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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Analysis: Now is the time for a better use of air power

Those in the government who are deciding how to manage this war ought to read this. Too bad they probably won't.
A hard and fast rule of war is that the use of ground forces in urban combat is directly related to loss of life. In Gaza, the IDF has somehow learned to go in and get out with few casualties. Hizbullah is a different enemy, with different equipment, a different surrounding population and, perhaps, a greater motivation to fight.

Wednesday's casualties in Bint Jbail may indicate that Hizbullah has managed, yet again, to neutralize the IAF's technological advantages. The proper use of air power against a terrorist or guerrilla formation takes time, and herein lies Israel's problem.

Last week in Maroun a-Ras, several soldiers died fighting Hizbullah around their fortified bunkers. The correct use of military power in that situation would have been to use small special forces teams equipped with nothing more than GPS trackers, laser pointers and Uzi submachine guns.

The elite forces, instead of going into the bunkers, could have laser-painted the bunkers' positions to the IAF, which would have destroyed them. That would be the correct way to leverage Israel's technological advantage.

The massive bombings - the IAF's use of brute force - has its limitations with respect to high-value targets, and the deployment of ground troops neutralizes our advantages. When a soldier meets a soldier, when a Kalashnikov meets an M-16, when the fight is eye to eye, there are no technological advantages. It will always be like this.

Hizbullah has no qualms about losing 50 fighters, whereas we Israelis do, and the Islamists know it. Wednesday's battle will give Hizbullah a huge morale boost - regardless of how many fighters they have lost.
Read the whole thing.


At 10:36 AM, Blogger westbankmama said...

Carl, just as I argue against the press giving too much attention to the crazy lefties who are already calling to leave Lebanon, I personally think that these kind of articles are damaging. With all due respect, someone whose job it is is to write articles shouldn't give advice to the generals in the field - even if he may be 100% correct. It ruins the morale of everyone to pick at them.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger anonymouscoameq said...

The author of the article is:

"Dr. Shmuel L. Gordon, a colonel (res.) in the IAF, is head of the Technology and National Security program at the Holon Institute of Technology, and an expert in national security, air warfare and counterterrorism. He is also the author of The Vulture and the Snake: Counter-Guerrilla Air Warfare: The War in Southern Lebanon."

At 11:54 AM, Blogger anonymouscoameq said...

It is right to publicize information like this because it is helps to correct minunderstandings that might arise in the internatinal community including other countries which Israel needs to deter.

I said the following in a comment to another article in this blog:

In Bint Jbail, Israel is using tactics far more humanitarian than the US used in Falluja in Iraq. There the US would bomb or otherwise destroy any building from which enemy fired. This is standard operating procedure for urban combat. It is also the tactics used by Russia in Chechnya. Because of their humanitarian tactics there is the wrong impression that Israel is somehow not up to it's old, invincible standard, or that Hezbulla is proving Arabs can stand up to Israelis. It's one thing to attack an army in the field as in pervious wars but it's another to selectively remove gurellas from an urban area without harming civillians. The situation in Bint Jabail shows that Arabs can stand up to Israelis when they have innocent women children to hide behind and when Israel is constrained by international bias that other nations including Arab nations such as Syria do not have to consider.

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Look at his qualifications. See the comment after yours.


All you're missing in that second comment is the comparison to Jenin. And we all know what happened there.


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