Lebanon War Lessons Learned


Predicting an imminent resumption of fighting with Hezbollah, the Israeli military is quickly studying the results of round one, Aviation Week reports:

While the [Israeli Air Force] contends it did its mission, others are putting some of the blame for the offensive's mixed results on Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, the first air force officer to serve in that post. Critics contend that his expectations for the IAF were too high. As a result, along with continued fighting against Hamas in Gaza and the looming roles-and-missions battle between the services, there are strong signals the Israeli defense establishment is headed for a shake-up. Additionally, a heated debate over future defense spending priorities is expected in the coming months.
Meanwhile, The Nation is calling for a renewed look at Israel's justification for the invasion:
We were saturated with the message that Hezbollah is a shadowy terrorist organization that has spent years showering northern Israel with rockets -- and that Israel had both the right and the duty to protect itself from such attacks once and for all. Thus was history instantaneously rewritten to Israel's own specifications.In fact, from the moment that Israel ended its last military occupation of Lebanon in 2000 until the explosion of the current war on July 12, UN observers report that there was not a single casualty as a result of a confirmed rocket attack by Hezbollah on civilian targets in northern Israel.
Results on the political front are less ambiguous: Israelis are hopping mad, according to The New York Times:
Israel is politically roiled by public dissatisfaction with the monthlong Lebanon war. The public has been surprised by the inconclusive outcome of the campaign, frightened by unintended consequences like the surging popularity of Hezbollah, and angry that Israel's vaunted military has been shown to be less than all-powerful.
Perhaps the most comprehensive "lessons-learned" report can be found here, courtesy of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (warning: PDF!).--David Axe
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