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Sunday, June 28, 2009

The next war with Hezbullah may not be so easy

When the story of the arrest of Israeli intelligence operatives in Lebanon first started breaking, I thought it possible that the charges were trumped up and that those arrested were not Israeli spies. This set of facts makes that scenario seem unlikely.
The alleged agents included a former general in Lebanon's premier security service, two army colonels and a former mayor. Lebanese authorities say most of those arrested, including those just listed, have all confessed that they had been spying in Lebanon for years.

Some said they were recruited by Israel's various intelligence services -- Mossad, which operates outside Israel; the Shin Bet internal security service, which operated in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories; and Aman, military intelligence -- as far back as 1982 when Israel invaded Lebanon.

In Lebanon, given Hezbollah's nationwide military structure and the danger it poses for the Jewish state, the Israelis will have to rebuild the networks smashed by Lebanese intelligence and Hezbollah's security branch to regain the intelligence flow that is vital to military operations.

This means that to an extent that can only be guessed at, the Israelis are more vulnerable regarding Hezbollah than they have been for many years.

When Hezbollah abducted Israeli soldiers on the border on July 12, 2006, Israel responded with wave after wave of airstrikes in what became a 34-day war. The Israelis were able to destroy bunkers containing most of Hezbollah's long-range rockets capable of striking deep into Israel, almost to Tel Aviv, in under an hour.

Their intelligence was that good, and some of that must have come from agents they had on the ground. Those assets may no longer be available, and the Israeli air force may not be able to strike with such devastating accuracy next time around.
Well, maybe. But what if the 40 spies arrested are 40 out of 400 or 4000? Hmmm.

Let's hope we get the two at the top next time.


At 4:55 PM, Blogger Broomer said...

Next time, if Israel does not have the intelligence she needs, it'll be a scorched earth policy, UN be damned.

At 10:48 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel should not rely on the UN to disarm Hezbollah. And Israel should go to war only if it is able to secure the destruction of Hezbollah. If the government is not in any way committed to it, there is no point in wasting Israeli lives just to secure another meaningless ceasefire.


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