There is an excellent article in the New York Times that discusses facts about cluster bomb use in
1- Failure Rate
A note of caution; To the best of my knowleedge, those number were first reported by an unnamed Israeli officer, who was ”quoting his battalion commander, the rocket unit head stated that the IDF fired around 1,800 cluster bombs, containing over 1.2 million cluster bomblets”. A friend of a friend of a friend... I am not sure if the other reports are based on "on the ground estimate", or on the same thing.
Whatever the true number, however, the situation remains dire in southern Lebanon; "as of October 3, 124 people had been killed or wounded by unexploded bombs". This will place more pressure on the persisting crisis...
2- Dispersion pattern: A New Road Map?
- Take into account the earlier minefields, of which have not been cleaned completely.
- Look at the roads of Lebanon, which show the most practicable avenues for logistics.
- And consider that the mandate of the UNIFIL is officially weak. With Hezb flexing its muscles and complicating their task, it is likely to be unable to disarm Hezb, and will have little choice but to stand by when the war comes back. And the resistance will protect us. Again.
3- The Rainy Season is Upon Us
So far, only 4,000 have been cleaned, this leaves at least 496,000 bombs that will easily sink into the ground when the rain comes. Many will then be left dormant, waiting for someone to step NEAR them. Or to be activated(?)
From a civilian standpoint, they would be worse than regular mines. From a military standpoint, mines are already obsolete.
Road Map for Invasion?
Add all these factors, and you have potential avenues for the next invasion, if and when it comes. This one will be different, however; since Hezb insists on keeping its state within the non-state, the already weak internal Lebanese consensus would have all but vanished.
When will it all re-start (Follow-Up: Oct. 10/2006)
In the meantime, however a tenuous peace will hold. But it will not last long; in an interview with Spiegel Online, The RAND Corporation's Bruce Hoffman stated that he does not feel Hezb's choice is an "'either/or-question" of it "changing into a political party [or staying] a terrorist threat".
Since the party has now "become a major regional political force", they do not feel the need to give "up their military potential", having taken "acquitted itself well against the Israelis this summer and having gained as much as they can for now: international attention, an improved standing with Shiites and even Sunnis across the Muslim world". Hoffman furhter states that Hezb is "likely to see the time right now as best used to consolidate these gains", an analysis corrobarated by thier move to impose a "National Unity" Government on
I also see much evidence of this in their increasingly confident displays in
By playing the squeaky wheel, Aoun may get the grease, and force Hariri to make some conciliatory moves towards the Chrisitians, but his obsession with the presidency may not be as disingenuous. The guy wants the "chair", regardless...
Stingy Bastards? (Follow-Up: Oct. 10/2006)
Fubar pointed out an interesting article; the whole thing may related to a stingy supply officer, who decided to offload some old stock.
Still, the same newspaper talks about preparation for a coming round.