Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Sucker punch

According to a report in Haaretz the Israeli army was out-thought and out-fought by the resistance in last summer's war.

Here are highlights of the report by the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee:

The Israel Defense Forces method of fighting played into Hezbollah's hands.

The tactics used were afflicted with blindness and reinforced the enemy's logic.

The lack of an approved, up-to-date plan of attack was a serious failure.

The policy of restraint toward Hezbollah since the end of the occupation in 2000 reduced the army to paralysis and weakness.

The army wasted precious time in putting ground forces into the fight (and in the way it put them in). This attests to conceptual rigidity and a fundamental failure in reading the map of the ongoing battle.

The repeated delays in launching a major ground operation eroded and wore out troops, as well as the home front, and undermined the element of surprise.

Locating Katyusha rockets from the air was an almost impossible task, nor could they be neutralized solely from the air.

The army did not send soldiers into the so-called "nature reserves" —fortified areas where Hezbollah had concentrated its forces.

An earlier ground operation would probably have significantly reduced the amount of fire at the home front. Hezbollah would have had to choose between retreating northward and a ground battle. In either case, the threat to the home front would have been significantly reduced.

The army's tactics during the war were the same ones it uses in counterterrorism operations in the West Bank and Gaza.
which were unsuited to south Lebanon. The infantry's use of houses as shelters turned them into death traps when confronted with antitank missiles.

The report also found numerous intelligence lapses, such as a lack of intelligence about Hezbollah's positions. Some tactical intelligence was improperly processed, some was out of date, and some was never transferred to the fighting forces.

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