Israel's tacticial situation

Israel has been armed, trained, and funded by the US for decades now, and have developed technologies and intelligence that the US may not even possess or be aware of. Just like US military strength is impossible to overstate, so is Israel, at least for the region.

Assuming that Iran is not able to project across Iraq to get to Israel, and that external diplomatic pressure has no effect, isn’t a full open Mideast war basically owned by Israel for as long as Israel feels like kicking ass? History seems to have shown this to be the case, and I can’t see where the situation would have changed. Maybe this is a GQ but I expect political noise on this thread.

Yeah, owned, I should think.

Iz ain’t going to pussyfoot around. The will blow the hell out of anything that comes near their borders, and they’ve got the airpower and missles to do it. They would probably counterstrike on Iranian infrastructure immediately if an invasion was imminent.

Didn’t they do exactly that, not long ago? Something about a proto-nuclear facility or enrichment plant?

I find it hilarious that the Lebanese gov’t is now willing to crack down on Hezollah… really, guys? No shit?

Israel has shown that it can take just about all of its neighbors in a direct conflict in the past, and I actually think the military/technological discrepancy between Israel and its enemies has probably widened since then.

I don’t think anyone is worried about Israel not being able to defend themselves. Worst case scenario they do have nuclear weapons. However, that’s not, imo, what worries Israel. They know they can defeat their opponents militarily, I think their opponents probably know this as well. What Israel can’t do, however, is avoid devastating attacks from terrorist/revolutionary/militia groups that might increase drastically as a result of widespread military action on the behalf of Israel. Because as much as Israel “wins” on the battlefield, unless they kill every last one of the people in the region who is willing to strap explosives to themselves they are still going to have serious problems arise from all of this.

Unfortunately the Lebanese gov’t doesn’t really have the power to crack down on Hezbollah.

Agreed, and that is why neither Syria or Iran as yet has done anything to commit their own militaries to a wider conflict, other than issue blustering statements of belligerence. Likewise, AFAIK Israel’s options for escalation are pretty much limited to airborne strikes on Syria and/or Iran. Israel does not, in my opinion, have any chance of occupying and holding populated territory outside its immediate area. That being the case, a full-on war with either of these countries will merely result in a lot of dead civilians and infrastructure damage, with no resolution other than to buy a few more years until the next attempted assault on Israeli territory.

I’ve seen at least one opinion in a related thread that the latest round of violence will end with an Israeli neclear strike on Syria or Iran, but I have to consider this a highly remote possibility unless Israel undergoes direct attack from either country, and then only if they use unconventional (most likely chemical) weapons. The main thing I’m worried about, speaking strictly as a US citizen, is that the US is going to end up dragged into this fight due to the huge number of its troops currently stationed near Syria and Iran.

Actually if Syria were to get involved militarily Syria would quickly find itself with a wrecked military similar to Saddam’s after the Persian Gulf War.

Kind of my point. And frankly, either Hezbollah is a radical terrorist organization that controls part of their country, which makes it their responsibility, or it’s a legitimate political party and part of the Lebanese government, which also makes it their responsibility.

Israel has an extremely capable military. I have no doubt they can achieve whatever military ends they have in mind. But I find it ironic that in oder to defeat those who want to see Israel wiped off the map, Israel would have to wipe those same enemies off the map…

How is that ironic? It’s what you’d expect between intractable enemies.

The Muslim leaders in the area are fond of rhetoric that talks about the glories of the past, while ignoring that were it those times, Israeli would simply invade, put the native population to the sword and then expand into their brand-new territory.

I have a good idea… How about instead of wringing its hands over Israel, the world community actually do something about the aggressors in this conflict? It really annoys me that this situation is always responded to only in terms of Israel’s retaliation against attacks, and whether Israel is showing the proper amount of ‘restraint’.

Everyone knows there is a proxy war going on between Israel and Syria and Iran. Why not crack down on them? How about the U.N. issuing condemnations of those countries, and how about economic sanctions against both of them of increasing severity? How about the world telling the Palestinians that unless they accept the last best deal they were offered, aid will be cut off and Israel’s new borders will be recognized by the world?

The root problem here is obstinacy and hatred on the part of Israel’s neighbors. Any ‘solution’ that doesn’t involve cracking down on them is no solution at all. The only way Israel can solve this problem by itself is to cease to exist.

Or by making the trouble-makers cease to exist, which is a slightly bigger task. Here’s hoping they are successful at it.

Of course, they’re doing it because it is the righteous, morally accurate thing to do. The whole ‘annihilation of our country’ thing just happened to coincide with their policy change.

Then I’m mighty curious how they plan to carry out this claim.

I think they’d need help, either from the international community, Syria, or Israel.

Not sure which of those is the most likely, nor do I know if any of them are even remotely so.

Hear hear, Sam Stone.

May I share this with you all?:

Let us be very clear, this is not a conflict over borders, not about 1967 or 1948. This is about enemies who have one purpose in mind, a Middle East that is Judenrein, free of Jews.

For years, the critics of Israel opined that when Israel pulls out of Lebanon and Gaza, when it allows the Palestinians to write their history, to define their own destiny, when they are empowered to rebuild their own economy, then they will devote their energies to peace.

Well, Israel pulled out of Lebanon, after guarantees by the international community that the Lebanese government would exercise jurisdiction over its territory and control Hezbollah. But it didn’t and look what happened - an unprovoked terrorist attack and the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers.

In the South, Prime Minister Sharon withdrew from Gaza in a bold attempt to jumpstart the peace process. What was the Palestinian response? They went to the polls and elected Hamas, a terrorist government whose undisputed leader Khaled Meshaal lives in Damascus. Almost immediately, Hamas began firing more then 1,000 rockets at the city of Sderot which is not disputed territory, but an uncontested part of Israel.

Day after day, month after month, the rockets fell, but the world watched and did nothing. Hamas felt emboldened and dug a tunnel into Israel, kidnapping Corporal Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier and holding him hostage, but again, the world took no concrete action.

However, as soon as Israel acted in defense of her citizens, as any other country would, the criticisms began. A disproportionate response, a form of collective punishment, the sonic booms over Gaza are scarring the Palestinian children. Then following a predictable pattern comes the threat of yet another UN Security Council resolution, placing the majority of the blame at Israel’s doorstep.

For more than 50 years, this has been the principal failure of the UN’s Middle East diplomacy. There is never a price to pay for those who initiate terrorism. It is only those who respond to terrorism that face international condemnation. The time has come for the United Nations to finally recognize that there is no difference between Al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah. These are the same terrorists, cut from the same cloth, with the same objective of destroying the infidels and bringing down Western Civilization.

One final comment – in a conflict, there is always unwanted collateral damage. When the allies responded to Nazi terror, there was no electricity and heat, there were food shortages and long lines in German cities, but the Allies were engaged in a life struggle against evil, and that is the price the German people had to pay for cheering, supporting and glorifying their Fuehrer.

The State of Israel did not want this conflict, the terrorists did. And those who idolize them, protect them and support them, have no one but themselves to blame for the current disaster.

Today is a public fast day, the 17th day of Tammuz, commemorating the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. Behind me is the remembrance wall with the carved names of the cities and towns destroyed by the Nazis during the Holocaust and beside us stands a modern menorah, which symbolizes the State of Israel. To Hamas & Hezbollah, we say this, ‘Long after you have been defeated, the people of Israel will live on from generation to generation.’

.

Well, Israel is certainly doing it’s part… :wink:

Let’s bring this back to claims of the op. Where do each of the regional actors sit?

Israel-
Under Olmert wants to implement disengagement. Has no interest in having power outside of Israel and a few of the settlements. Has no real hope for peace but wants to withdraw behind a Big Fence and let the rest of the ME go f itself. But he wants that fence respected, because while a fence can keep out the casual crazy, state sponsored efforts it cannot. For that you need it known that the fence is backed up by a big stick and that Israel is not going to be afraid to use it. Would love to have the big states around see a self-interest in policing their own, rather than feeling that they can hide behind the fact that the actual attacks are carried out by non-governmental actors.
Also on the horizon- a nuclear capable Iran controlled by zealots crazy enough to use it, either directly or by supplying Hizbollah with enough to make dirty bombs. Would love to be able to take out that capacity if it can.

Lebanon- has allowed, by popular fiat, Hizbollah to be the proxy military in an ongoing border skirmish with Israel, and they percieve, a deterrence. Hizbollah is more the military for Lebanon than any governmental force has been. The problem being of course that Hizbollah is more influenced by governments outside of Lebanon than of the country and serves as a conduit for those outside interests. Factions within Lebanon have different opinions about the current circumstances, some are proud of the defiance against Israel but, according to news sources, some feel that Hizbollah’s deterrence effect is proven to be worse than illusory.

Syria- would love to be able to be in control, but enjoys being able fight its fights through proxies. Would probably love to see this simmer down and find a way to satisfy Israel more than provoking her into direct conflict, but needs to save face in the process. Are they worried about Iran’s increasingly becoming the powerhouse?

Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, etc … all are more concerned about Iran’s power (and perhaps Syria’s) and about the homegrown rebellions than anything else. The advantage of an Israeli strawman has long been outweighed by fundamentalist sword being swung back at them too.

And then there is Iran … soon to have nuclear capability. Hard to take that out by air. Israel would have to both go through Syria and go through Iraq to get to her by land. And even by air would go through Iraqi airspace. Iran which was always offset by Iraq but is increasingly instead in positiion to control it after the US leaves. Can act like that Frenchman in the Tower in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It farts in the general direction of the West and all who sympathize with it.

There is no full ME war that does not mean Iran being in the mix. Syria doesn’t want a fight that it has to actually take punches in. A full war means going through Iraq by land or by air and that would mean US forces getting in the way … but both the US and Israel may see the benefit of eliminating Iran’s nuclear capacity as being worth it. Providing that Iran is stupid enough to swing first.

Tactically, I think Israel would be satisfied with some humiliation of Syria and of Hizbollah, and having the other actors never mistake Israel’s willingness to disengage for fear or weakness in the future. But I think that they would not be too upset if they ended up being attacked by Iran in a way that justified hitting her real hard, hard enough to destroy a nuclear capacity. And I bet that there are operational plans to acomplish that goal ready to roll.

They can’t do that. It’s doubtful even the U.S. could.

This is a rather…interesting thread.
OK, some actual facts:

  • The Palestinians have been tactically stupid and strategically idiotic. Let’s get that out of the way at the start. Israel has played them like a violin, gradually encroaching on and taking the best land it can get its hands on and defend at a reasonable cost in the West Bank, while leaving the dregs and what it can’t defend at a reasonable cost to the Palestinians. The word for this is: conquest. Not self-defense; conquest. Conquered people tend to be hostile, regardless of how moronic their tactics are. Resistance goes with being a conqueror.

  • Hizbullah’s latest idiocy has most of the rest of Lebanon up in arms. However, thinking that any country, anywhere, will tolerate forever being bombed and blockaded all over the place because of a border skirmish is fantasy.

  • Israel, using the logic that Hizbullah is in the government so therefore whatever it does is official, a logic that no one else sees (except for its sycophants, of course) has decided to unilaterally declare war on Lebanon, by characterizing said skirmish as an act of war by Lebanon on Israel, rather than what it was, a single attack by Hizbullah on a border outpost. See this story:

The point of doing this is appears to be so that it can engage in its usual pattern of over-the-top overreaction. This pattern goes back at least 40 years; see

this editorial comment from the Guardian:

The current reaction to Hizbullah is not as disproportionate, but that’s not saying much. Blockading and bombing up and down Lebanon for something done at the border by a militia whose entire strength is concentrated in a contiguous area near that border is moronic and brutal in the extreme. Unlike 1968, it will also wind up being completely counterproductive. Even if Israel succeeds in destroying Hizbullah militarily, the idea that what they are doing to Lebanon now will not succeed in radicalizing another generation against them is, well, another fantasy.
BTW, the calls in this thread for the Lebanese government to disarm Hizbullah are laughable. What alternate universe do you lost souls reside in anyway? Israel tried and failed at that; what makes you think the vastly weaker Lebanese government could succeed where they failed?
As for the bluster about Israel taking out Iran’s nuclear program, more fantasy. Not going to happen. What will happen is that Iran will press ahead, now that it’s in an actual war with Israel via its Hizbullah ally, and we all may, at some point a few years down the line, be subjected to the spectacle of the world’s first nuclear exchange, courtesy of the two most trigger-happy governments on the planet.
What fun that’ll be.

Those are some rather… interesting facts.

Must dash, but I hope to be back later.