web analytics
August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Israel Redefines Victory in the New Middle East

Rocket Fired From Gaza Hits Car in Beersheba.

Rocket Fired From Gaza Hits Car in Beersheba.
Photo Credit: IDF

Israel is redefining its concept of military victory in a Middle East dominated by terrorist organizations turned quasi-state actors.

Once, decisive, unmistakable victories, accompanied by conquests of territory that had been used to stage attacks against Israel, provided all parties concerned with a “knockout” image. Victory was seen by the Israel Defense Forces as a clear-cut event, which ended when the enemy raised a white flag. Today, however, the IDF considers this thinking out of date in the 21st century battle arenas of the region, where a terror organization such as Hamas will continue firing rockets into Israel right up until the last day of a conflict, and claim victory despite absorbing the majority of damages and casualties.

Today, the goal of seizing control of the enemy’s turf is seen as a short-term initiative, and assuming long-term control and responsibility for hostile populations is a highly unpopular development among strategic planners, who now argue that this should be avoided wherever possible.

For decades, the IDF has been facing irregular asymmetric terrorist organizations which can change form, melt away and reform according to their needs.

The last time Israel fought direct battles with organized, hierarchical military foes was during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Today, as the main goal of most conflicts, victory has been replaced by deterrence. Deterrence, rather than clear-cut conquest or triumph over the enemy, has formed the goal of Israel’s last three conflicts: the Second Lebanon War of 2006; Operation Cast Lead against against Hamas and Islamic Jihad in 2009 and Operation Pillar of Defense against the same entities in Gaza in November.

Although the Second Lebanon War was claimed by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah as a “divine victory,” six and a half years later, at the end of 2012, Hezbollah has still not repaired all of the damage it suffered in that conflict, and the Lebanese-Israeli border has never been quieter. Despite several glaring tactical and operational shortcomings, as a deterrent the Second Lebanon War was an Israeli victory.

Nevertheless, deterrence-based military achievements are temporary by nature. At some point, deterrence erodes away, and must be reestablished all over again. This is what happened in Gaza last month. And the IDF has been preparing for a fresh confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon, which today is armed with at least 50,000 rockets and missiles, many of them with a range of 200 kilometers, that can strike deep inside Israel.

Quietly, the Israel Air Force has been upgrading its weapons systems to allow it to face down Hezbollah with enhanced firepower. The new systems currently installed in IAF jets mean that a very large number of targets can be struck in Lebanon from the air within a very short period of time. The 1500 targets struck in Gaza, for example, during November’s operation over the course of eight days, could have been struck in 24 hours had the IAF elected to do so.

Israeli intelligence has been mapping out the weapons storehouses in southern Lebanese villages and towns, and building up a long list of targets, for the day that Israel’s deterrence runs out.

The IDF’s evolving new doctrine involves short spells of fighting, in which the IDF hits the other side hard – hard enough to ensure that the Israeli home front will enjoy prolonged calm after the fighting ends. As opposed to the mission of utterly destroying Hamas or Hezbollah, such limited goals can be obtained quickly. Hezbollah is fully aware, meanwhile, that should it begin another conflict, it will reap major destruction on Lebanon.

The Israeli doctrine is flexible. It allows the IDF to choose the severity of the blows it lands on the enemy, depending on the circumstances of each fight, and the adversary involved.

Senior Israeli defense sources have indicated this month that any future round of fighting with Hezbollah will make last month’s Gaza conflict seem minor by comparison. Even if the goal will not be to destroy Hezbollah, the organization is still susceptible to enormous damage; it is well aware of its exposure to overwhelming Israeli firepower.

The day after a future conflict ends, one defense source said this month, Hezbollah will have to “get up in the morning and explain to their people” why they invited yet more destruction to Lebanon.

About the Author: Yaakov Lappin is a journalist for the Jerusalem Post, where he covers police and national security affairs, and author of the book The Virtual Caliphate. He is also a visiting fellow at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Israel Redefines Victory in the New Middle East”

  1. Anonymous says:

    a small nuke would fix the problem.

  2. Anonymous says:

    a small nuke would fix the problem.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tourist injured by Muslim mob on Temple Mount on August 4, 2015
Arabs Beat Up Tourist on Temple Mount [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
David Menachem Gordon

David was many things: Brother, son, grandson, nephew, uncle, cousin, talmid, comrade, AND a WARRIOR

Graffiti at Duma home that was torched in Samara.

Some Israelis seem to have forgotten no one has yet tracked down the murderers of Ali Bawabsheh.

On-The-Bookshelf-logo

Aside from my own 485-page tome on the subject, Red Army, I think Jamie Glazov did an excellent job at framing things in United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.

Saltsman-073115

“Isn’t it enough that the whole world hates us? WHy do we have to hate each other?”

Who said Kerry won no concessions from Iran? He secured pistachios and Beluga caviar for America!

In 2015, Israel’s fertility rate (3+ births per woman) is higher than all Arab countries except 3

The New Israel Fund, as usual, condemns the State of Israel rather than condemning a horrible act.

I sought a Muslim group that claims to preach a peaceful and accepting posture of Islam, Ahmadiyya

While Orthodox men are encouraged to achieve and celebrated for it, Orthodox women too often are not

Jonathan remember, as long as you’re denied your right to come home to Israel you’re still in prison

Reports of a dead baby, a devastated family, and indications of a gloating attacker.

“The fear of being exposed publicly is the only thing that will stop people,” observed Seewald.

“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.

American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam

Hillary should THANK Trump; By dominating the news he’s overshadowed the implosion of her campaign

More Articles from Yaakov Lappin
This masked "soldier" carrying a machine-gun is not part of a terrorist organization, according to the European Court of Justice.

Hamas recently stated publicly that a new explosion of violence against Israel is imminent.

Islamic Jihad blames Israel for breaking the ceasefire because it did not accept terrorists' demands to destroy Israel.

There are also 4,000 or so members of smaller well-armed Gazan terror groups, not just Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

One out of every ten homes in Lebanon now has a rocket launcher or Hezbollah weapons stored in it, according to Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Home Front Defense Minister.

Iran might well conclude that the sanctions could disappear in the course of endless rounds of diplomacy.

Jihad will spread outwards to the region, then threaten global security — possibly with biological and chemical weapons.

Near the Sinai peninsula, the Israeli Defense Forces continue on high alert, watching every suspicious movement in the sands near the Egyptian border for signs of the next attack.

As thousands of radical jihadis have moved into Syria and the Sinai, Israel is perfecting its ability to neutralize these targets.

Israel, which is more threatened by Iran’s nuclear program than is the U.S., has less time to make its up mind on how and when to proceed to avert a threat to its existence.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/israel-redefines-victory-in-the-new-middle-east/2013/01/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: