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Old 04-19-2006   #1
Bourcet
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Default Watching the IDF (catch all)

Quote:
Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs

Jerusalem Viewpoints
No. 514 8 Adar 5764 / 1 March 2004


ISRAEL'S SECURITY DOCTRINE AND
THE TRAP OF "LIMITED CONFLICT"

Colonel (Res.) Yehuda Wegman

The many classic examples of low-intensity conflict - in Indo-China, Malaya, Algeria, Cuba, and Northern Ireland - are irrelevant to the case of Israel. Not a single citizen in Britain, France, or the United States had his daily routine in his native country disrupted as a result of the low-intensity combat conducted by his country's army on a foreign battlefield.

The guerilla and terror actions in Vietnam, Algeria, Ireland, Rhodesia, and other places were not directed against the very existence of the rival nation and its army.

Something about the Western response to a strike on its population centers can be learned from the American reaction to 9/11, with its military operation directed at the heart of Afghanistan as the sender of terror. In this case, the doctrine of limited conflict was cast aside, as the "strong" side under attack undertook to summarily obliterate the "weak" attacker in accordance with the laws of war.

I have a few questions that I'd like more expert knowledge on.

1. Does classic counterinsurgency doctrine apply in the case of Israel?
2. What do you think of Israel's current strategy, is it working or not?
3. What mistakes are Israel making?

I'd only like short answers, but if you want to expand then feel free.

Thanks
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Old 04-20-2006   #2
Tom Odom
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Is Israel's "strategy" working?

First of all there are NO short answers to this and related questions. That said, the answer is NO. If you have any doubts look at the population figures, the surrounding growth of fundamentalism, and the Israeli economy.

Frankly, I am amazed by the number of folks who advocate Israeli strategic thought as a model for us. They either have an agenda or are just poorly informed (or perhaps both).

I would suggest that you also look at the report I posted a link to here concerning the relationship between the US and Israel. It came out of Harvard, Kennedy School of Government.

Tom
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Old 04-20-2006   #3
Merv Benson
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Default Hearts and minds of bigots

Israel is not going to be able to get a hearts and minds campaign going among the Palestinians. They are a people whose minds have been poisoned on a combination of religious bigotry and ethnic hatred, fortified by a real estate worshipping death cult mentality. This makes the classic counterinsurgency strategy unavailable. Israel has responded by attempting to isolate rather than work with the Palestinians in recent years.

Prospects for an agreement are remote because the Palestinians have nothing to offer the Israelis. The Palestinian Authority can't offer peace for land, becuase it can't deliver peace. It cannot or will not control those who want to explode around Israelis.

While the Israeli economy has suffered from the conflict, the Palestinian's economy has cratered into a true begger status where its "goverment" is scrambing to find donors to pay its police. That is not too surprising when hate and victimization appear to be their main commerce. One reason why this status exist if the 50 plus years of dependency on charity from the UN and others, which has subsidized their war against Israel. Without the subsidies they would have been forced to create a real economy with real jobs instead of haveing a fourth of the male population employed by the "security forces." Can you imagine the size of the US military and police force of a fourth of our population was so employed?
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Old 04-20-2006   #4
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1) I believe classic counterinsurgency doctrine does apply in the case of Israel. Although its particulars are endlessly mutable, war itself is universal. However, Israel suffers from a terrible case of strategic "cogntive dissonance" regarding Palestinian statehood which prevents it from successfully employing classic doctrine.

One of the essential requirements of classic counterinsurgency doctrine is that the local people be treated with respect, and their interests generally enhanced. Because one of Israel's strategic goals has been (and may still be) the settlement of land formerly occupied by Arab Palestinians by Israelis, this essential requirement cannot be complied with. Palestinians know that no matter how nice an Israeli may seem, ultimately their home is subject to demolition at any time. This fundamental opposition sets up a source of conflict that cannot be defused. Israel would seem to want land more than peace, although this may be realigning.

2) That depends on what you mean by "working." If a constant level of uncomfortable international bad press, continuing low level terrorist attacks and reprisals, with an expensive drain on military age manpower and money is working (keep in mind Israel maintains one of the better economies in its area) then yes. However, this strategy is unlikely to lead to peaceful coexistence or decisive conquest. Personally, I think it's essentially face saving by politicians who don't have the guts to fight or the will to enter real negotiations - they fight just hard enough to maintain the status quo ante.

3) Israel's mistake is in treating the exercise of military force as a coercive tool. Not that it cannot serve as such, but rather it has manifestly failed to coerce very many Palestinians of late. A quid pro quo approach to violence does not defeat your enemy in a small war - it merely helps your enemy's recruiting drives.

Tel Aviv ought to privately determine exactly which end state they are willing to live with as regards the Palestinian people (and the various armed and unarmed factions) and then make a measured judgment as to exactly what role force is to play in achieving that state. It seems most unlikely that any military would recommend the use of ### for tat retaliatory strikes as the best long term way to curb any insurgent or conventional force.
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Old 04-21-2006   #5
Mike in Hilo
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Classic counterinsurgency and Israel: This is a case of the hypothetical. Either the Israelis have decided it cannot work, or they have decided they'd rather do things on the cheap. Whether Thompson's "hold" phase with its separation of the populace from the insurgents through controls which may include mass confinement, or Trinquier's urban surveillance through block leaders, etc., the classical approach requires effective occupation. The Israelis have evidently decided they do not wish to be hampered with the responsibilities of occupation and so, since "Oslo," have left the major population concentrations to languish in an anarchic state (reserving the right, to be sure, to re-enter these areas in force from time to time, or to engage in targeted neutralizations). In the Israeli case, neither the classic approach nor what they are doing appear to be recipes for success.

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Old 04-24-2006   #6
Tom Odom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merv Benson
Israel is not going to be able to get a hearts and minds campaign going among the Palestinians. They are a people whose minds have been poisoned on a combination of religious bigotry and ethnic hatred, fortified by a real estate worshipping death cult mentality. This makes the classic counterinsurgency strategy unavailable. Israel has responded by attempting to isolate rather than work with the Palestinians in recent years.

Prospects for an agreement are remote because the Palestinians have nothing to offer the Israelis. The Palestinian Authority can't offer peace for land, becuase it can't deliver peace. It cannot or will not control those who want to explode around Israelis.

While the Israeli economy has suffered from the conflict, the Palestinian's economy has cratered into a true begger status where its "goverment" is scrambing to find donors to pay its police. That is not too surprising when hate and victimization appear to be their main commerce. One reason why this status exist if the 50 plus years of dependency on charity from the UN and others, which has subsidized their war against Israel. Without the subsidies they would have been forced to create a real economy with real jobs instead of haveing a fourth of the male population employed by the "security forces." Can you imagine the size of the US military and police force of a fourth of our population was so employed?
Merv,

The bigots live on both sides of the equation. Every argument you make applies to the Israelis as well as the Palestinians. The Israelis have ALWAYS worked to isolate and undermine the Palestinians; their long term stance--and it is still used--is that there are no "palestininans". The Palestinian dependence on UN funds for instance could be rewritten to state Israeli dependence on US funds. As for ethnic hatred, try living in Israel and then decide who hates whom. My take after decades of study and being on the ground, is neither side wears white hats; in many ways they deserve each other.

Tom
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Old 04-24-2006   #7
Merv Benson
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Default Israel and the Palestinians

I think there are some major differences. I would first note that the million or so Palestinians who live in Israel as oppose to the territories, rarely explode and kill Israelis. The Israelis target people who are hostile threats while the Palestinians target non combatants. That they cannot tell the difference suggest that they are blinded by their bigotry and strike out at "the other." indiscriminately. The Hamas death cult is clearly an organization of bigots. When faced with that kind of hostility it would not be surprising that the Israelis would hold them in low regard, just as we held the Japanese and Germans in low regard during World War II, but it cannot be argued that we were on the same moral plane with our enemies.
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Old 04-24-2006   #8
aktarian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourcet
I have a few questions that I'd like more expert knowledge on.

1. Does classic counterinsurgency doctrine apply in the case of Israel?
2. What do you think of Israel's current strategy, is it working or not?
3. What mistakes are Israel making?

I'd only like short answers, but if you want to expand then feel free.

Thanks
Short answer: wrong question asked. what Israel is facing on WB (and what it faced on GS) is not insurgency, it's terrorism or at best urban guerilla as promoted by various Latin American groups. There is no guerilla army to combat but rather various terrorist groups with various branches, from armed wings to social services to political wings.

Only case of COIN warfare Israel faced was Lebanon where it made practically all text-book example of mistakes military can make in COIN warfare.
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Old 04-25-2006   #9
Jones_RE
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Default Israel's Security Doctrine

For what it's worth, Israel's security doctrine appears to call for:

1) Physical separation from Gaza and the West Bank. This is a recent phenomenon, but one that has been fairly effective in reducing internal attacks.

2) Negotiation with various Palestinian entities. This has proceeded largely without results, as we are all aware.

3) Gradual displacement of the Palestinian civilian population. A controversial strategy - not officially pursued by the government at this time. Frequently undertaken by rogue Israeli citizens, with various governments cracking down or turning a blind eye depending upon the current political climate.

4) Retaliation. Not merely military, Israel frequently closes off whole towns to outside access for days at a time. Israel also controls a large portion of the Palestinian Authority budget and other "levers." Certain air strikes and other kinetic operations have been used for this purpose.

5) Limited kinetic operations. "Targeted killings," raids and other operations designed to attack armed enemies directly.

6) Intensive internal security measures. Israel has armed guards posted at shopping malls, along with the world's toughest airport security. A wide aray of checkpoints control movement and commerce throughout the West Bank and Gaza, as well.

Israel's strategy is limited by a number of "non military" considerations. First of all, the West Bank is home to a population of 2.5 million Palestinians (per the CIA World Factbook). It would take 50,000 soldiers in formed combat units to provide the "optimal" ratio of 1 soldier per 50 civilians. This would be just under 1% of Israel's population - for the US to field an equivalent force would require 2.5 million soldiers. Given the existing bad blood and mistrust on both sides (without taking a moral stand either way, simply noting that there are hard feelings here) this would be a very long and difficult operation, involving many casualties on all sides. Israel cannot support such a move economically. Their citizenry will not permit the many casualties that would result. Tel Aviv's unstable, coalition driven governments likely couldn't affect either situation. Additionally, intesnive international scrutiny would be brought to bear. Finally, Israel's neighbors are all Arab countries who would be seriously threatened by such a military expansion, regardless of the motives. In addition to state sponsorship of Palestinian factions, the governments of Lebannon and Syria are both sufficiently corrupt and/or weak that independent actors within those nations would supply considerable outside help.

Given that confluence of factors, a "traditional" counter insurgency will not be sustainable. That is not to say that it would not be effective. Both Israelis and Palestinians are human beings - war is a part of the human condition. Regardless of the brutality, uncivilized tactics or sheer emotion on all sides - the principles of war apply without consideration of the merits of the parties.

So that leaves an interesting question: what can Israel do? I believe the most effective course of action for Tel Aviv is continued withdrawal from occupied portions of the West Bank, and a continuing effort to shore up on or another Palestinian faction. Not only as a fighting force, but as an agency that can deliver governmental services, health and welfare to the Palestinian people with pride and dignity. Such a group does not exist as such, but it might draw considerable support. Given time, it could displace the armed factions in terms of popular legitimacy and ultimately be in a position to negotiate a mutually beneficial relationship with Tel Aviv.
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Old 04-25-2006   #10
Tom Odom
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Default Strategy versus tactics

Israel's biggest problem is the population issue. Time is not on their side when it comes down to looking at numbers of people and available land.

The strategic reality is that Israel is an anomaly in the post-WWII and now 21st Century world. It is very much the equivalent of a colony, implanted for a variety of reasons with and even larger number of agendas.

The situation reference "Palestinian targeting of civilians" versus IDF targeting is one of available means and achieveable effects. And it is also one of where the targeting is done, who is watching, and who is reporting. I can tell you personally that IDF targeting in Lebanon was hardly "surgical."

Quote:
So that leaves an interesting question: what can Israel do? I believe the most effective course of action for Tel Aviv is continued withdrawal from occupied portions of the West Bank, and a continuing effort to shore up on or another Palestinian faction. Not only as a fighting force, but as an agency that can deliver governmental services, health and welfare to the Palestinian people with pride and dignity. Such a group does not exist as such, but it might draw considerable support. Given time, it could displace the armed factions in terms of popular legitimacy and ultimately be in a position to negotiate a mutually beneficial relationship with Tel Aviv.
The interesting point here is that the current situation is one of lost opportunities compounded by decades. The US has not done Israel a strategic favor through our policies of near total support. Israel and the Palestinians are both practioners of zero sum politics. The US role has never been effective as an honest mediator and both sides see that. Israel's "strategy" has been one of immediate tactical gains that do not necessarily arrive at a desired end state. The Gaza settlement fiasco is a classic case, repeating the Sinai settlement fiasco after Camp David was signed. The West Bank fiasco will be coming to a strategic theater near you at a date yet undecided.

Go back and read the following if you question where I am coming from at http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Researc.../rwp/RWP06-011 It is worth the effort.

Best

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Old 04-26-2006   #11
Tom Odom
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Default On the Issue of Palestinians in Israel and Demographics

Quote:
Ingathering

Ilan Pappe on the Israeli election and the 'demographic problem'

From left to right, the manifestos of all the Zionist parties during the recent Israeli election campaign contained policies which they claimed would counter the ‘demographic problem’ posed by the Palestinian presence in Israel. Ariel Sharon proposed the pull-out from Gaza as the best solution to it; the leaders of the Labour Party endorsed the wall because they believed it was the best way of limiting the number of Palestinians inside Israel. Extra-parliamentary groups, too, such as the Geneva Accord movement, Peace Now, the Council for Peace and Security, Ami Ayalon’s Census group and the Mizrachi Democratic Rainbow all claim to know how to tackle it.

Apart from the ten members of the Palestinian parties and two eccentric Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox Jews, all the members of the new Knesset (there are 120 in all) arrived promising that their magic formulae would solve the ‘demographic problem’. The means varied from reducing Israeli control over the Occupied Territories – in fact, the plans put forward by Labour, Kadima, Shas (the Sephardic Orthodox party) and Gil (the pensioners’ party) would involve Israeli withdrawal from only 50 per cent of these territories – to more drastic action. Right-wing parties such as Yisrael Beytenu, the Russian ethnic party of Avigdor Liberman, and the religious parties argued for a voluntary transfer of Palestinians to the West Bank. In short, the Zionist answer is to reduce the problem either by giving up territory or by shrinking the ‘problematic’ population group.

None of this is new. The population problem was identified as the major obstacle in the way of Zionist fulfilment in the late 19th century, and David Ben-Gurion said in December 1947 that ‘there can be no stable and strong Jewish state so long as it has a Jewish majority of only 60 per cent.’ Israel, he warned on the same occasion, would have to deal with this ‘severe’ problem with ‘a new approach’. The following year, ethnic cleansing meant that the number of Palestinians dropped below 20 per cent of the Jewish state’s overall population (in the area allocated to Israel by the UN plus the area it occupied in 1948, the Palestinians would originally have made up around 60 per cent of the population). Interestingly, but not surprisingly, in December 2003 Binyamin Netanyahu recycled Ben-Gurion’s magic number – the undesirable 60 per cent. ‘If the Arabs in Israel form 40 per cent of the population,’ Netanyahu said, ‘this is the end of the Jewish state.’ ‘But 20 per cent is also a problem,’ he added. ‘If the relationship with these 20 per cent is problematic, the state is entitled to employ extreme measures.’ He did not elaborate.
The extract above is from an article by, Ilan Pappe, a senior lecturer at the University of Haifa was in this months London Book Review. You can see it at: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n08/papp01_.html



Best

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Old 04-29-2006   #12
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Default Links Harvard Paper

The "Harvard Paper" is an attempt to paint American support of Israel as motivated solely by a dark conspiracy to further the interests of "The Israel Lobby" and The Jews. It is a fairly classic anti-Semitic line of reasoning, which depicts geo-political action as emerging out of Jewish conspiracy. David Duke, former Klansman, has endorsed the paper.

America supports Israel for the same reason America supports Taiwan. We have an interest in supporting democracy around the world against fascist or communist threats. Nobody speaks of a "Vast Taiwanese Conspiracy" motivating American policy. It would be laughable. Yet, when people speak of a "Vast Pro-Israel Conspiracy", that's somehow considered a legitimate argument.

For parallels between the "Harvard Paper" and the classic anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, click here

A short point by point refutation is here.

Illan Pappe is considered the "Noam Chomsky" of Israel, a former Communist party member that seems to consider Israel as evil and illegitimate as Chomsky finds America. If you wouldn't go to Chomsky for geo-political insight, you probably should skip Pappe as well.

Respectfully

Gary

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Old 05-01-2006   #13
Tom Odom
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Default Expected

Once again, the anti-semetic argument emerges.

Interesting and completely expected.

you can read the pro and con reader responses to the Harvard paper at:

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n08/letters.html the editors there have responded to criticism as well.

The paper hardly matches the Elders of Zion crap. Pappe regardless of affiliation raises points that are never discussed in open forum. And as is the case, here, the immediate respones is to start throwing mud. I put the Harvard paper on here because it is one of the few that actually raises hard issues with regards to US and Israeli ties. Pappe's essay looks at demographics; an issue I would still say is the long pole in the Israeli tent.

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Old 05-05-2006   #14
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It's not just "anti-semitic" to claim that shrewd Jews are using/buying influence over the United States policy-making apparatus against our interests, it's also plain dumb.

By all means, ignore the anti-Semitism inherent in this paper endorsed by David Duke. Note, however, its circular logic;
its factual errors
its lack of original scholarship
its mono-causal social science
its unsubstantiated generalizations
its selective use of evidence
its insinuations of dual loyalty;
its strawman counterarguments.

Basically this is a "Hail Mary" from "realist Arabists". Their "realism" infers that America takes action for its own best interests. But now they must explain why America has been supportive of Israel for decades -- and why we invaded Iraq -- if as they believe, both actions are not in American interests. Why, the answer must be those powerful Jews! Or, to use the more socially acceptable term, "The Lobby".

Also, Tom, you wrote this:

The situation reference "Palestinian targeting of civilians" versus IDF targeting is one of available means and achieveable effects.




Would you explain this statement? Do you see any moral difference in exploding buses and targeting civilians and "targeted killings" of terrorists or retaliation where innocents may die because terrorists insert themselves in civilian areas? If not, is there a difference between the insurgents in Iraq exploding mosques and American use of force which may cause civilian damage? Please elucidate.

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Old 06-10-2006   #15
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Default Air Veterans Remember Reactor Raid

10 June The Australian - Air Veterans Remember Reactor Raid by Abraham Rabinovich.

For a news article this piece provides a fairly detailed account of the IDF's 1981 raid on the nuclear reactor in Baghdad, Iraq.

Quote:
The pilots were told to prepare for the longest combat mission they had ever flown -- about 1000km to target - but they were not told what the target was or where.

Afterwards, using a string to measure the distance on a map scale, they placed one end on their air base and swivelled the other end in a 360 degree arc. There was little more than desert and sea for most of the arc but to the east the string rested right on Baghdad. There was only one target in that area worth an act of war.

Recently, on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the attack on Iraq's nuclear reactor, a group of Israeli pilots gathered in Tel Aviv to reminisce about the operation that denied Saddam Hussein a nuclear weapon and would, for some of the pilots, make everything that happened in their lives afterwards an anticlimax...
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Old 08-16-2006   #16
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Default "Star Wars" agency helps Israel on rocket threat

http://today.reuters.com/news/articl...src=rss&rpc=22
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Old 08-16-2006   #17
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Default Article Excerpt...

Here is an excerpt from the 15 August Reuters article:

Quote:
The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency has begun working with Israel to help find ways to counter enemy rockets, a much shorter-range threat than the "Star Wars" mission to block ballistic missiles for which is it known, the head of the agency said on Tuesday.

"We have been working with the Israelis ... as they go through with development of their own indigenous capabilities for that threat," Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering told reporters after a speech at a missile-defense conference here.

"That is not mature. That is still in development," he said of the effort to defeat something he likened to mortar or artillery fire...
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Old 10-24-2006   #18
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Default JDW's "Israel's New Model Army?"

This article was published in Jane's Defence Weekly 11.10.2006. Here is download link to that scanned article.

http://www.webfilehost.com/?mode=viewupload&id=3514170
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Old 10-24-2006   #19
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Default

Interesting article. Noticed couple of interesting things:
-finding the scapegoat and assigning blame might be more important to some than identifying and correcting mistakes
-continued overreliance on technology, ignoring intelligence
-giving IDF/AF a lot of credit (reminds me of that article about USAF and COIN wars a while back)
-no talk about most serious Israeli flaw, intelligence gathering and analysing (or perhaps this is toos ecret to be talked about?)
-when talking about Deep Command no talk about Egoz unit (or were they disbanded after 2000?)
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Old 11-13-2006   #20
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Default Israel Army to Resume Guerrilla Training

13 November Associated Press - Israel Army to Resume Guerrilla Training by Mark Lavie.

Quote:
The Israeli military will restore its guerrilla warfare training center following its experience fighting Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, using a distinctly modern method - paintball.

During the 34-day war last summer, Hezbollah guerrillas exacted a heavy toll against the Israelis with ambushes, mortars and anti-tank missiles. While not admitting that lack of guerrilla training was a factor in its shortcomings, the Israeli military is planning to restart the program, according to the current issue of the soldiers' weekly, Bamahaneh.

The Israeli military closed down its guerrilla warfare training facility at the Elyakim base in Israel's north after Israeli forces pulled out of Lebanon in 2000, following an 18-year guerrilla war against Hezbollah.

The military has been harshly criticized for the way it handled the latest fighting in Lebanon, and many soldiers, especially reservists, complained their equipment and training were inadequate.

Soldiers will learn camouflage techniques, navigation by GPS satellite systems, construction of hidden outposts and other skills, Bamahaneh said, and they will test their newly won abilities in paintball maneuvers...
Not sure why the use of paintball. While I have not been part of an urban training program for 7 years, I was impressed with the then state of art simunitions - especially the colored ones that could quickly identify fratricide incidents. You also got a significant reduction in "John Wayne" tactics than you did with MILES - simunitions at least hurt a bit when you got hit.

On Edit: I am assuming the AP actually means paintballs rather than labeling whatever the IDF may be using as such...
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