Monthly Archives: February 2008

Mission Critical: Gaza must reset the bar for the IDF

Israel must go ‘all in’ & restore deterrence

It is now accepted as inevitable, a large scale operation in the Gaza strip to end the terror threat emanating from Gazastan 24/7. Even internationally little can be said, we are a democratic country with a terror operated mini state lobbing missiles at our civilian populace with no end, if the peace process is to go forward the government in Israel has no choice but to tackle the hornets nest. The failures leading up to now are numerous.

  • Withdrawal from Gaza promised the harshest response possible to terror threats emanating from vacated territory. That never happened.
     
  • Rice & the EU assured us that ceding border control at the Philadelphia corridor linking Egypt, Gaza & Israel would be a stepping stone to peace & security. We got neither, and Hamas is now armed to the teeth with a standing army thanks to the collapse of the EU initiative resulting in rampant arms smuggling, the lack of speedy response from Rice & the US, the faltering ally in Egypt and our government’s foolhardy fold to the initial pressure.
     
  • Hamas being allowed to run for PA elections despite being a recognized terrorist group, only to win further weakening the overall global US strategy for the region & Israel specifically by acquiescing to this ludicrous notion.
     
  • Hamas seizing the Gaza strip by force and setting up a mini terror state with nary a reaction by the world and shamefully muted reaction by the Israeli govt. compounded by an increase in violence & terrorism.
     
  • The kidnapping of IDF soldiers in terrorist assaults, and subsequently years of manipulation by the same terrorists holding his life in the balance. This is well below the norms of accepted humanity yet the UN, NGOs, and public opinion seem resolute as ever to declare Israel the war criminal.

A clear path of support linking Hamas, Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah has materialized and the planet in a supposed global War on Terror has not even bat an eye. This web extends all the way into Lebanon and Iraq and further through the Revolutionary Guards all the way even into Afghanistan bridging towards Al Qaeda - these regions making up the main battlefield in the war against Islamist Jihad. Despite the global pitch to deny sanctuary & national territory to terrorists, seemingly in Gaza this is a supported goal internationally.

These realities are a failure on Israel’s part by orders of magnitude..

Lebanon’s long shadow

The political failures above are the domain of the government, the IDF & security establishment can make an argument that they warned every step of the way. Unfortunately, political missteps also led to the employment of the IDF in Lebanon on a large scale and the results were lackluster. A serious blow was dealt to the IDF and Israel’s deterrence by stagnation on the battlefield. We have been assured that our military has taken these issues to heart, reformed itself of its lack of vision, begun investment in its equipment and infrastructure in the tefen plan, replaced key personnel and philosophies with lessons learned, and renewed its desire to regain a perch amongst the most capable in the world.

A key component of Israel’s lack of gusto in Lebanon vs Hezbollah was our apparent lack of deftness and agility, combined with an equally lacking ability to employ heavy force in strategic spots and chalk up gains which could be built on for momentum. Both the political & military echelon appeared hesitant to employ strong tactics and commit to getting whatever the job be, done.

You bastards..

Already we have seen the reforms in action regarding deftness and agility through the combined us of intelligence and force – Skillfully I would add, through high risk / high payoff operations designed to further national security policy while also providing the spin-off benefit of restoring deterrence.

  • IDF soldiers driving donkey parts deep into Hamas territory and smuggling out Hamas terrorists for interrogation comes to mind.
     
  • The veil of silence and skillful bombing of a dangerous target in Syria, something which garnered nearly zero condemnation incidentally. If anything.. Begrudging respect of the type not seen since Entebbe.
     
  • The associated employment of high technologies in the manner expected by the IDF sending a loud & clear message with a huge payoff, the apparent knocking out of the entire Syrian air defense net to such an extent that Russian technicians were on the scene within 48 hours to investigate how such a feat were even possible, causing palpable alarm all the way into Iran with billions of dollars invested & at stake.
     
  • The vast reduction in civilian collateral casualties through pin point accuracy employed by the IAF, I don’t recall the exact statistic but it is on the order of a 99% reduction in civilian losses through operations. No small investment or effort was made over the last few years to tune the machine to a level where this was possible. The payoff obviously being lives saved combined with some possible leeway in employing force as a matter of security, not too mention the resulting accuracy of force – as exhibited in Syria is of a calibre that sets a worldwide scale.
     
  • The targeted elimination of Hezbollah chieftains deep in their protective territory is no small matter either, let alone the fact that such an individual be amongst the most hunted men on earth. This one is the slot machine that will keep on paying for a long time to come.

These examples of very special operations have gone a long way, but Gaza will be the test of mettle for the IDF. Gaza requires all the tools & skills above, combined with scale and regular more conventional forces. Gaza means dangerous contact in close quarters with a terrorist / guerrilla trained enemy built up in territory and capabilities, and Gaza requires a political / diplomatic component that is in itself complex. Israel and the IDF can ill afford any half efforts. All eyes are on this one, there is something to prove.

I’m looking at how the IDF can take Gaza, decapitate the Hamas leadership, quell the terrorist infrastructure, as well-as the necessary political dynamic in a second part to this post.

Link Update:
IDF chief: I can’t rule out conflict in near future (Haaretz)
Olmert: Israel’s deterrence well-known (Jpost)

Over the top: Obama referenced over 15 times at the Memeo

I’ve been on Obama’s case here & there and its because I’m grated to no end how this guy of little substance is being literally propelled at the White House, how much of a role does media play? The biggest role of all, it has become obscene already and we are still months from the actual general election.

At one of my favorite sites Memeorandum, over 15 of the highlighted articles / posts reference Obama either by name, or in substance at this time in the headlines alone! Total media domination, that’s with a Clinton story leading off with the big quarter at the top.

Over at Haaretz, Chief US correspondent Rosner has been on an Obama tear, 1st showering us with defense of Obama’s credentials - Over worries Obama’s foreign policy is not rosy for Israel (and it isn’t btw), then forced to defend the original defense itself when Brezinski was a no show to Israel after tanning in Syria. At least he sets the record straight, but if Obama is dominating Israeli media of all places, and I’ve seen no shortage of Obama defense articles at Jpost too, then how can he possibly lose? For all this talk of change, it seems like nothing has changed and media & the pundits have too much power setting the agenda and clearly the agenda is Obama, all the time. I’m drowning in Obama already.. and I’m not even an American citizen!

Please, I’m begging – No more, I swear I’ll drink drano if need be just please stop stuffing Obama down my throat all day everyday everywhere.. I’m gagging over here. If the media is using this much ink to defend Obama now, when no one has really even started attacking him the way he will be in a general contest.. Can one just imagine the insanity that will be coming? Media will be trampling over themselves & breaking limbs in order to be first in a never ending line to defend Obama. I don’t think I can handle it, let alone 4 years of a disastrous Presidency worth of this glorified car salesman.

Snip: Mid East Telecom cables may have been sabotaged

A few weeks ago something strange started happening to main trunks of connectivity linking the Middle East & Asia to the rest of the world via undersea cables, one by one over the short period of a few days main cables from a number of companies failed due to cuts in the seabed lines. India, and Egypt in particular were affected by the outages and a scramble was on to dispatch ships & repair crews to fix the cuts.

Today’s bandwidth hungry users flush with video & communications needs got a taste of the major slowdowns & connectivity problems associated with over saturated use.. Highlighting the importance of maintaining integrity over communication infrastructure as fastidiously as we guard more ‘concrete’ examples of infrastructure in these security conscious times.

Theories

The initial reaction was “from ship anchors” – But theories ranged all the way up to intelligence agencies snipping the wires in order to insert listening technologies inside. The fairly targeted zone combined with a rapid loss of cables going out one after the other raised suspicions of sabotage or possibly terrorism as motives. Lo and behold the official UN agency now investigating is saying that sabotage or terrorism are not to be ruled out:

Saboteurs may have cut Mideast telecom cables: UN agency (breitbart)

Damage to several undersea telecom cables that caused outages across the Middle East and Asia could have been an act of sabotage, the International Telecommunication Union said on Monday.
“We do not want to preempt the results of ongoing investigations, but we do not rule out that a deliberate act of sabotage caused the damage to the undersea cables over two weeks ago,” the UN agency’s head of development, Sami al-Murshed, told AFP.

Five undersea cables were damaged in late January and early February leading to disruption to Internet and telephone services in parts of the Middle East and south Asia. [...]

These days cyber warfare plays just as much an integral part of the war on terror & crime as good old fashioned guns do, the Islamic Jihad for instance has made cyberspace a key battlefield to own. So who’s targeting critical telecom infrastructure under the sea and why? All part of the latest battlefield in the communication wars perhaps.

*Incidentally, as is the case generally with our Arab & Muslim friends, they don’t like to share things with Israel.. In this case Israeli connectivity was not affected as we are forced to operate on one of two main separate lines that we not affected or sliced, which link us to Europe & beyond.

Newsweek Magazine: Keeping Obama’s Bullcrap real!

Obama’s wife is his rock and the latest adoration nation victim with 7 full pages worth at Newsweek! Get it while it is still fresh from the bull!

After listening to Obama orate endlessly I didn’t think it was humanely possible to cram so much bullsh*t into so much space, but Newsweek keeps the dream alive with a steaming pile stacked up high & fresh.

“She’s the one who keeps him real, the one who makes sure running for leader of the free world doesn’t go to his head.”

Why should it go to his head? He’s laughing all the way home.. It’s gone to everyone else’s head! These days the magazine has swung soo far left I’m wondering if they expect an official position in the Obama White House, you know like Mao’s little red book publisher or something but available on your PDA too! The only thing missing from this article is the little ‘Paid for by the Obama campaign’ sticker & the ‘I approve this message’ blurb.

At the top a photo caption - “A Particular Mission: Michelle is not part of discussions on policy and ad buys; her role is to keep the candidate’s feet on the ground” <– Telling, Barack’s policies are ‘removed from reality’ & not very grounded, kinda like this high flying article / puff peace. Wow you Americans are killing me already with this stinker fest, someone please tell me that in the general - All this bull is going to finally get blown out of the sky like a slow flying Zero in the Marianas.. It’s nauseating from here already and I’m a full continent away.

Shake Rattle & Roll: 5.3 on the Richter

The security situation is not the only seismic action going on

They keep going up, the Richter scales that is. Today another rattler shook Israel, this time the epicentre was in Lebanon but we felt it across Israel around noon. There was another quake in Greece this week, and another in Iran as well. I’ve counted at least 5 or 6 shakers in as many months here in the holy land, most of them have been in the 4 range but there’s no getting around the fact that a monster is brewing..

My apartment building on stilts sways ominously during these rattlers, Israel is of course situated on a fairly substantial fault where two continental plates meet and historically there have been some devastating shakers here as evidenced by archaeological work, which has shown earlier city ending quakes occurring every hundred years going back to the biblical age.. At least we don’t have mud hut construction these days :)

The Knesset has been playing footsie with the notion & need to buttress many of the in danger older stone buildings in the state, most built during the 50s which will face serious damage with a 6+ quake centered in the country, but there’s not much money for natural disasters. What can you do, other than ride it out..

I want to get HD directly into my brain 

This latest rattler however has prompted me to finally consider attaching the rear brace for my LCD TV which helps secure the standing beast to the wall. If that thing fell over I would be rather upset, not that I have any use for cable mind you – I pipe everything into the screen off the net including c-span, fox news, sky news, & the local news. Pretty soon I think I’ll just attach an old pair of those TV rabbit ears to my head and be done with it, if you see a guy walking around Tel-Aviv with a big TV antenna attached to his head that will be me, stop by & say hi but I might be busy at the time watching Brit Hume so clearly I’ll need to strap a Tivo to my thigh and maybe consider installing a remote to one of my nipples. Take a step to the left please, you’re screwing up my reception!

I’d pipe in BBC or CNN too, but then I’d need to also carry a barf bag around with me..