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Old 07-12-2006   #1
SWJED
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Default Israel - Lebanon

On today's events...
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Old 07-14-2006   #2
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Default Middle East News for 14 July

SWJ Daily News Links for 14 July on Israel, Palestinians, Syria and Iran...

Go there for links to:
  • IDF Foils Infiltration Attempt on Northern Border - Jerusalem Post
  • Barrage of Katyushas Hits Bar'am - Jerusalem Post
  • Israel Blockades Lebanon; Wide Strikes by Hezbollah - New York Times
  • Israel Steps Up Attacks in Lebanon; Rockets Hit Haifa - Washington Post
  • Israel Moves to Seal Off Lebanon - Washington Times
  • Israel Blocks Lebanese Coast - Los Angeles Times
  • Beirut Airport Blasted by Israeli Fighter Jets - The Australian
  • Israeli Forces Bombard Lebanon - London Daily Telegraph
  • Two Sides - One War - London Times
  • Israel Escalates Military Campaign Against Lebanon - Voice of America
  • Hezbollah Rains 120 Rockets on Israel - New York Times
  • Attacks Could Erode Faction's Support - Washington Post
  • Israel Intensifies Attacks Against Lebanon - Associated Press
  • Israel Tightens Lebanon Blockade - Reuters
  • Israel Bombs Hamas Offices in Gaza - Reuters
  • Israel Hits Beirut Airport Again - Reuters
  • Lebanese Told to Flee Militant Stronghold - The Australian
  • Our Aim is to Win - Nothing is Safe, Israeli Chiefs Declare - London Times
  • Violence Opens Old Wounds From Lebanon’s Past - New York Times
  • Escalation Ripples Through Middle East - Christian Science Monitor
  • Iran, Syria Called 'Playing with Fire' - Washington Times
  • Ahmadinejad Warns Against Syria Strike - Associated Press
  • Despite Hezbollah's Ties to Iran and Syria, It Also Acts Alone - LA Times
  • Bush Gives Qualified Support for Israel’s Strikes - New York Times
  • U.S. Urges Restraint By Israel - Washington Post
  • Bush Defends Israeli Attacks in Lebanon - Associated Press
  • Bush Asks Israel Not to Disrupt Beirut - Washington Times
  • U.S. Vetoes U.N. Resolution on Israeli Offensive in Gaza - Voice of America
  • U.S. Vetoes U.N. Condemnation of Israel - Associated Press
  • U.N. Security Council Calls Urgent Meeting on Mideast - Voice of America
  • Olmert's Political Fate Tied to Israeli Military Campaigns - Los Angeles Times
  • The Risks of Israel's Two-Front War - Time Magazine
  • Iran & Syria: States of Terror - Wall Street Journal Editorial
  • The State of Lebanon - London Daily Telegraph Editorial
  • The Mideast Erupts - Washington Post Editorial
  • Israel's Risky Response - Los Angeles Times Editorial
  • Dogs of War Out Again - Miami Herald Editorial
  • War on Israel: Iran's Dirty Hands - New York Post Editorial
  • Voices of Peace Muffled by Rising Mideast Strife - New York Times Analysis
  • Leader who Lacks Military Pedigree - London Times Analysis
  • Necessary Steps for Israel - Washington Post Commentary
  • Utter End of Peace Process - The Australian Commentary
  • Israel’s Invasion, Syria’s War - New York Times Commentary
  • Heartland in Greatest Danger Since 1948 - The Australian Commentary
  • Crisis is an Iranian Smoke Screen - London Daily Telegraph Commentary
  • Patrons of Terror Forcing the Issue - The Australian Commentary
  • Behind the Crisis, A Push Toward War - Washington Post Commentary
  • Middle East's Symbolic Slugfest - Los Angeles Times Commentary
  • The Same War - National Review Commentary
  • Israel's Existence at Stake - Real Clear Politics Commentary
  • Hitting Gaza, Lebanon Targets Simply Self-Defense - Miami Herald Commentary
  • The Guns of July - Adventures of Chester Blog
  • The Guns of July Part 2 - Adventures of Chester Blog
  • The Veto, Fajers and the Road to... - Belmont Club Blog
  • Something Old, Something New (Bolton's Statement) - Belmont Club Blog
  • When You Lose The Wahhabis... - Captain's Quarters Blog
  • Haifa Hit As Hezbollah Wants Iranian Escalation - Captain's Quarters Blog
  • The Middle East, Where To? - Iraq the Model Blog
  • Iranian Manufactured Missiles Launched at Haifa - Counterterrorism Blog
  • CT Blog Experts' Posts on Lebanon and Hezbollah - Counterterrorism Blog
  • It Already Is a Regional Conflict, Mr. Abbas - Threats Watch Blog
  • Middle East Full News Coverage - Vital Perspective Blog
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Old 07-15-2006   #3
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Default Israel: Iran Aided Hezbollah Ship Attack

15 July Associated Press - Israel: Iran Aided Hezbollah Ship Attack.

Quote:
A missile fired by Hezbollah, not an unmanned drone laden with explosives, damaged an Israeli warship off Lebanon, the army said Saturday. Elite Iranian troops helped fire the missile, a senior Israeli intelligence official said.

One sailor was killed and three were missing.

The intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information, said about 100 Iranian soldiers are in Lebanon and helped fire the Iranian-made, radar-guided C-102 at the ship late Friday.

The official added that the troops involved in firing the missile are from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, an elite corps of more than 200,000 fighters that is independent of the regular armed forces and controlled directly by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Initial information indicated the guerrillas had used a drone for the first time to attack Israeli forces. But the army's investigation showed that Hezbollah had fired an Iranian-made missile at the vessel from the shores of Lebanon, said Brig. Gen. Ido Nehushtan.

"We can confirm that it was hit by an Iranian-made missile launched by Hezbollah. We see this as very profound fingerprint of Iranian involvement in Hezbollah," Nehushtan said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Another Hezbollah missile also hit and sank a nearby merchant ship at around the same time, Nehushtan said. He said that ship apparently was Egyptian, but had no other information...
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Old 07-20-2006   #4
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Default Israeli Arms Overpower Hezbollah

20 July Washington Times - Israeli Arms Overpower Hezbollah by Rowan Scarborough.

Quote:
The ongoing exchange of armaments between Israel and Hezbollah is a mismatch in terms of firepower. Israeli pilots are using precision satellite guidance to unleash 500-pound munitions, while the Lebanese terrorist group relies on less accurate rockets, most with smaller warheads.

Israel dominates the airspace over Lebanon, and uses satellite and spy drone imagery to locate targets. Hezbollah is without an air force and owns only a few drones. Hezbollah rocketeers simply calibrate the distance to Israeli cities and then launch in hopes of hitting a populated neighborhood.

Lebanon yesterday pegged the death toll from Israeli air strikes at 310; Israel says 28 of its citizens have been killed by rocket attacks. It says it has destroyed 50 percent of the enemy's military structure.

Robert Maginnis, a former Army artillery officer, said Hezbollah's rockets, if launched successfully, usually can hit a target within a one-mile diameter.

"They aren't accurate enough to hit a building, but you fire them at a small town or village and they are probably going to hit something inside that small town or village. They could go after a police station or hospital, and they might hit one or the other."

Hezbollah is estimated to have a rocket force of more than 13,000, from which it periodically has fired on northern Israeli towns during the past 20 years. This time, the attacks come in waves, with nearly 1,000 launched since July 12.

Hezbollah's arsenal features a hodgepodge of old and newer surface-to-surface rockets, most made in Iran and Syria, with ranges from 10 miles to as far as 200 miles. They include the family of Soviet-designed Katyushas; the Fajr-3 and -5 based on the Katyusha; the Zelzal-2, which can carry up to 300 pounds of explosives and travel more than 100 miles; and the Shahin, which can fly various distances.

They launch them from vehicles, and this shoot-and-run tactic makes it more difficult to track the launch site with counter-battery radars.

"The rocket damage is more psychological," Mr. Maginnis said. "You've seen the damage that has been done. Occasionally, they hit a building. They have killed some people. They want to instill fear."

Mr. Maginnis doubts Israel can destroy Hezbollah's military from the air. He recalled the examination of the Kosovo battlefield after the U.S.-led air war against Serbian army troops. It showed that NATO's claims of knocking out hundreds of weapons were not substantiated.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah can hide its rocket, mortar and small-arms arsenal in residential areas that are not on the Israeli air force target list....
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Old 07-20-2006   #5
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From HRW: Lebanon: Hezbollah Rocket Attacks on Haifa Designed to Kill Civilians
Quote:
Hezbollah's attacks in Israel on Sunday and Monday were at best indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas, at worst the deliberate targeting of civilians. Either way, they were serious violations of international humanitarian law and probable war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today.

In addition, the warheads used suggest a desire to maximize harm to civilians. Some of the rockets launched against Haifa over the past two days contained hundreds of metal ball bearings that are of limited use against military targets but cause great harm to civilians and civilian property. The ball bearings lodge in the body and cause serious harm...
Israel Must Provide Safe Passage to Relief Convoys
Quote:
According to news reports, eyewitnesses and official Lebanese sources, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have struck several supply trucks entering Lebanon over the last two days.

In one incident on Monday, Israeli missiles struck a convoy of trucks from the United Arab Emirates near the town of Zahleh as it approached Beirut from Syria, damaging or destroying three of the trucks, as well as four passenger vehicles. Washington Post and Agence France-Press reporters at the scene wrote that the trucks contained supplies of medicines, vegetable oil, sugar and rice. The Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates (UAE RC) said in a statement that the convoy contained medical supplies and medicines, as well as several ambulances...
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Old 07-20-2006   #6
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CSIS, 15 July: Iran's Support of the Hezbollah in Lebanon
Quote:
...AP says that an Israeli intelligence official (Brig. Gen. Ido Nehushtan?)said that about 100 Iranian soldiers are in Lebanon and helped fire the Iranianmade, radar-guided C-802 at the Israeli ship late Friday, and that the Iranian forces were from the IRGC, a force controlled by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Nehushtan is quoted as saying that "We can confirm that it was hit by an Iranian-made missile launched by Hezbollah. We see this as very profound fingerprint of Iranian involvement in Hezbollah." The strike is also important because the Israeli ship is one of Israel's most modern missile ships. It carries Harpoon and Gabriel missiles, and has one of Israel's most advanced systems for detecting and electronically jamming attacking missiles. Israel states, however, that the ship's missile detection and deflection system was not operating, apparently because the sailors did not anticipate such an attack...
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Old 07-20-2006   #7
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I am no expert in navel systems but shouldn’t that missile have done a lot more damage? If that was a C-802 it was very big warhead on a small frigate. It seems like it would have be a near catastrophic hit.
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Old 07-21-2006   #8
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Default Israel - Lebanon: Attrition Phase

21 July Washington Times - Inside the Ring by Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough.

Quote:
...We asked a former Navy combat pilot to assess the Israeli air force's war against Hezbollah. He told us:

"I'm reminded of the 1982 war with Syria. I was sitting off the coast of Lebanon on the USS Independence. Every day there would be headlines about how the Syrians had shot down another Israeli aircraft. A close look at the news clips showed that they had actually shot down a UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle]/drone — not an Israeli aircraft. This was, in fact, an Israeli tactic. They knew how many SAMs [surface-to-air missiles] Syria had and were counting down the attrition rate. They denied Syria any Soviet resupply of those SAM assets. When Israel had determined that Syria had expended their inventory of SAMs, they launched a tremendous air strike against Syria, which resulted in a victory within about 48 hours.

"So, today, I think the war of attrition is still the plan. Israel really wants the current government of Lebanon to succeed, but know they don't have the wherewithal to accomplish it without getting rid of Hezbollah and ensuring that Hezbollah cannot be resupplied by Iran or Syria.

"Ergo, the bombing/cratering of the runways at Beirut international airport — these Israelis are not dumb — a careful review of their bombing will show you that they carefully, with precision, cratered the runways at intersections so that no runways could be used. The road to Damascus was cratered so that no supplies could be brought in.

"Israel knows within a dozen or so how many Katyushka missiles Hezbollah has [and their inaccuracy] and how many other Iran-supplied longer range missiles that could hit Tel Aviv. I suspect they're waiting this attrition out and will then make an effort to destroy Hezbollah. I also won't be surprised when Israel air forces pass unmolested through Iraq airspace [controlled by the U.S.] on their way to and from Iran." ...
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Old 07-21-2006   #9
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Default Fundamental flaws . . . .

This articles makes the usual (and understandable) error of assuming that national policy is driven by a single coherent rationale, with a single coherent goal.

In fact, Israeli policy (like any nation) is drawn up by a contentious procedure of consensus, consultation, backstabbing and suspicion (the same mix that drives every country).

Different actors within the Israeli government (and in Israeli society more generally) have different goals for military action and therefore advocate slightly different actions.

Presently, there is a rare moment of convergence in which most Israelis support fighting Hezbollah. However, it's ludicrous to think that they all support the same kind of fighting for the same reasons. No doubt some Israeli policy makers want to see a reoccupation of Southern Lebanon (even if they don't think the public will support it), others might be backing airstrikes on the understanding (tacit or explicit) that they are a mere prelude to negotiations with Hezbollah. Some may even believe that the current campaign will actually result in Hezbollah's destruction, or the erosion of their morale. Not all of these actors are military men. Even the ones who are may not be particularly good strategists. There's plenty of room for mistakes, misperceptions, personal ambition and wishful thinking in every government.

I think that far too often strategy is something we apply after the fact. Whoever happened to be advocating the right one in his memos is deemed a military genius by the historians and everyone else is sort of ignored or derided. In fact, it would appear that strategy is a process of trial and error (especially error) wherein one side or the other actually wins.

Personally, I believe the Israelis are conducting their strategy based around an appraisal (accurate or not) of the political limits surrounding their use of force. The government's blitzlike attacks in Gaza and Lebanon would seem to indicate a fear that a ceasefire will occur before they can inflict militarily significant damage on their opponents. Given muted Arab criticism (and outright, although unacknowledged, US approval), Israeli decision makers may have re-appraised the true extent to which they may conduct military action. That being the case, they're revising their plans on the fly.
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Old 07-21-2006   #10
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Default One more thought. . .

Military operations of any size call for massive, intense planning in order to line up intelligence, forces and supplies in a coordinated fashion. This planning usually takes quite a long time to accomplish (on the scale of weeks). Israeli planners have probably drawn up several plans for use against Hezbollah. Top decision makers probably chose the one that best fit their limitations and resources rather than deliberately crafting their strategy for this exact moment. This whole operation probably combines off the cuff improvisation, an old plan, and the most recent intelligence updates into a strategic mish mash that suits most of the participants. Even then, there will be mistakes in the execution of this plan. Finally, Hezbollah has a seat at this table and can (through its actions) dictate Israeli operations to a degree. As such, speculation about the exact motivation for any given target, bombing or whatever is completely pointless without full access to the records of both sides and a thorough analysis only available after the fact.
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Old 07-22-2006   #11
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Default SWJ Library: Israel in Lebanon

Here are the references contained in the Lebanon section of the SWJ Library on IDF operations in Lebanon...

The Vulture and The Snake Counter-Guerrilla Air Warfare: The War in Southern Lebanon - Shmuel Gordon. Mideast Security and Policy Studies, No. 39, July 1998. In recent years there has been a growing interest in counter-guerrilla warfare, taking an ever more important place alongside the preparation for High Intensity Conflicts (HIC), though little theoretical discussion of the subject has taken place. Guerrilla strategy and tactics, however, have been thoroughly studied in all their aspects in the writings of Clausewitz, Lenin, Mao Tse-tung, Lawrence, Che Guevara, Giap and Debray. Guerrilla warfare encompasses much beyond the purely military, and so does the struggle against it. This struggle integrates political activity, economic and social policy, ideological and religious confrontation, psychological warfare, the competition for public opinion and for the media. Thus, the results of a struggle between a state and a guerrilla movement are not necessarily decided on the battlefield. However, it is very important to address the military aspect of counter-guerrilla warfare, since, while military victories do not necessarily end the overall conflict, military failures in the struggle against guerrillas are conducive to a guerrilla victory. The major part of the literature in this field concentrates on guerrilla warfare, while, strangely, despite the fact that intellectual centers and think-tanks are largely located in countries that have to fight guerrillas, the literature that addresses counter-guerrilla warfare is quite limited.

“Just War” Case Study: Israeli Invasion Of Lebanon - Major Christopher Arantz, USMC. US Marine Corps Command and Staff College thesis, 2002. This essay examines Israel’s overall reasons for invasion of southern Lebanon, and compares them to just war theory’s war-decision law and war-conduct law. This examination will establish that Israel achieved her objectives before war termination, which lead to some unjust actions. Between 1948 and 1982 Israel had engaged in conventional combat four times against Arab coalition forces. In all cases, Israel fought for survival of its state and established a military dominance in the region. In the years leading up to 1982, the Israeli government sought ways to eliminate security problems in its occupied territory and across its border with southern Lebanon. Israel defined its security problems as terrorist excursions that threatened the security of its people and property in northern Israel. This paper will examine Israeli conduct of deciding to go to war and their conduct of war in relation to just war theory. Three areas will be examined; 1) Did Israel have a just cause, use a legitimate authority and the right intention for invading Lebanon as in accordance with Jus ad Bellum? 2) Did Israel conduct the conflict in accordance with Jus in Bello? 3) What are the long-term ramifications for the region since the invasion?

The Israeli Experience in Lebanon, 1982-1985 - Major George Solley, USMC. US Marine Corps Command and Staff College research paper, 1987. On 6 June 1982, the armed forces of Israel invaded Lebanon in a campaign which, although initially perceived as limited in purpose, scope, and duration, would become the longest and most controversial military action in Israel's history. Operation Peace for Galilee was launched to meet five national strategy goals: (1) eliminate the PLO threat to Israel's northern border; (2) destroy the PLO infrastructure in Lebanon; (3) remove Syrian military presence in the Bekaa Valley and reduce its influence in Lebanon; (4) create a stable Lebanese government; and (5) therefore strengthen Israel's position in the West Bank. This study examines Israel's experience in Lebanon from the growth of a significant PLO threat during the 1970's to the present, concentrating on the events from the initial Israeli invasion in June 1982 to the completion of the withdrawal in June 1985. In doing so, the study pays particular attention to three aspects of the war: military operations, strategic goals, and overall results.

Urban Warfare Study: City Case Studies Compilation - Marine Corps Intelligence Activity study, 1999. In 1997, in light of the probability of future operations in urban environments, the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA) was tasked to provide a preliminary assessment of urban warfare lessons learned in support of the CSEEA Joint Wargame. Three scenarios across the spectrum of conflict from mid- to low-intensity were chosen to represent urban operations. The lessons are drawn from Russian operations in Chechnya, Israeli operations in Lebanon and British operations in Northern Ireland. This study presents strategic, operational, tactical and technical lessons learned from each of those operations.

Attack Helicopters in Lebanon, 1982 - Dr. George Gawrych. US Army Command and General Staff College Press article, 1992. While the Vietnam War saw the evolution of the helicopter from a troop transport and medical evacuation vehicle to a close air support weapon, Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon witnessed the emergence of attack helicopters as tank killers. In the 1973 Middle East War, the Israelis employed helicopters primarily to transport ground troops, evacuate casualties, and resupply combat units. By 1982, however, both the Israelis and the Syrians had purchased attack helicopters and were developing their own particular doctrines for their employment.
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Old 07-24-2006   #12
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I can vouch for two of the authors, George Gawrych who team taught Mid East military history with me at CGSC and George Solley who was an OGL UNMO with me in 1987.

I would also say look at Depuy's book on Lebanon and some of the more juornalistic accounts.

Best
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Old 07-29-2006   #13
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Default Israel in Lebanon: How Long and With What Force?

29 July Washington Times commentary - Notes on a War by Paul Greenberg.

Quote:
... With no desire to occupy the south of Lebanon again, and no clear alternative in sight to Hezbollah's rule there, the Israelis might have preferred to conduct a guerrilla war, striking and withdrawing, much like the one Hezbollah has been waging against them.

But such a war could go on approximately forever. Now the Israelis are talking vaguely about establishing a "security zone" in the south of Lebanon. It once was called a "buffer zone" when the Israelis occupied southern Lebanon for a long, draining 18 years. But with Hezbollah's rockets now raining on Israelis, that long ordeal begins to look like a peaceful idyll, and Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon six years ago a big mistake. For Hezbollah has had six years to prepare for this war.

There are no good choices in this conflict, and the Israelis keep trying different strategies. No single one has yet jelled.

Early on, the Israelis seemed to suffer from a modern delusion: that modern weapons have rendered infantry obsolete, and all objectives can be achieved at a safe distance -- by air power, by naval guns and embargoes, by artillery short- and long-range, maybe even by diplomacy.

Call it the Rumsfeld Doctrine, and the Israelis may have fallen prey to it. Slowly they have had to face the obdurate truth that in the end some grunt -- indeed, many grunts -- must actually close with the enemy to win a war. But even now they're thinking in terms of brigades, not divisions -- as if this were a border incident and not the wider war it is. It's one thing to prepare the battleground for the infantry to advance, quite a futile other to believe just tearing up the land can substitute for seizing and holding it.

In a war like this, possession is ten-tenths of victory. That's an old if bloody principle, but not an outmoded, one. And it finally seems to have dawned on the Israeli commanders who, like an American general named Ulysses S. Grant, now propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer...
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Old 07-30-2006   #14
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I suspect that the Israelis aren't really sure what to do next. Sure they can push Hezbollah back and seriously damage their infrastructure but then what? Occupation has not worked out for them. A lot of people are complaining that Israel is holding back because of some political correctness or fear of what the left wing says or something. That doesn't seem terribly plausible to me. I suspect that Hezbollah is trying to goad Israel into a large scale invasion of Lebenon in order to possibly spark a larger conflict between Israel and any number of Arab nations. Of course Israel can beat any or even all of the Arab countries but wars are costly, even ones that you win. And there is still that pesky problem about what to do afterwords. Do you create a buffer zone? How? NATO will do a lot of hand wringing but won't help much. The UN will continue on the path of uselessness. We are are their staunchest ally but we are waist deep in Iraq and Afghanistan. Occupying the buffer zone themselves just adds to the cost. So what does a nation do in that situation?

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Old 08-23-2006   #15
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Default U.N. ROE for Lebanon

23 August Associated Press report - U.N. Drafts Rules for Force in Lebanon by Edith Lederer.

Quote:
Proposed rules of engagement for an expanded U.N. force in southern Lebanon would allow troops to open fire in self-defense, protect civilians and back up the Lebanese army in preventing foreign forces or arms from crossing the border, according to a U.N. document obtained Tuesday.

The 20-page draft was circulated to potential troop-contributing countries last week by the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which is trying to get an additional 3,500 troops on the ground by the end of next week to strengthen the 2,000 overstretched U.N. peacekeepers already there.

The rules of engagement for the expanded force - obtained by The Associated Press - have held back some potential troop contributors because of concerns that their soldiers would be required to disarm Hezbollah, which has controlled southern Lebanon.

Some countries have also been concerned that the rules would be overly restrictive, all but preventing commanders from making quick decisions - including using force if needed...
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Old 12-22-2006   #16
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Default Lebanon at a Tripwire

ICG, 21 Dec 06: Lebanon at a Tripwire
Quote:
Lebanon has badly lost its balance and is at risk of new collapse, moving ever closer to explosive Sunni-Shiite polarisation with a divided, debilitated Christian community in between. The fragile political and sectarian equilibrium established since the end of its bloody civil war in 1990 was never a panacea and came at heavy cost. It depended on Western and Israeli acquiescence in Syria’s tutelage and a domestic system that hindered urgently needed internal reforms, and change was long overdue. But the upsetting of the old equilibrium, due in no small part to a tug-of-war by outsiders over its future, has been chaotic and deeply divisive, pitting one half of the country against the other. Both Lebanon’s own politicians and outside players need to recognise the enormous risks of a zero-sum struggle and seek compromises before it is too late...
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Old 01-25-2007   #17
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Default Lebanon Confronts A Fierce Adversary

From CBC.ca

Quote:
Militants fight Lebanese troops outside refugee camp
Last Updated: Thursday, January 25, 2007 | 5:10 AM ET
The Associated Press

Islamic militants on Thursday fired mortars and rocket-propelled grenades at Lebanese troops as they deployed outside a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon, forcing hundreds of civilians to flee, security officials said.

The soldiers fired back at the Jund al-Sham militants in an exchange that lasted about 10 minutes outside the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp near the southern port of Sidon, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

There was no immediate word of casualties.

It was not clear why the Jund al-Sham, an extremist Muslim group, opened fire. Two weeks ago, there was a similar exchange between members of Jund al-Sham and the national army near Ein el-Hilweh in which two soldiers were wounded.
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Old 02-01-2007   #18
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Another one of those cheat sheets from CNC.ca. This one has a nice timeline in it.

Quote:
In Depth
Lebanon
Timeline
Last Updated January 30, 2007
CBC News

Lebanon has been the home of civilized cultures for nearly 5,000 years. Phoenicians, originally from Babylon, settled on a narrow strip of land on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean in 2700 BC, and established city-kingdoms in what are now Tripoli, Sidon and Beirut.

The region has been the territory of the Phoenicians, the Assyrians, Persians, the Roman Empire, Arabs, Egyptians, the Ottoman Empire and France, before gaining independence in 1943. As a result, Lebanese culture is rich with influences from them all.

From its independence to the start of the civil war in 1975, Lebanon was the wealthiest country in the region and was held up as an example of co-operation between different cultures and religions. Beirut was sometimes called the "Paris of the Middle East."

More...
Marc
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Old 03-01-2007   #19
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...a good backgrounder from USIP: On the Issues: Lebanon
Quote:
Lebanon's internal politics can be baffling to outsiders, even as fresh rounds of assassinations and demonstrations continue to make international headlines. But understanding Lebanon is essential if we are to make sense of the broader region, says Institute Senior Program Officer Patricia Karam. "Lebanon is the barometer of the Middle East," she says. "It has always reflected regional tensions and drawn in outside powers." To help unravel Lebanon's complexities, USIP talked with Karam about the country's past and its prospects for the future. What emerges is a portrait of a nation riven by deep internal cleavages and surrounded by powerful neighbors, a country at the epicenter of ever-shifting geo-political forces, where the hard, precarious work of peace can be upset by sudden, unpredictable tremors....
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Old 03-02-2007   #20
Tom Odom
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: DeRidder LA
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Default UNIFIL Page

Here is another good source

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon

It offers access to the UN research library with mission reports and maps. I just used the mission reports from my time in Lebanon for a paper I am working.

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Tom
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