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Israel took Hizbollah by surprise

Report here stating that Israel’s response to Hizbollah’s kidnapping of Israeli soldiers took Hizbollah by surprise, particularly the extent and ferocity of the IDF action, according to a Hiz deputy leader.

Given the determination of Israel’s armed forces to defend the tiny Jewish state over the years against a host of enemies, why some terrorist organisation like Hizbollah should be surprised is, frankly, surprising. In any event, this interview may suggest that Israel’s campaign to hammer Hizobollah may not be quite the debacle that some commentators have supposed. The jury is still out on the future of the current Israel administration, however.

35 comments to Israel took Hizbollah by surprise

  • Jacob

    “why some terrorist organisation like Hizbollah should be surprised…”

    This one is easy: because former Israeli governments, led by experienced warriors (Sharon, Barak) abstained from a large scale reaction after previous Hizbollah provocations.

    Hezbollah and Iran beleived they acheived strategic deterrence agains Israel with their rockets.

    This war has proved them wrong. It is just possible that Iran will decide they don’t get enough return for their investment in Hizbollah, and, maybe, god willing, they will reduce the flow of money to it, which will be the end of Hizb. Maybe, over time…

  • In any event, this interview may suggest that Israel’s campaign to hammer Hizobollah may not be quite the debacle that some commentators have supposed

    I really do not buy that at all. Not only did Israel fail to stop the Katyusha attacks, it failed to take and hold most of Hezbollah’s territory south of the Litani river.

    In purely military terms, Hezbollah suffered significant attrition but the only measure that matters is “did Israel achieve its war aims”… which according to the leader of Israel was crush Hezbollah as a military force south of the Litani and regain its two captured soldiers… and it completely failed to do those things by virtue of its failure to commit the 30,000+ troops needed within the first few days (certainly by the end of the first week) of the war.

    Instead it launched a series of destructive but pointless air attacks against Lebanese transportation infrastructure which did not interfere with Hezbollah’s ability to attack Israel at will with rockets and added nothing whatsoever to the half-arsed ground attacks on Hezbollah which were only pressed home with sufficent force in the final 48 hours of the conflict.

    By any reasonable measure, Israel did not achieve its war aims and therefore Israel lost.

  • I agree with Perry. Does anyone know what happened to the two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah? And what of the soldier grabbed by Hamas before the conflict started?

  • Freeman

    I’m not as sure as Perry that the outcome was such a failure for Israel. Specifically, Israel did stop the Katyusha bombardment by, in effect, forcing Hezbolla to call for a ceasfire in order to stop further infrastructure damage.
    This was not a “traditional” kind of war, in the sense that Israel’s prime aim was not to acquire and hold territory, a role for which ground troops are essential. It is conceded that Israel did not do well when, too little and too late, it did send in troops to find the Katyusha launch sites.
    However, maybe Israel has stumbled on an effective response to relatively small groups of fighters embedded in a population supportive of them. That is simply to take out infrastructure from the air to the point where the local population eventually gets fed up with the mess and cost of repair. Repeat as necessary.
    If the US is ever rash enough to take on Iran, I suspect this is how it will impose its wish for an end to Iran’s nuclear ambitions; US ground forces will not follow-up as they did in Iraq.
    Of course, this is all armchair speculation.

  • Jacob

    “Instead it launched a series of destructive but pointless air attacks against Lebanese transportation infrastructure…”

    Not exact.
    It also destroyed 15,000 homes of shiites, in Beirut and other areas, mainly southern villages. (Acording to Nasrallah himself). There were photos in the press of the shiite quarter in Beirut, but of villages in the south – less photos – maybe the didn’t want to mar the victory celebrations…
    The rebuilding of those homes is another expenditure of dubious return for Iran. Also something Hezbollah didn’t reckon with, and probably, isn’t very happy about.

    There are still 4 full Israeli brigades in South Lebanon, awaiting the arrival of UN peacekeepers, these forces will not move out unless UN forces arrive. There is also some degree of aerial and maritime blockade of Lebanon, to be lifted also upon arrival of UN forces.
    Hezbollah fortifications and observation and communication posts along the Israeli border have been demolished, and their rebuilding will not be permitted (by force if needed). There were also some 400 Hezb killed.
    Israel didn’t manage this war brilliantly, more could have been acheived, no doubt.
    Israel’s main consideartion was to avoid casualties running into the hundreds…. a valid consideration, especially that no decisive outcome could have been acheived.

    For example: to acheive a demilitarized zone south of the Litani Israel would need not only to conquer the area, but to stay and control it militarily for years, otherwise Hizb could come back once IDF soldiers left. It’s a difficult and costly task, with 1 million hostile civilians to handle… Israel was unwilling to do it, so it made little sense to conquer the area in the first place…. and the half-assed attempt was superfluous.

    The long range strategic outcome is not clear. It is unclear to what degree Hizb will disarm, as per UN resolutions, or have arms supplies from Syria stopped, etc.
    It seems that in the immediate vicinity of the Israeli border the situation will change. No longer a Hizb military monopol on south Lebanon, no longer Hizb armed presence on the border, no longer the ability to make provocations, incursions, shooting at will.

    So, without going into “who won, who lost” debates, I don’t think Israel’s situation now is worse than before… it is a little better, maybe.

    See also Michael Young from Beirut

  • Jacob

    “If the US is ever rash enough to take on Iran, I suspect this is how it will impose its wish for an end to Iran’s nuclear ambitions; US ground forces will not follow-up as they did in Iraq.”

    Well, this tactic was tried and proved itself already, in Kosovo. Nato (GB included) bombed infrastructure, killed some ten thousand civilians, but acheived it’s aims – i.e. brought about the later downfall of Miloshevic.
    As of Kosovo itself, the reason for the bombings … there is not much peace there.

  • @ Freeman – what exactly is new about this ?

    “However, maybe Israel has stumbled on an effective response to relatively small groups of fighters embedded in a population supportive of them. That is simply to take out infrastructure from the air to the point where the local population eventually gets fed up with the mess and cost of repair. Repeat as necessary.”

    Isn’t that simply the War Crime of Collective Punishment ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_punishment

  • Freeman

    Isn’t that simply the War Crime of Collective Punishment?

    Yes, of course, it may be. But if your enemy initiates indiscriminate bombing of civilian area by Katyusha rockets is it not reasonable to reply in kind? Or is one really expected to march into prepared ambush positions? After you.
    Recall that in the 1920s the UK pioneered collective punishment of villages in Iraq by RAF bombing, including use of gas. Also in WW II the UK and US used terror bombing against enemy cities.
    Any nation which feels that is existance is threatened is likely to use all the extreme measures at its disposal, regardless of the “rules”, and the victor rewrites the rules to suit. War is nasty.

  • guy herbert

    Of the suggestions above, Jacob’s is the most convincing to me. Here’s another possibility:

    This statement is one way of getting a further notch in the propaganda war: “We won. They didn’t wipe us out, despite notionally superior forces. Oh and by the way we weren’t ready for them [so we did much less well than we could in a fair fight].”

    You should have seen the one that got away, in other words… Though given the way Hizbollah cranked up its attacks from steady low level provocation before the IDF intervention to heavy bombardment, then prepared strategy looks more plausible – just waiting for the fish to take the bait.

  • The success or failure of a military venture must be measured by the degree to which it achieves its objective.

    For example, in 1940, according to some scholars the French airforce actually shot down more of the Luftwaffe than the Luftwaffe shot down of the French, yet clearly the Luftwaffe carried out its objectives regardless of its losses (i.e. it provided effective close air support for the Wehrmacht and prevent effective French air intervention in the ground war) whereas the French airforce completely failed it its objectives regardless of the number of kills its brave pilots made. Thus the Luftwaffe won its part of the Battle of France and French airforce did not even though it could be argued the French won the ‘body count’ in the air.

    Israel likewise killed far more people than they lost (in both the military and civilian count) and may have trashed a great many neighbourhoods which supported Hezbollah, but they did not in fact do what they set out to do and moreover hugely boosted Hezbollah’s prestige in the process, ergo they failed militarily and politically.

    Also the notion that the rocket’s stopped because Hezbollah sued for peace does not fit the timeline or the politics. In the last two days of the conflict, Israel finally got stuck into Hezbollah on the ground with sufficient force to start hurting them, almost certainly because the IDF went for broke regardless (I strongly suspect had been held back from the corps level deployment of forces that was needed due to being micro-managed by the most inept government in Israeli history) as they now knew they were rapidly running out of time before a politically imposed halt to the fighting was forced on them by the announced ceasefire planned for Monday morning.

    Far from being hammered into submission, Hezbollah were shooting rockets into Haifa and Kiryat Shmona by the hundred daily right up to the end of the conflict and probably could not believe their luck that Israel had flailed away at Lebanon to so little effect in the sense of furthering their objectives and to Hezbollah’s political gain, only to stop without clearly ending Hezbollah’s ability to keep attacking Israel (thus making Hezbollah’s end to the bombardment appear (correctly) a political choice rather than the result of having their balls in an Israeli military vice… which I suspect would indeed have been the case if the fighting had gone on a few more days). The ceasefire was ‘in the bag’ before the IDF was (very) belatedly let off the leash to actually start hurting the sons of bitches, so claiming Hezbollah was forced to sue for peace under unfavourable conditions is just not born out by the timeline… they were not really hurt until after it had been agreed to end the fighting!

    No doubt having been given a belated taste of what the IDF could have done in the first week of the conflict if they had been allowed to, I am sure Hezbollah were very glad the fighting ended when it did, but the fact that it did end then with Hezbollah so predictably positioned to claim victory just makes the Israeli conduct of the war so mystifying to me.

    I am not claiming it was a disaster for Israel (because the net effects were not all bad), just that is was nevertheless a defeat (i.e. a failure to carry out its military objectives).

  • It is also worth noting that the other affected party in this conflict is Iran which has spent 20 years and something like $6 billion arming Hizb’Allah. Not only has most of this resource been exhausted or destroyed but they have also lost the second front they were planning to open in the event of any conflict with the USA.

  • Jacob

    “It is also worth noting that the other affected party in this conflict is Iran which has spent 20 years and something like $6 billion arming Hizb’Allah.”

    Of course, as I said in the post above. Iran pays all Hizbollah’s expenses: fat wages to it’s soldiers, all the armament, vehicles, equipment, fortifications. It also pays for schools and clinics in shiite areas, and now – for reconstruction. Why do they do it ? What do they get for the money ? How long will they keep it up ?

  • Jacob

    Perry,
    “Hezbollah sued for peace….”

    Hezbollah sued for peace, through the mouth of the Lebanese prime minister Fuad Seniora, starting from the first day of bombardments. They did not want the whole war. They would have been content with keeping the kinapped soldiers without suffering any damage themselves. They would have preferred also to keep their strategic rocket thereat, without the risk of putting it to test.
    The proof is that they strictly adhered to the cease fire resolution; they could have kept firing rockets into Israel if they thought it served them.

    A few more days of war would have acheived nothing, for Israel. Maybe the whole area south of the Litani could have been cleared, but Hizbollah could keep on firing from north of the Litany, and hitting Israel.
    It is not clear to me that the additional IDF casualties would have been justified.

    Lastly, it is not only the Israeli government that prooved incompetent, the army high command also failed.

  • Nick M

    Perry,
    Do ya play Civ? I certainly wouldn’t wanna come up against you in an online game. Your strategic summation is masterful.

    Clearly Israel lost this one. And lost it for entirely the reasons you stated. If at the close of play anything resembiling a coherent Hiz command remained the Hiz won. Have a butcher’s at Islamica forums. Islamica is apparently moderate Sunni but you should read how the SoBs are lauding the “victory of Hizbollah against the Zionists”.

    http://www.islamicaweb.com/forums/

    There, in their own words, you will discover the truth of “moderate Islam”.

    I’m not a religous man but if I were I would mention the three IDF captives in my prayers every night. While Hiz and Ham hold them (and moreover Hamas are treated as a legitimate government by the likes of the UN) Israel has lost.

    And how sad. I was brought up on tales of Israeli daring and skill. I was born in ’73 which meant that my early years were spent in a recession at least partly caused by the Arabs having a fit of pique after being beaten by Israel yet again and hiking the oil price.

    The Israelis should have left Lebanon up to the Litani a land only suitable for the habitation of the ant and the cockatrice.

    Nowhere near enough smiting went on.

    So Kofi Annan is off to Syria and Iran. Let’s hope he doesn’t come back.

  • RAB

    I seem to remember saying on an earlier thread
    that Israel will have to do this all over again because they failed to get to the root of the problem this time round.
    I concur with Perry and Nick as to the tactical failings.
    I just heard on the radio a very grateful Lebanese gent of 78 who has just been handed by Hezbollah, in crisp new American Dollar bills, around $10,000 to rebuild his bombed out house.
    Hez has gone from freedom fighters to social workers in the twinkling of an eye. Very smart in the hearts and minds stakes! Meanwhile the UN has yet to deploy more than 20 gourmet Frenchmen.
    I wonder whether these are genuine dollar bills or something that is being printed in Iran or Syria, but that is something for the Fed to investigate( ha dream on RAB!)
    Meanwhile New Orleans hasn’t seen a brass farthing worth a damn even now!

  • Jacob,

    You ask what Iran gets for its money. Quite a lot actually including enhanced power and prestige in the region, wider influence, a proxy army and a valuable second front in any war with either the USA or Israel.

  • Jacob

    “If at the close of play anything resembiling a coherent Hiz command remained the Hiz won…”

    That goes for games.

    In real life sentimental, symbolic perceptions (who won, who lost) have their significance, but more important are the hard facts and future developements.

    It remains to be seen what happens in Lebanon.
    If we get a period of relative quiet, free of Hizbollah attacks, and if, over time, the Lebanese army gets some control over Hizbollah … and Lebanese independence from Syria grows then the situation of Israel improves.
    If not, we’re back at square one, and some new war starts. But Israel hasn’t lost in the sense that it’s situation hasn’t deteriorated so far.

    It’s difficult to predict, but I think (maybe it’s wishful thinking) that the first scenario might materialize.

  • Jacob

    Look at this AP story about the way some sunis in south Lebanon view Hizbollah.
    form Haaretz

  • Hezbollah sued for peace, through the mouth of the Lebanese prime minister Fuad Seniora, starting from the first day of bombardments.

    Sorry but broader Lebanon always had nothing to gain from fighting Israel, so the notion it was Hezbollah speaking via the Lebanese PM is a strange contention. All of the rest of Lebanon (i.e. forget Hezbollah for a moment) did not want to see their country’s airports, ports, oil storage facilities, roads and bridges going up in smoke and I think we can safely say Fuad Seniora was no doubt reflecting their wishes to express that view rather loudly.

    They did not want the whole war.

    They did not expect the whole war, at least not right then (i.e. I agree with that in the blog article), but they have been arming and planning for this for 6 years. I think they did indeed want this war at some point and they proved that whilst they may have been taken by surprise politically by the scope of the Israeli (air) attacks, their military responses were not those of a typical stunned Arab army receiving an Israeli surprise attack a la 1967 (strategic surprise) or post-counter attack 1973 (tactical and operational surprise).

    Hezbollah struck me as awfully cohesive for an Arab military fighting a war it did not want. To sustain an artillery rocket barrage over several weeks requires both a logistic system and a command and control system, both of which (demonstrably) remained sufficiently intact to be functional for the entire duration of the conflict. They expected Israel to attack them at some point and they expected to contest Southern Lebanon when that happened whilst striking at the civilian population of Northern Israel… and that is exactly what they did. This was the war they expected, planned for and eventually fought.

    The proof is that they strictly adhered to the cease fire resolution; they could have kept firing rockets into Israel if they thought it served them.

    I do not think that proves what you think it does. For Hezbollah, the war ended at exactly the right moment and they stopped firing at the time to maximise the political value to themselves, making them seem the ‘reasonable party’ to many. Having gained a huge political boost by simply staying in the ring with Israel longer than ANY Arab army in history without getting knocked out, if they continued to shoot (particularly when Israel had finally deployed a large ground force against them) would have been both military madness and politically crazy.

    A few more days of war would have acheived nothing, for Israel.

    I beg to differ. If Israel had thrown everything they had at Hezbollah, even at that late stage for a few days more, they could have quite literally exterminated them as a coherent military. The PLO had a guerrilla army and as a result was pretty damn inconsequential in the long run…Hezbollah is NOT A GUERRILLA ARMY in that sense, it has heavy weapons and has proved time and time again that far from ‘melting away’ when Israel attacks, it stands and fights and causes the IDF to take significant losses in infantry and armour. If anyone says “if Israel attacked in force, Hezbollah would just melt into the population”, they do not realise that for an army like Hezbollah which claims to be Lebanon’s true defenders, that is tantamount to defeat. There may still be something calling itself ‘Hezbollah’ after that happened but it would not be the force which took down 17 Merkava tanks, forced Israel to repeatedly re-clear “captured” settlements within sight of the Israeli border and launched thousands of rockets into Israeli towns, it would just be a pissant bunch of guys with AK-74′s.

    Lastly, it is not only the Israeli government that prooved incompetent, the army high command also failed.

    Perhaps. I would like to discover to what extent the government were hamstringing (to use a non-Kosher term) what the IDF could do before I take a view on that. No doubt the (more or less) full story will come out over the next few months and years. Certainly someone made some serious mistakes at pretty high levels.

  • Jacob

    “I beg to differ. If Israel had thrown everything they had at Hezbollah, even at that late stage for a few days more, they could have quite literally exterminated them as a coherent military.”

    My military analysis is somewhat different.

    Hizbollah did not operate like a regular army, with logistics, a command structure or a front line to defend.

    They had numerous bunkers dug deep into the ground, scattered all over the area. In each they had supplies, munitions and katyusha rockets. They hid there and emerged for a few minutes firing some katyushas, or firing an anti-tank rocket, then disppeared back underground, where artillery or bombs could not reach them. They had in there provosions for many days. They did not need any command structure, each unit could act independently, autonomously.

    It was a good tactic, suited to their circumstances and ends but not a regular military kind of operation. They did not defend their villages, or block roads, or control areas, they just did hit and run tricks, but they managed to inflict loses. And yes, they did not run away as Arabs usually do. They faught well, they are a proffesional army (not conscripts), highly trained, serving many years, being paid high wages by Iran.

    It would have been extremely costly to dig out every last Hizbollah from their holes. It would have been futile.

    “If Israel had thrown everything they had at Hezbollah, even at that late stage for a few days more, they could have quite literally exterminated them as a coherent military.”

    Maybe the Hizbollah forces south of the Litani could have been annihilated (at a cost), but then there were much more north of the Litani, and in the Bekaa valley to the north. And they could have still fired, and did fire rockets, from north of the Litani, into Israel. So, short of conquering the whole of Lebanon Israel could not have “literally exterminated them as a coherent military.”

    Israel did conquer half of Lebanon, up to and including Beirut, in 1982. It cost 600 soldiers KIA. I don’t think that repeating that move would have been a good idea.
    So, what I’m saying is, that while Hizbollah do pose a threat to Israel, the threat is not so severe as to justify a more extended and costly effort.

  • It would have been extremely costly to dig out every last Hizbollah from their holes. It would have been futile.

    Sure it would have been costly, but that is indeed what Israel needed to do to actually win. And far from being futile, exterminating the hard core is exactly what was needed. Trashing bridges and roads from the air is no substitute for going in and destroying the enemy at bayonet point.

    Maybe the Hizbollah forces south of the Litani could have been annihilated (at a cost), but then there were much more north of the Litani, and in the Bekaa valley to the north.

    Sure, but I was not suggesting the IDF stay south of the Litani. Hell, I was in favour of the attacks extending into Syria.

    So, what I’m saying is, that while Hizbollah do pose a threat to Israel, the threat is not so severe as to justify a more extended and costly effort.

    A reasonable position to take, I just do not agree.

    What I find so hard to compute in my head when looking at what happened is this: if the Israeli government agreed with you, their entire campaign should have never been launched in the first place, but if they took my view, they should have put a large force on the ground into play within the first week.

    However given the reaction to the Hezbollah action, clearly they took the threat posed seriously enough to conduct what was (debatable) Israel’s longest active war. Yet if they were not prepared to apply the forces and take the losses to actually destroy Hezbollah, what exactly where they trying to achieve? Certainly what they said their aims were and what they did bore little relationship to each other. Damned if I can figure it out the logic at play here.

  • Given that Israel has come out of this accused of fighting in a disproportionate manner and of being a loser at the same time, Israel has lost the PR war badly. You have to hand it to Hezbollah, they handled this part beautifully.

  • 98

    notice that the 2 soldiers have fallen from the radar…proves that this war wasn’t really about them

  • Jacob

    “Certainly what they said their aims were and what they did bore little relationship to each other. Damned if I can figure it out the logic at play here.”

    Well, you know politicians. It’s par for the course to employ high and empty rhethoric, disconnected from reality. Olmert and Peretz are totally clueless, no word they utter is (or ever was) to be taken seriously.
    The tragic fact is that the chief of staff, Halutz, being an AF General, is also clueless concerning the ground campaign. The air campaign was managed quite well, given the limitations (no civilian casualties in Lebanon) imposed by the government.

    The whole campaign wasn’t well planned and thought out in advance. It was juast improvised from day to day. That’s the big failure of the current leadership.

    “Hell, I was in favour of the attacks extending into Syria.”

    A reasonable position… I just don’t agree…

    Maybe it will come to that in the future… the attack on Syria can be done when it becomes strictly necessary.
    An attack on Iran might also become necessary….

    For now Israel tried to improve a little it’s position on the cheap. Maybe it did (as I detailed above). We’ll see…

  • Midwesterner

    Perry and Jacob, I’ve been following your discussion with interest. The whole thing also doesn’t make much sense to me.

    Some thoughts. Perry, you said -

    “Trashing bridges and roads from the air is no substitute for going in and destroying the enemy at bayonet point.”

    That was my opinion, too, prior to Gulf II. But the more I watch the futility of highly trained combat soldiers trying to sort wheat from chaff in an incipient civil war between factions of an utterly alien culture, the less I think they can ever impose peace.

    A similar situation exists in Lebanon. We have Hezb Shites embedded in Lebanon and using the locals as human shields.

    What I think Israel has been doing (deliberately or not) is the lowest innocent body count way of combating Hezb. Attacking infrastructure seriously hurts the non-combatants in non-fatal ways, which will (probably sooner), make Hezb less than welcome. A useful (essential?) adjunct of this tactic is for the non-combatants to be personally armed in a way that reduces the threat of violence against them by the Hezb for non-cooperation.

    I believe that, at the very least, Israel’s tactic will strain Iran’s coffers. And will almost certainly drive a bigger wedge between the Lebanese and the occupying Hezb forces.

    There are a lot of convincing arguments on both sides of this debate. Hhmmmm….

  • lucklucky

    The Hiz-b-allah surprise were offset by Israel surprises.
    Besides a surprise doesnt directly translates to an advantage if the surprise isnt exploited.

  • RAB

    I saw the head of Hez on the news tonight, oh boy!

    What he said was that if he’d realised the Israeli’s were going to react like that, he would have stopped his hotheads doing the attacks and kidnappings.

    He appeared to be genuinely stunned.

    Theres another old song “Who’s sorry now”.
    Hez lost a lot of personnel and weaponry. Iran are leary about chucking more money and weapons at a “Failed” attack on Israel, because they know they lost more than that.
    However stage managed and manipulated the news media has been , (anyone see those two wusses of released kidnapped US journalists tonight?) the ordinary Lebanese are very pissed of with Hez for doing this just when they thought they were getting back on their feet.
    The Iranian people aint too pleased either. They arn’t stupid . They know how much their govt spends on supporting this shit, and would much prefer it to be spent at home, improving their lot in life.
    There is a tipping point coming.

  • Eric

    There are two possibilities I haven’t seen addressed yet:

    1) Israeli commandos made two raids to snatch high-value targets. This has two consequences: They now have more valuable people to trade for the kidnapped soldiers, and Hizbollah leaders know they’re not safe outside Beirut. The invasion, such as it was, might have been a feint to enable the commando raids.

    2) The new Merkava IV was thought to be invulnerable to RPG attack, at least on the thick front armor. That turns out not to be true. Hizbollah teams were able to penetrate Merkava front armor using twenty-year-old RPG rounds.

    This came as something of an unpleasant surprise, and the Israelis may have decided the invasion would be to costly for the benefit they hoped to gain. I suspect at this very moment Israeli armorers are pulling long shifts installing some kind of fix, like slat armor or the new active protection system. It may also be they intend to re-invade with newly protected tanks at the next provocation.

  • Jacob

    “It may also be they intend to re-invade with newly protected tanks at the next provocation.”

    Also, since they run out of precission missiles and guided bombs, they might be forced to use the old 1000 pound bombs…

  • Wai

    I think of the 2 “American” journalists mentioned returned, it was by Hamas, and one was from NZ?

    I could not understand why Hezbolla (sic) conformed with the cease fire, until I read their commander and hear about the shock with which he accepted the Isreali offensive. Anyway, Hezbolla (sic) performed very well, as some have commented. But also I read that Hezbolla (sorry, sic), only sent rockets after the Isreali
    response seemed inproportionate to the kidnapping. And they escalated as the Israelis did.

    What I wonder now. Previously the Lebanese army officials said they would defend Lebanese territory alongside Hezbolla, now they are deploying forces. Also, UN forces seem to be deployed. Many seem to have sizeable Muslim (shiite, sic) populations. Is this really the solution the Isrealis’ need?

    I think Hezbolla would not want to seem as the bad guys, but I think another conflict is on the way. Preferably, I think Hezbolla might become more politics, less war. What do you think?

  • lucklucky

    “2) The new Merkava IV was thought to be invulnerable to RPG attack, at least on the thick front armor. That turns out not to be true. Hizbollah teams were able to penetrate Merkava front armor using twenty-year-old RPG rounds.”

    I dont know where you get that but since you say that even before thinking a little bit, let me ask a question: Why that dont happen in Gaza or West Bank in Merkavas 2…

  • 2) The new Merkava IV was thought to be invulnerable to RPG attack, at least on the thick front armor. That turns out not to be true. Hizbollah teams were able to penetrate Merkava front armor using twenty-year-old RPG rounds.

    Do you have a citation link for that? I would be very interested! Certainly I have it on good account that Challenger II’s in Iraq took multiple RPG hits without any full penetrations to the frontal or side armour. I even have heard an unsubstantiated report from a fairly trustworthy source that one took a Kornat hit without being penetrated. I would be surprised if the Merkava IV, with it’s so called ‘modular armour’ design was not also sporting thick state of the art armour… but perhaps not.

    Any links to respectable sources (i.e. not to Debka please) would be appreciated.

  • lucklucky

    The elusive Kornet. Until now there is no evidence. Not in Iraq by 99%. Unknow in Lebanon tough that Syria have them. But until now Israel showed captured TOW´s and the Iranian copy also Konkurz, Spigot, old Saggers and RPG-29. No tank can sustain a perfect(ie: more or less in normal angle to the surface being hit) side hit by a Konkurz or Tow that can penetrate +800mm armor. Which has the best chance now is the updated Challenger that have very heavy and large side skirts.

  • lucklucky

    http://63.99.108.76/forums/index.php?showtopic=17578

    Photos of uparmed Challenger with also the so called chicken cage, every >70′s anti-tank missile will produce a mobility kill or worse if the tank catches fire, that areas can only protect against RPGs. The path is going now for active systems.

  • Jacob

    Here is an interesting take on the logic of limited military conflicts
    by IAF Generat (ret) David Ivri