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Sunday, August 28, 2011

The war book is ready

YNet reports that we were a lot closer to war last weekend than most Israelis realize. The war book is ready.
When Defense Minister Ehud Barak arrived at the Defense Ministry Headquarters’ meeting room last Saturday, a thick war book titled “Operation South” was already awaiting his approval on his desk. In those hours, Israel was on the verge of embarking on war in the Gaza Strip.

The book did not pertain to a limited operation. The selected targets would have certainly prompted a major flare-up, including difficult regional implications. Just like in Operation Cast Lead, the political leadership granted immunity to no one in the Strip, regardless of his position or stature.

The detailed plans – the targets, scope, power and timing – would have left Hamas no breathing space and time to debate its response. It would have gone for the jackpot, right away. Indeed, Israel’s war plan included preparations for massive rocket fire from Gaza, including long-range missiles aimed at central Israel in general, and at Tel Aviv in particular.

Last weekend, the General Staff Headquarters looked like on the eve of war. Officials were working around the clock and sleeping in their offices. While formulating the plans, top officials recalled the curse of arrogance of the Second Lebanon War. Back then, the decision to launch a war was taken without sufficient preparation. The military and political leadership decided to deliver a blow, immediately, without taking into account the implications, the enemy’s response, the home front’s condition and the ability to counter rocket barrages. This time around, a full, detailed plan was drafted; it also included the IDF Home Front Command’s deployment. Only then was the scheme presented to the political echelon.

Another lesson learned from the miserable confrontation vis-à-vis Hezbollah is to start such assaults with great fire power, in order to minimize as much as is possible the home front’s suffering. This lesson was already implemented in Operation Cast Lead; in other words, the power utilized during Cast Lead was to constitute the starting point of the next operation.
So what happened? Why didn't we go to war? You can probably guess - fear of how it would look with the UN vote coming up next month. My own view is that we are putting way too much emphasis on a UN vote that is largely meaningless. But it seems like the political echelon is determined to sit pat and absorb the rockets (yes, there were more last night) at least until the UN vote passes. Unless Tel Aviv is hit.

Read the whole thing.

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At 11:10 AM, Blogger Mervyn Doobov said...

The political echelon won't be absorbing any rockets. The residents of the south will.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Mervyn Doobov said...

The political echelon won't be absorbing any rockets; the people of the south will

At 12:52 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

C'mon Carl - even after the UN vote, Israel's branja will continue to look for excuses not to defend the country.

What could go wrong indeed

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

There's that word again - "branja". Had to google it... and of course the second link was Carl defining the word in a 2007 post:

"...the Branja, a Yiddish term meaning the "experts" or the "guild." The members of the Branja include Israel's self-appointed intellectual and cultural elites, North Tel Aviv's high society and business stars and (in the words of Yoram Hazony on Page 4 of The Jewish State), "the Yuppy politicos with whom they socialize.""



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