The aftermath of the recent Lebanese war: Israeli mistakes

The recent war in Lebanon revealed misconceptions of the Israeli military as far as assymetrical warfare is conducted, as was the case in the attack against Hezbollah. Five key mistakes can be attributed to the Israeli army and explain the outcome of this conflict.

1) The strategic aim: The total extinction of an assymetrical force in a hostile urban environment is a Herculean task by itself and very difficult to be achieved through the use of convetional forces.

2) Wrong tactic: Israel didn’t use its special operation forces but instead culminated the fight with the convetional structure of hevy infantry forves along with armoured vehicles. Only in 02/08/2006 Israel used its SOF units in Baalbek valley, but already the Hezbollah forces had achieved their regrouping and had rescheduled effectively their techniques. In essence Israel fought a convetional war -most of the time- against guerilla fighters, something which is a no-no in all historical periods.

3) Low information: The outcome of the war proved that the Israeli army lacked concrete information on the Hezbollah group (Armamanets, moral, hideouts, and the significance of their ballistic arsenal)

4) Undestimation of the enemy: As Sun Ju has stated in 500 bc: Know your self and the enemy and you will be victorious. The Israelis lacked cultural and technocratic as well; undestanding of their adversary.

5) Lack of combat experience: The last time Israel had been in an all around war was in 1982 or further back in the Yom Kipour one in 1973. Thus the ill-experience combat level of the young officers and petty officers played its part. On the opposite side, Hezbollah was constantly fighting its assymetrical war and by analogy its soldiers were more combative.

Future developments: It is more than certain that the Israeli army leadrship will analyse, and make use of the findings by the recent war. So Israel will absorb the lessons and move on in establishing army units capable of assymetrical war in respect to Hezbollah. Most importantly the threat of the missiles will be of paramount importance from now on and that includes new structure of the civil protection as well “Moral-Boosting” measures in order to keep the confidence of the civilians.

Hezbollah now will have a very hard task in creating new techniques since its strength has been revealed and ofcourse it cannot create a convetional army. Therefore the only reasonable outcome for them is to experiment with new guerilla techniques and possibly acquire more long range missiles in order to pressure Israel in case of a new war.

On overall the Hezbollah achieved a phyrric victory since it used the maximum of its abilities and in the future the re-designing of the Israeli operations would prove to be far more effective than the current one.

Expect Hezbollah to become “Softer” in the coming months.

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