Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Consequences of the Peace

It is very hard to know much because the news reports are mainly conjecture, rumor, and opinion. Facts are few. The one important fact that I think ended the war was the impending American delivery of M-26 cluster bomb barrage rockets and bunker-buster bombs to Israel (New York Times a few days ago). Had Israel had those at the beginning of the war, each Hezbollah Katyusha rocket crew would have died within minutes of launching their rockets and their launchers and rockets would have been destroyed as well. But Lebanese civilian casualties would have been in the thousands or even tens of thousands, which I suppose is why the US delayed delivering them.

I think the timing of events confirms that theory. Nasrallah was defiant and willing to fight forever. Then the impending transfer of M-26's and bunker-buster's was announced and Hezbollah immediately agreed to a ceasefire. I have not seen a followup to the story about the M-26's so one does not know whether they have actually been delivered or are being delivered or what. I think it is like one of those movie scenes where the heavy pulls back his jacket just enough for you see the pistol. The threat was enough.

The significance of the ceasefire cannot be known without knowing what the actual outcome of the battle was. There are no credible reports of the casualties and damages suffered by Hezbollah. The reports were always the same, "fierce fighting" but no indication of the outcome. The only indication of the degree of damage is that they were able to maintain a rocket barrage against northern Israel in spite of the bombing and artillery bombardment, and that Israel felt obliged to send in the infantry. Both facts suggest that the damage to Hezbollah was not fatal.

As to how the world is going to deal with Islamofascism in the future, I think we just saw. We are going to have to kill enough of them to get deterrence. We are going to have to choose between inflicting large civilian casualties and defeat. The war with Iran will be like the war with the Soviet Union - fought through proxies.

2 comments:

  1. The Scorpion2:03 PM

    Unfortunately, the cease fire gives both sides the opportunity to resupply with bigger and more accurate weapons. When people live close together in cities, one conventional bomb is a weapon of mass distruction. Israel was very lucky the civilian death toll was as low as it was. With an enemy that savours killing innocents, the IDF did a fantastic job. But if Hezbollah is given the chance to rearm with newer and more powerful and more accurate weapons, they will gladly suffer anew the destruction of Lebanon to gain their "immoral" victory. The sad truth is that victory for either side requires the total destruction of the other.

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  2. The principle is that the multinational force and the Lebanese Army will not permit the resupply of new weapons to Hezbollah. I admit that I don't see that working. I think the only thing that will deter Hezbollah is the certainty of defeat. Israel must have much more effective weapons of both offense and defense and more of them than they do.

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