bigger knives.

Baghdad Bob 

I'd like to most of all see that engine seize up and die, but it won't just do so on its own. I hate to be blunt & brutal, but a lot more killing of Hezbollah needs to be done then we've seen this past week in my opinion, together with some serious work on the numbers coming out of Lebanon which are unreal, 300 civilians killed, not a single Hezbollah member? Who's releasing these figures, Baghdad Bob!?

Halutz: Long War (YNET)
UPDATE: An aerial war (haaretz)

LINKS
Excellent updates: On Israel, and Jewish bloggers covering the situation, or at the truth Laid Bear which is also highlighting the other side.

  • They are fighting now just north of Avivim – and it is tough going. Hizballah has spent five years fortifying the place with trenches, bunkers, etc. and it is a heavily forested area where the field of vision is limited. The IAF is sending helicopters to aid the ground forces but they are not bombing the place from the air.

  • Brutal fighting there WBM and in El Ras, 48 hours now and some hard losses. I hope the commandos can mop it up quick and most importantly safely!