Dan Halutz, the Israeli army’s chief of staff finally resigned; while his letter made no “explicit acknowledgment of the war's errors”, the “failure to call up the reserves, the delay in launching a ground operation, the poor communications” fell chiefly upon his shoulders. There is now pressure on Olmert and Peretz to go as well, since Halutz “was not the only one responsible for the failures of the war; the government was too”. Halutz may have had his faults, but he was only typical of a limited thinking which is far too commonplace...
The “Reserve Revolution” may yet find a second wind.
In the midst of the rejoicing, there is the danger of throwing away the baby with the bath water. The Israeli failures in the July War were chiefly due to a mode of thinking which was grossly ill-adapted to the conditions of July 2006, but that was mostly due to overall arrogance and complacency, not just on the part of the "fly boys" and the doctrinal dogma that “airpower wins wars, but also the "all-tank fanatics" of the Israeli army.”
When they decided to move ground forces into
They also ignored progress in missile technology.
All too often, as they learn from the mistakes of the past, military types often forget that wars are not fought by a given doctrine, but by a combination of actions… It may be that Clemenceau was right, and there are three kinds of intelligence; “human intelligence, animal intelligence, and military intelligence”, the latter being a real oxymoron.
Indeed, it is a little known fact that the first book on tank warfare was De Gaulle’s “Vers l’Armee de Metier”, published in 1934, and still a great read… Thoroughly ignored in
As a result of German success during the “Blitzkrieg”, historians now wrongly cite Guderian’s 1937 book, “Achtung-Panzer!”, as a precursor, and forget that Erwin Rommel’s success owed much to his mastery of infantry tactics, as demonstrated by his 1937 “Infanterie greift an”..
Preparing for the Wrong War?
Things were not so simple back then, and they are even more complex today.
As they prepare for the coming war, the Israeli military may find itself confronted with another type of war… If that happens, they risk applying the lessons of one type of war to a completely different one… With the looming conflict with Iran, the “fly boys” will be much needed, as well as those of the computer geeks who operate those missiles, and the navy, with its Popeye-equipped Dolphins in the
The tactics of the Cedar Revolution worked back then, but they will not work now, especially not when implemented by the local Mullahs, even if Aoun helps, and even if they start blocking roads… And it is unlikely that all those new weapons and restocked missiles will do any good; there is little to “defend” now, much credit was lost, and too many bridges have been burned.
There were quite a few comments disputing my observation that this past war was a “victory” for Hezb. My contention is simple; it was a tactical victory for HEzb, but a strategic defeat for
1- It was a tactical victory for Hezb because as Amir points out again, “guerilla wins if he does not lose; a conventional army loses if it does not win”. Hezb is an Iranian guerrilla outfit with a Lebanese face. In the July war,
2- It was a strategic defeat for Iran because it had to mobilize its outfit too soon, before it was ready.
Tactically, the destruction of
3- It was a disaster for Lebanon.
We are now a failed state, facing the grim choice, either surrender to Hezb, or to confront them in a civil war is our best outcome. While Hezb has increased its hold over its “human assets” thanks to their increased poverty, it has made the mistake of succumbing to hubris and cornering its enemies…
So I have no doubt that Hezb will lose this one, but his monopoly over the Shiite community will turn any war into genocide. In this regard, I disagree that we are “reasonable human beings” as Ghassan said; much like a Greek tragedy, I fear we’re stuck in this role. Unfortunately, Diane, no one needs to try and destroy Lebanon; we can do it very well on our own...
I will blog later on this later point, as I gather more elements.