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Thread: Watching the IDF (catch all)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post

    @ The US government position is that the West Bank is occupied territory.

    @ That is why US policy was and still is againstthe settlement program.
    I would also call Judea and Samaria, the occupied territories, and not Judea and Samaria. - and so would more Israelis than most US and UK media would ever want to admit.

    Which settlement program? The illegal settlements are illegal. No debate, but there are Moshav, and Kibbutz which are perfectly legal. There are also Jewish Communities in the territories that have lived there 100's and even 1,000 of years
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    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Wilf,

    The settlements I refer to are the settlements initiated by Sharon and other hardliners.

    Let's agree to disagree and move on.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    That is why US policy was and still is againstthe settlement program.

    In any case, the thread was IDF COIN.
    If we were really opposed to them, we wouldn't pay for them.

    And an auditing bait-and-switch in which U.S. aid was used to free up billions of dollars for spending on the settlements formally opposed by the United States.


    Anyway, IDF COIN is achieving somebodies objective, therefore it is - in my opinion - successful. Though, of course, it's fair to say that the objective is highly controversial. I'd also say it is a lot closer to Dr. Metz's Roman COIN than British COIN, but I tend to agree with the good doctor's thesis that Roman COIN is more successful, especially short term.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default If we were really opposed to them

    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    If we were really opposed to them, we wouldn't pay for them.
    We wouldn't be giving them and the Egyptians a couple of Bil + a year -- but we are and have been probably since about the time you were born...

    Good luck finding a US politician who will express any real and meaningful opposition to that aid and the known chicanery that goes along with it. Either party...

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    Anyway, IDF COIN is achieving somebodies objective, therefore it is - in my opinion - successful. Though, of course, it's fair to say that the objective is highly controversial. I'd also say it is a lot closer to Dr. Metz's Roman COIN than British COIN, but I tend to agree with the good doctor's thesis that Roman COIN is more successful, especially short term.
    There is some common misconceptions at play here. British COIN, prior to Ulster, was characterised by a brutality and severity that most would find hard to stomach. Almost every measure used by the IDF for COIN was a measure previously used by the British during the mandate, including home demolition. Trying to draw parallels between the West Bank and Ulster is idiotic - as proved by Basra.

    Yes, IDF COIN is pretty harsh, and even unnecessarily so, but not compared with 99% of other nations on earth (Columbia, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Indonesia, Syria, Iran, Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Lebanon, Pakistan, etc etc.) and some of the COIN practices in Iraq and Afghanistan are nothing to be too proud of.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    There is some common misconceptions at play here. British COIN, prior to Ulster,
    British COIN/Roman COIN aren't my terms but I believe that they are metaphorical for Humane/brutal. I probably should have put them in quotation marks. i.e. The British used "Roman" techniques before adopting "British" techniques.

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    and some of the COIN practices in Iraq and Afghanistan are nothing to be too proud of.
    I've been thinking about starting a thread on that but fear of "the graveyard of the banned" has prevented me from doing so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Good luck finding a US politician who will express any real and meaningful opposition to that aid and the known chicanery that goes along with it. Either party...
    That's my point. If the powers that be are happy, it's meeting objectives. Of course, you can create a lot of destruction and mess up a lot of things while achieving objectives, but then the problem isn't the strategy or the tactics, it's the objectives. I'm not going to debate the objectives.
    Last edited by Rank amateur; 01-08-2008 at 03:52 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

  9. #69
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Nor am I.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    ...
    ... but then the problem isn't the strategy or the tactics, it's the objectives. I'm not going to debate the objectives.
    Debate the objectives, I mean. I'd also suggest the no strategy or tactics are involved in that bit -- it's pure politics.

    I've been thinking about starting a thread on that but fear of "the graveyard of the banned" has prevented me from doing so.
    I don't think that should deter you. Unless you get deliberately provocative, that shouldn't be a problem. Only thing I'd suggest is be real sure of your facts and avoid quoting inflammatory and suspect sources -- or blogs. I think you should post a thread if you wish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    I don't think that should deter you. Unless you get deliberately provocative, that shouldn't be a problem. Only thing I'd suggest is be real sure of your facts and avoid quoting inflammatory and suspect sources -- or blogs. I think you should post a thread if you wish.
    OK. As a sign of respect to an old soldier, I will. But I am a coward, so give me some time to work up my courage and choose my words carefully.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

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    Council Member MattC86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWJED View Post
    Thanks for the link - this was a very eye-opening read. I was particularly interested in Naveh's analysis of Hezbollah, because I think the abilities and powers of nonstate actors, particularly in the Middle East, are going to continue to grow, and I'm not sure anyone has figured out an acceptable political endstate for a conflict with a Hezbollah or Hamas.

    I was confused, however, by Naveh's claim that the original idea was to "create conditions which will force him to give up the militant [role of Hezbollah], to stop this duality," yet not focused on decapitation attacks or other forms of leader-elimination campaigns. How would this work? Does anybody have a better idea of what he's talking about? Or did I completely miss something?

    Matt
    "Give a good leader very little and he will succeed. Give a mediocrity a great deal and he will fail." - General George C. Marshall

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    I think the concept was to totally destroy Hizbullah's military wing on the battlefield, kill off the fighters and battlefield leadership, and essentially leave Nasrallah with nothing but politics as an option in the ongoing struggle in Lebanon. The Israelis are smart enough to know that killing Nasrallah, as charismatic as he is, or other Hizbullah senior leadership would not destroy Hizbullah as a movement because it has achieved the level of a genuine social movement/party within the Lebanese context as the overall representative of the Shi'i, especially the pious middle and lower classes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    I think the concept was to totally destroy Hizbullah's military wing on the battlefield, kill off the fighters and battlefield leadership, and essentially leave Nasrallah with nothing but politics as an option in the ongoing struggle in Lebanon. The Israelis are smart enough to know that killing Nasrallah, as charismatic as he is, or other Hizbullah senior leadership would not destroy Hizbullah as a movement because it has achieved the level of a genuine social movement/party within the Lebanese context as the overall representative of the Shi'i, especially the pious middle and lower classes.
    I know Hezbollah less resembles an insurgency movement than a nonstate, private army, but doesn't it enjoy popular legitimacy to the point where an effort to destroy their military wing is going to take on the hydra-killing characteristics of counterinsurgency? Or does Hezbollah resemble an army enough in its organization and fighting characteristics to make this a viable concept?

    Matt
    "Give a good leader very little and he will succeed. Give a mediocrity a great deal and he will fail." - General George C. Marshall

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattC86 View Post
    I know Hezbollah less resembles an insurgency movement than a nonstate, private army, but doesn't it enjoy popular legitimacy to the point where an effort to destroy their military wing is going to take on the hydra-killing characteristics of counterinsurgency? Or does Hezbollah resemble an army enough in its organization and fighting characteristics to make this a viable concept?

    Matt
    The answer is a matter of opinion. I think it's the former. Israel hopes it's the later. We won't know for sure until someone tries.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    It is far easier to rebuild military potential than political legitimacy. Hizbullah has the latter in Lebanon. Even if every single Hizbullah commander dropped dead and every supply dump exploded tomorrow, Hizbullah could train new leaders and rearm with Syrian and Iranian aid. The overall strategic picture would not change even given a militarily crippled Hizbullah, because unless its ideology or backers changed, it can always rebuild its military capabilities.

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    I think Israeli strategy (such as it was) in 2006 was to tip the party's cost-benefit analysis, in the hope that the Lebanese population would exert pressure on Hizballah to cease activities that brought Israeli retaliation -or, otherwise, risk increasing alienation from its popular base.

    This worked quite well in the 1970s against the PLO, which went from immensely popular to immensely unpopular in Lebanon. However, Hizballah is an indigenous actor with great reservoirs of goodwill in the Shiite community, and Israeli actions were in any case poorly calibrated to achieve this effect. When Israel started bombing gas stations or bridges in northern Lebanon, for example, many Lebanese bought into Hizballah's position that this was a preplanned Israeli war of aggression, and that Hizballah was once more defending the country as the "national resistance."

    I suspect a sustained and extensive ground operation would have backfired in similar ways, and would have likely ended with Israel withdrawing under fire (again).

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    Council Member MattC86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    It is far easier to rebuild military potential than political legitimacy. Hizbullah has the latter in Lebanon. Even if every single Hizbullah commander dropped dead and every supply dump exploded tomorrow, Hizbullah could train new leaders and rearm with Syrian and Iranian aid. The overall strategic picture would not change even given a militarily crippled Hizbullah, because unless its ideology or backers changed, it can always rebuild its military capabilities.
    Right - this is essentially what I meant. You're saying that this idea was a flawed strategy, then? And, just to be clear, what I was referring to was Naveh's idea of the strategy he and other "heretics" had considered, not what was actually implemented in 2006. You are referring to the same, correct?
    "Give a good leader very little and he will succeed. Give a mediocrity a great deal and he will fail." - General George C. Marshall

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattC86 View Post
    Right - this is essentially what I meant. You're saying that this idea was a flawed strategy, then? And, just to be clear, what I was referring to was Naveh's idea of the strategy he and other "heretics" had considered, not what was actually implemented in 2006. You are referring to the same, correct?
    I suppose Navah's idea is that if you punish people severely enough for having weapons, they won't rearm, but it doesn't work in Washington DC, so I don't know why it would work in the Middle East.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm disagreeing with Naveh on his concept for a "forcible disarmament" of Hizbullah. As long the Shi'i of Lebanon feel (1) disenfranchised and aggrieved (2) threatened, rightly or wrongly, by Israel, there will always be a constituency in that population for an armed party of their own capable of fighting both Lebanese and Israeli foes. There will have to be a sea change in the strategic context for this to work long-term - either by removing Hizbullah's foreign backers and arms suppliers, or by altering the political calculus of the broader Lebanese Shi'i community. Anything else is blowing smoke and kicking the can down the road, even if successful in the short term.

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    Guys, none of this is rocket science.

    The Israelis made a bad plan, based on no other objective than trying to convince the Lebanese Govt. and people to turn against HezBollah by second order effects. When the plan didn't work, they tried to fix it, by not doing properly what they should have done. Read Ron Tira, Read their own commission of enquiry.

    EBO strays dangerously from proper military thought. Hezbollah can be suppressed and even defeated by methods everyone understands.

    Nasrallah saying "we won," means about as much as George Bush declaring victory.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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