Thursday, April 02, 2015

Only If Israel Does the Same Thing

Will Israel suffer heavy civilian casualties in another round of fighting with Hezbollah? Only if Israel hasn't learned anything from 2006.

This surely represents a plausible scenario:

Israel could suffer hundreds of civilian dead and damage to its vital infrastructure from Hezbollah rockets if it fights another war with the Iranian-backed Lebanese guerrilla group, according to Israeli military assessments.

The scenario, published by Israeli media on Wednesday, reflected concern among security planners that since the last Lebanon war, in 2006, Hezbollah has expanded its rocket arsenal and gained battle experience helping Damascus fight the insurgency in Syria. ...

According to the military assessments, between 1,000 and 1,500 rockets could hit Israel daily in the next full-blown conflict, killing hundreds of people and potentially paralyzing key installations like airports, sea ports and power stations.

The article says the point of the analysis is to push for more money for civil defense and missile/rocket defenses.

But the other way to protect their civilians is to rip through southern Lebanon to occupy the rocket launching territory and go all the way to Baalbek.

And yes, Hezbollah troops have combat experience from fighting in Syria. But this is in a different type of fighting. Yes, that experience will benefit them if they can adapt to a high-speed Israeli conventional assault, but the time needed to adapt will be short and the casualties among Hezbollah forces high in the period before they adapt their tactics and allow their experience to matter.

Nor is it possible to simply endure a more massive Hezbollah barrage. Anti-rockets will run out and economic activity will be crippled if Israel seeks to passively ride out a bigger and lengthier bombardment. These type of defenses only buy time until the rockets can be taken out at their source.

So the scenario is only applicable if the next war is just a bigger and louder version of the poorly designed 2006 Israeli war plan.