Winning the Fight, Losing the War


Technology has enabled unprecedented persistence and precision for Israel forces, Aviation Week reports:

Unmanned aerial vehicles are providing the Israeli forces persistent surveillance with electro-optical/infrared and synthetic aperture radar. "Electro-optical sensors are integrated on the F-15s, F-16s and UAVs and they are the best we've ever had. The video is great. The video from the UAVs is particularly good because they are sitting 10,000-15,000 ft. directly over the target looking straight down with the minimum of atmospheric haze," says the former senior officer.
But is it enough?
Hezbollah rocket launchers have been a primary target for the Israeli air force's F-15s, F-16s and bevy of unmanned aircraft, which have all been fitted with electro-optical/infrared sensors to spot and engage those targets. And, while launchers are taken down daily, the rate of Hezbollah operations appears unaffected, and there are signs of potential escalation in the projectiles' lethality and range.
And even if Israeli airpower is achieving its operational objectives ... does it matter? William Arkin says no:
Israel has lost its current war against Hezbollah. Not because it hasn't achieved many of its military goals and isn't on the way to achieving more. Not because airpower and technology intrinsically are useless in fighting the "new" war.Israel has lost in the court of public opinion, particularly in Europe. As I said yesterday, a certain ruthlessness in going after Hezbollah has challenged the aesthetic about conventional warfare and the level of damage deemed acceptable when a country is pursuing an unconventional foe.
--David Axe
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