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Israel and Qana and "net wars"
Posted by: McQ on Monday, July 31, 2006

The inevitable has happened. Fighting an enemy who insists on locating itself in civilian areas, Israel has found itself in what can only be described as a situation looking for a place to happen. It has struck targets in the town of Qana in southern Lebanon and the result has been the death of 57 civilians, the majority of which were women and children.

Naturally the condemnation of the horrific event has been, swift, loud and strong.
"We scream out to the world community to stand united in the face of Israel's war criminals," Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said. "There is no place on this sad morning for any discussion other than an immediate and unconditional cease-fire and an international investigation into the Israeli massacres."

President Husni Mubarak of Egypt, a close U.S. ally, condemned the bombing as "irresponsible." King Abdullah of Jordan, another U.S. ally, called it "an ugly crime."
This is the price a nation pays when it fights an insurgent group which uses the civilian population as a shield. As is evidenced here in the pictures smuggled out of Lebanon by a photographer (and something everyone knows and should keep in mind) we see them in civilian clothes manning weaponry in civilian areas. That's why I call what happened in Qana inevitable. Make no mistake about it, Qana is a victory for Hezbollah. And it probably won't be the last one.

The 48 hour moratorium on air strikes in Lebanon should be enough for anyone not associated with Hezbollah and fearing for the safety of their family, to flee north. But many won't, for whatever reason (one of which concerns reports of Hezbollah manning road blocks and turning refugees back south). Hezbollah will continue to mix with them (it is an effective tactic they use — it's working in this instance) and will fan the flames of outrage again when a repeat of Qana happens. And it will.

Israel and the US are engaged in fighting the new face of war. I say "new" in a relative sense. On other levels, this sort of warfare has been raging in such places as Sri Lanka for years. And in reality, Israel has faced a version of it throughout its history.

But it has now taken another step in its evolution. "Net wars". And Hezbollah represents that latest evolution quite well. Given, the IDF is a terrific conventional army, as is the US army, but Hezbollah is a different sort of animal:
But Hezbollah, with the sophistication of a national army (it almost sank an Israeli warship with a cruise missile) and the lethal invisibility of a guerrilla army, is a hybrid. Old labels, and old planning, do not apply.
And that's the problem Not only do old labels not apply, old tactics don't work or at least not to the advantage of the attacker.
“We are now into the first great war between nations and networks,” said John Arquilla, a professor of defense analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School, and a leading analyst of net warfare. “This proves the growing strength of networks as a threat to American national security.”

In a talk that Mr. Arquilla calls Net Warfare 101, he describes how traditional militaries are organized in a strict hierarchy, from generals down to privates. In contrast, networks flatten the command structure. They are distributed, dispersed, agile, mobile, improvisational. This makes them effective, and hard to track and target.

A net war differs from all previous wars, which were about brute confrontation of forces, mass on mass — what Matthew Arnold called bloody contests of “ignorant armies” meeting on the “darkling plain.”

Net war is the battle of the many, organized in small units, against conventional militaries that organize their many into large units. These network forces are not ignorant. They are computer literate, propaganda and Internet savvy, and capable of firing complicated weapons to great effect.
As you know, I've been harping about the propaganda war and how I felt this sort of warfare, for various reasons, favored the networks over the conventional forces. It hearkens back to the old Bill Cosby skit I referenced before where he uses a sports official and a coin toss to demonstrate the differences between the American and British forces in the American revolution. He tells the American side to call the coin toss, the Americans win and the official then gives each side the rules (and I'm paraphrasing"), "Ok, American, you can dress in green, and hide behind trees. British? You have to dress in red and march down the middle of roads."

National armies must, of necessity, play the "British" to the network "Americans" in these fights, and the advantage is to those who aren't held by convention or humanitarian concerns. Convention and humanitarianism are weapons the networks use to their advantage against nations they're fighting. And, as Arquilla points out, "they are computer literate, propaganda and Internet savvy."

They are, and have been, winning the propaganda war in this fight. They are and have been turning world opinion against Israel. And effectively so.

Qana isn't any different than the UN outpost in which 4 UN observers were killed. Hezbollah purposely set up and attacked Israel in the outpost's shadow. Israel, in order to stop the attacks, had little choice but to attack the area from which Hezbollah was firing rockets. The resulting destruction of the outpost and the deaths, even with Hezbollah losses resulting as well, was a resounding propaganda victory for Hezbollah. So is Qana.
Hezbollah spent the last six years dispersing about 12,000 rockets across southern Lebanon in a vast web of hidden caches, all divided into local zones with independent command.

“They dug tunnels. They dug bunkers, they established communications systems — cellphones, radios, even runners to carry messages that aren’t susceptible to eavesdropping,” said one military officer with experience in the Middle East. “They divided southern Lebanon into military zones with many small units that operate independently, without the need for central control.”

To attack Israel, Hezbollah dispersed its fighters with no distinguishing markings or uniforms or vehicles. Fighters access the weapons only at the moment of attack, and then disappear. This makes preventing the attack all but impossible. It is a significant modernization of classic guerrilla hit-and-run tactics. Israel has been unable to significantly degrade the numbers of rockets because of this approach. Hezbollah fired more than 100 a day at the start of this conflict; they are still firing more than 100 a day, despite Israeli bombardment.
Watch this conflict closely. Study it. Understand it. It is the face of future warfare and nations must evolve tactics, techniques and abilities to counter and neutralize the advantage this sophisticated version of the "guerrilla" brings to the fight. His method it completely ruthless, calculated, amoral and pragmatic. He will do whatever it takes to win and is completely unconcerned with who is sacrificed to that end. He is savvy, well trained, and computer literate and also bent on winning the propaganda war as well (an advantage he exploits through the world wide communication network now in place). He will exploit any weakness and he will manipulate any situation to his advantage and to his foe's detriment.

To this point, no nation, Israel included, has developed the necessary tactics to counter this new guerrilla, and, as in Qana and with the UN outpost, it is beginning to show rather obviously.

So how do nations such as the US and Israel counteract this growing advantage for the non-state networks?

First by recognizing that non-state actors can't do this on their own. They are indeed usually proxies of other nations. This is never more obvious than in the case of Hezbollah. Just as obviously then, the supporters of the non-state actors must also be engaged at some level in any such "net war".
The fight against groups like Hezbollah requires a strategy for dealing with their sponsors. These networks, Hezbollah included, don’t float around in the ether like free electrons bumping into each other. They alight. They attach themselves to territory. In Afghanistan it was with the full support of the Taliban. In Pakistan, it’s an ungoverned space. In Lebanon, it’s a state within a state. Cut off state support, or eliminate the ability of the networks to survive in ungoverned areas, and they collapse on themselves.
Secondly, technology is changing the abilities and capabilities of non-state actors. We must find ways to counter them. When you have a faction such as Hezbollah capable of firing sophisticated weaponry, they've evolved far above the normal guerrilla group's mortar and RPG capability. And you can expect their capabilities to grow:
Also of great interest in the military threat of these networks is that some of the most significant technologies once held in near-monopoly control by the American military are now available at L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer and Sharper Image, among them high-quality night-vision goggles and global positioning devices.
We used to "own the night" with our night vision capability. Not anymore. And that goes for most of the rest of our technology which gave us an overwhelming conventional advantage. Just as importantly, we must find ways to counter their advantage in the propaganda war.

Third we have to develop a strategy which addresses fighting this particular evolving enemy:
Critical to the American response, military officers and academic experts say, is that the United States acknowledge that it takes a network to fight a network. American intelligence agencies and the military proved it can fight this kind of war, as it did in Afghanistan to rout Al Qaeda, when intelligence officers and small groups of Army Special Forces worked with local fighters to call in devastating air strikes and drive the Taliban from power.
I've been calling for a large expansion of Special Operations and our tactical intelligence capability for a while. Special Operators don't grow on trees, they're developed over years. We should be aggressively recruiting among the more elite of our regular units for Special Operations and we should be expanding our tactical intelligence capability along with it.

Last, but probably most critical:
No solution has been written. But it would include military force along with diplomacy, economic assistance, intelligence and information campaigns.

“Most critically, we have to get better at — it’s such a cliché — winning hearts and minds,” said a military officer working on counterinsurgency issues. “That is influencing neutral populations toward supporting us and not supporting our terrorist and insurgent enemies.”
The article is right ... no solution has been written. But rest assured any solution will indeed have to be a comprehensive solution within the areas noted. This is not a military problem. This is a problem which crosses many lines and into many areas and until we face that, take the steps necessary to address non-state networks in all those areas, Qana will be only one of many unfortunate events we'll be witness too in the future.
 
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There is one small logical WTF? in your concept here.

These idiots are using civillians as shields. The civillians know this. The rest of the world knows this. We all see the man behind the curtain.

How the f*** does that win them the hearts and minds? How? How can any populace willingly know that those who claim to fight for them are going to cause their deaths?

If there was a drug ring going on in my neighborhood, I wouldn’t put my children at risk. I’d alert the authorities and, barring that, move my family away (and if not allowed, I’d take the sob’s out myself).

I’m not sure this war is winnable because the populace involved doesn’t seem to be permeable to logic.

As far as Israel goes, she’s done for. The only way she can respond is brutal force. Wipe out entire cities, civillians and all. Take out every possible target regardless what the consequences are. Let the world know that if they harbor Israels’ enemies, they will die along with them. It’s not like anyone likes Israel anyway. The world opinion is that they should just drop off the face of the earth anyway so I don’t see why they care if Kofi and his ilk condemn them.

But they won’t. Like the US, they are ’above’ that approach and will commit suicide before lowering themselves to their enemies’ level of warfare. Networking ourselves isn’t going to make a whit of difference unless we’re willing to use the same tactics. In the old days, those who could use the most force won. Now, force has been replaced by depravity. The most depraved force wins as the more ’enlightend’ societies cannot bring themselves to perform such acts.

Depressing.
 
Written By: Robb Allen (Sharp as a Marble)
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
To this point, no nation, Israel included, has developed the necessary tactics to counter this new guerrilla
true, but why develop a new one when an old one will do? while nuclear holocaust may seem like a tactical misstep, it can be the best hand to play (if dispensed quickly). there needs to be the tacit understanding there is a (hopefully soon to be smited) population/culture that only understands ruthless aggression. their backs cannot easily be broken, and thusly this ’solution’ should not be easily dismissed. this option needs to be on the table, and the world needs to know it.

also, EU Referendum has a good wrap-up of some (admitedly good) hezbollah counter measures with staged photo-ops
 
Written By: window licker
URL: http://
How the f*** does that win them the hearts and minds? How? How can any populace willingly know that those who claim to fight for them are going to cause their deaths?
Their attitudes speak volumes about their beliefs -
1) do they hate Israel enough to take this risk?
2) are they convinced ’it won’t happen to us’ - wrt an F16 unloading within range of the physical space they occupy?
3) in support of (fill in your terrorist group name here - fiytgnh) because they have built schools, medical treatment facilities, soup kitchens, without thinking what that translates to when (fiytgnh) starts taking offensive action against the ’enemy’.

How much of it is 2 & 3?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
He is savvy, well trained, and computer literate and also bent on winning the propaganda war as well (an advantage he exploits through the world wide communication network now in place).
This is the key point as far as I am concerned. Without a solution to the propaganda problem, I believe that all the other "solutions" have very grim outcomes. (For example, annihilation of the terrorists and a large chunk of the civilians around them.)

And the propaganda problem is impossible to solve without shared goals. Right now, we don’t have those. The goals of many of the parties nominally on our side - the UN, the European leaders, the media - do not seem to have much in common with the goals of Israel and the Bush administration.

For example, take civilian deaths. As long as the media, the Europeans, etc are prepared to be blase’ about Hizbollah rockets intentionally killing Israeli citizens, but erupt into outrage over incidents such as Qana, then it’s clear that they don’t really have a goal of preventing civilian deaths, at least not Israeli ones. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that they have a higher goal of making Israel come out looking like the bad guy, which clearly is not a goal Israel or Bush share.

Not only do I not see a solution to the propaganda problem, I deny that there is any conceivable solution until there is recognition that there is a problem. Right now, the typical journalist will tell you he’s just doing his job, and he’ll vociferously deny that he’s subject to manipulation by terrorists. No amount of comparison to behaviour of the media now vs. WWII will suffice to change his mind. He’ll not concede any equivalence.

Unlike others, I don’t ascribe malice to the journalists that carry water for the terrorists. I think they’re simply indoctrinated in a way that makes them sympathetic to the "downtrodden", antagonistic to "authority" as represented by the GOP, and unable to see a bigger, broader picture. But no matter what the cause or motivation, the end result is that the terrorists can orient their entire strategy around manipulation of western media, and be assured that the media will be completely compliant in those efforts. And that means our media is sick, whether they want to admit it or not.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Rob, I sympathize with you as this is just about as frustrating a situation as you are going to find. I think that you can find the potential outcome here in the history of Israel, or more specifically the Jewish people of the Diaspora.

From the very beginning of modern monotheistic Jewish history (I’ll choose the Exodus as a start date, although this is really not accurate), the Jewish people have been willing to become matyrs of principle. No matter what they have to suffer, both individually and as a nation, they are willing to take the route of matyrdom rather than compromise who and what they are. From the Masaada on through the pogroms and all the way up to the Shoah and modern day terrorism, Jews have always shown a willingness to die for their beliefs rather than betray them or stoop to the level of their oppressors/murderers. For all the moral equivalence nonsense and the crackpot conspiracy theories about evil zionist cabals, the Jews really are just a tiny nation struggling to survive in a very very hostile world. To me, it seems that Israel would rather commit suicide as a nation rather than become the war criminals that many accuse them of being. Frankly, I agree with you that Israel is going to be wiped out at some point in the (probably not so distant) future. I sincerely hope that I am wrong, but with increased non-state organization (Hezbollah, etc.) access to NBC weapons, increasing revival of European anti-semitism, and an increased push for isolationism in the US, I just don’t see Israel surviving another 60 years.

Maybe after another Shoah has happened all of those who scream about the plight of the Palestinians and how the US is targeted by terrorists only because of our support for Israel will wake up and realize that we will be just as much in the crosshairs then as we are now.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
Robb:

In the old days, those who could use the most force won. Now, force has been replaced by depravity. The most depraved force wins as the more ’enlightend’ societies cannot bring themselves to perform such acts.

Ridiculous. What is Hizballah "winning" when it wins this fight, pray tell? Continued survival. A place in Lebanon’s political order it already had - possibly a stronger one, very unfortunately. The ability to continue being armed - another capability that its enemy, Israel, already has. That’s it. Its expanded capability over the past five years has increased its ability to annoy Israel and threaten its civilians, but it has actually killed about 20 people so far through the rocket attacks. It has won an asymettric, defensive tactical engagement. It is in no way equipped to win any form of true war. The lesson to be drawn is that we’re not going to be able to crush our enemies militarily. We can hurt them, and they can hurt us, and that’s about it. So truces will have to be arranged. The US military and Hizballah already have an implicit one, although neither would admit it.

How the f*** does that win them the hearts and minds? How? How can any populace willingly know that those who claim to fight for them are going to cause their deaths?

Civlians are often afraid and even angry about guerillas fighting in the midst of their neighborhoods, but it’s the Israeli missiles that are killing them, so the Israelis are very logically running behind Hizballah in the Lebanese civilians’ hearts/minds battle. Hizballah isn’t a drug ring. It’s the police, and the Israelis are the invading army. To the Lebanese shiites.


Good article, McQ. The thing about the propaganda war is that reality usually wins in this era. We had no trouble winnning the propaganda war in the war in Afghanistan, because it was clear that Al-Quieda had committed a massive and not directly provoked mass-casualty act. Subnational guerilla/terrorist groups all around dissasociated themselves from them, and whatever state support existed vanished into thin air, save for the Taliban - and they paid for it.
Massive carnage makes those who commit it unpopular - Al-Zarqawi was not a popular fellow in Iraq.

If the recent conflict between Hizballah and Israel had started with a spectuacular massive-casualty terrorist act in Tel Aviv, rather than a minor military raid, the propaganda war would be going differently right now. And if Israel had kept the ratio of Lebansese to Israeli civilian deaths closer to 1-to-1, same.

What is needed are smarter weapons that can go into an urban environment, survive initial attacks and kill everyone who shoots, and nobody else.

BTW: there was a good NYTimes piece about a chemical laser prototype capable of shooting down Katyushas, but abandoned due to fragility, cost overruns and unreliability. I bet it will come back.


 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Robb Allen wrote:
As far as Israel goes, she’s done for. The only way she can respond is brutal force. Wipe out entire cities, civillians and all. Take out every possible target regardless what the consequences are. Let the world know that if they harbor Israels’ enemies, they will die along with them. It’s not like anyone likes Israel anyway. The world opinion is that they should just drop off the face of the earth anyway so I don’t see why they care if Kofi and his ilk condemn them.
The problem is, the only possible excuse for the existence of Israel being tolerated by the world community—by the US for that matter—is that it would be a greater wrong to let it be ended in the circumstances that seem likely than for it to exist on the terms it so far has. With your "solution" the best thing in fact is for the rest of the world to take on some proportionate fraction of the Israeli populace as refugess and forcibly remove them, dissolving Israel.

God didn’t really give them the land in perpetuity, that’s just the excuse every tribe used when they wanted land and killed the previous inhabitants until they had it instead.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Ridiculous. What is Hizballah "winning" when it wins this fight, pray tell? Continued survival. A place in Lebanon’s political order it already had - possibly a stronger one, very unfortunately. The ability to continue being armed - another capability that its enemy, Israel, already has. That’s it.
No, it’s not ridiculous. What they are winning is showing the world that this is an effective form of pushing one’s agenda. This goes beyond Hizballah. The same thing is happening in Iraq and other parts of the world. Get a few women and children killed, blame your enemies, and watch as your side picks up brownie points.
The lesson to be drawn is that we’re not going to be able to crush our enemies militarily.
Then we do what? Concede? Yeah, we can bomb some sh!thole city and make a miserable life slightly more miserable and call that ’hurting them’. They can bomb a shopping center here in the states and ruin our economy making decent lives miserable. It is assymetric in every sense of the word. Twenty 500 lb. precision guided bombs does less damage to them than one nut job with a suicide vest does to us.

Every ’truce’ we enter emboldens them. Sure, they get one extra seat in parliment this time. The next time, it’s billions in aid, then nuke reactors, and eventually my kids as slaves (hyperbole, not meant to be taken literally).

Disproportinate response simply means "I’m crazier than you. Kill one of mine, 100 of yours go poof". Kind of like my house. You can break in with nothing more than the intent to steal my napkins, my response will be to shoot you. Hopefully, that keeps a lot of would be burglars at home at night.

Tom, I haven’t the faintest idea what you were trying to say. Are you actually implying that Israel has no right to exist? I mean, yeah the US took a lot of land from indians, but errors in history do not mean you have to repeat the error in the present to make up for it.
 
Written By: Robb Allen (Sharp as a Marble)
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
These idiots are using civillians as shields. The civillians know this. The rest of the world knows this. We all see the man behind the curtain.

How the f*** does that win them the hearts and minds? How? How can any populace willingly know that those who claim to fight for them are going to cause their deaths?
It must be working, because the hearts and minds they want are those in the west, specifically the media and the intelligensia.

And it’s working.
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
Ridiculous. What is Hizballah "winning" when it wins this fight, pray tell? Continued survival. A place in Lebanon’s political order it already had - possibly a stronger one, very unfortunately. The ability to continue being armed...
If Hezbollah is only interested in power in Lebannon, why are they bothering the Jooooooooooos in Israel? If their mission is to exist, control some of Lebannon, be armed - well then, they can stop can’t they? Mission accomplished and all that.

But that’s obvioulsly not their agenda, nor is it the agenda of their owner/handlers/masters.

Most guerilla wars are fought in the country where the guerillas originated, or were from (sneaking back over the border). Hezbollah isn’t ’from’ Israel.
They don’t just want control of the government of Israel, they want it gone, and all the Israelis with it (and I can hardly wait to see how generously they treat the Israeli-Arabs once the Jooooooooooos are gone).
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
"Tom, I haven’t the faintest idea what you were trying to say. Are you actually implying that Israel has no right to exist? I mean, yeah the US took a lot of land from indians, but errors in history do not mean you have to repeat the error in the present to make up for it."
From a strictly libertarian view, no government has a right to exist.

Whatever the form of government the leaders of the turn-of-the-century Zionist movement thought "Israel" would have, and wherever they thought "Israel" would be located—the idea that in the time of the Westphalian nation-state, that a people would voluntarily give up sovereignty of the territory that they felt was the responsibility of and a resource for their body politic; this idea was always insane.

Enter the Stern Gang and the Irgun, Lehi, et al. Jewish terrorists who massacred Arabs and the British adminstering the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine.

At the time, I would say Israel had no more right to exist than does any group intent on acheiving sovereignty by "ethnic cleansing". It’s a crime against humanity. It would have been a much better thing if the British had been able to restrict Jewish immigration and preserved the overall status quo, politically, in Palestine. They couldn’t, Israel was established by killing and frightening off enough of Arabic inhabitants for it to become a strategically viable entity*.

*It’s an open question as to whether they have strategic viability absent US support.

This situation persisted to the present day. It would now, as things currently stand, I think be a far greater injustice in sum for Israel to be defeated and destroyed than for it to continue its campaign against Hezbollah as it’s current intensity.

Do you follow me so far? I want Israel to win it’s fight with Hezbollah as it is now going, and in the conceivable escalations of the fight.

If Israel were to adopt the means of creating a cordon sanitaire around it’s current borders with a depth preventative of Hezbollah style rocket attacks, by means of killing those within the that area, every man, woman, and child, then I would rather they lose. Let the 7th fleet ferry the survivors to Cyprus for tent city housing until they can be divied out to the other nations of the world.

The difference is you seem almost to be saying they should win at that cost, and I’m saying they should lose at that cost.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Tom, as I posted above in my discussion with Robb, Israel in general, and the Jewish people in particular, have a demonstrated tendency to national matyrdom rather than giving in to the idea of stooping to the level of Nazis, terrorists, Romans, etc. Are there a few aberrations? Certainly. As you pointed out, the Irgun, Stern Group, Meir Kahane and his people, etc. have all demonstrated a willingness to use extreme tactics to achieve their goals. They were rightly condemned by the majority of the Jewish people.

Israel will almost definitely choose the option you mention above which involves national self-destruction followed by evacuations around the world rather than become a rogue, terrorist state. I would posit that this is exactly the strategy they have been following, in fact, for the past several decades. Do I think that Israelis want to lose their homes and become a wandering nation again? No. I do think that they have demonstrated enormous restraint in their choice of tactics, however. I think that all (pro- and anti-Israel) would agree that the IDF has the capability to enact the cordon sanitaire that you mention. The fact that they have not done so speaks volumes about the mindset and morality of the Jewish people. It can be summed up, I think, as essentially: Better to suffer another Shoah, than to inflict one on others.

I really really hope I’m wrong, but I suspect within the next twenty years we are going to be reliving the fall of Saigon. Only it will be the Jews of Israel who will be handing their children off to strangers in helicopters in the hopes that they will be saved rather than the Vietnamese peasants of the first tragedy.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://

You’ll have to forgive me if comes across as naive, but when it comes to military tactics I am pretty naive.

When it comes to rabbit hunting I’m not quite as naive. And it strikes me that guerrillas are very much like rabbits: their primary defense is their camouflage. Their secondary defense is run like hell.

Now there are three ways to hunt rabbits. The first way is with dogs. The dogs will detect the rabbits scent and track it, and when they get close enough the rabbit will run. Unless the Israelis can find some dogs (or an analogue) then this isn’t helpful.

The second way to hunt rabbits is to still hunt, where essentially you sit under a tree with your gun real quiet like and wait for a rabbit to come hopping along. It happens, but I don’t think this would be a practical approach to hunting guerrillas.

Then there’s method three: stalking. Now the Cottontail rabbit’s camouflage is very, very good. Against virtually any type of brush cover, a rabbit will blend right in and disappear. Moreover, the rabbits know this, which is why they will freeze at the first whiff of danger and they will not move no matter how close you get to them. I’ve literally stepped on hiding rabbits (they bolt when you step on them) and I bet I’ve probably walked right by a thousand more, never seeing them.

But the rabbits’ camouflage isn’t %100 perfect, it has a flaw: the rabbits’ perfectly round eyes. Very little in the woods (or in nature) is perfectly round, so the shape tends to stand out— if you’re looking for it. So when one stalks rabbits through the underbrush, one doesn’t look for rabbits, one looks for the rabbits’ eye.

Which brings us to the rabbit’s second weakness: his fear. If a rabbit thinks he’s been spotted, he will immediately switch to plan B and bolt. Which is why when you spot a perfectly round dot in the brush and determine that there’s a rabbit attached to it, don’t stop walking. Instead, as you continue slowly walking, you swing your gun around and take your shot. Since you didn’t stop, the rabbit never knows you spotted him.

And the converse is also true. Another way to stalk rabbit is to meander slowly through the underbrush with your gun on your shoulder and periodically freeze. Don’t move a muscle. If there’s a rabbit watching you from the underbrush, he now thinks you see him, and he’s only going to be able to endure suspense for a few seconds at the most and then he’ll bolt. Needless to say, you have to be quick to get your shot.

Insurgents shouldn’t be fought. They should be stalked. We need to make them think they’re safe when they’re not and make them feel they’re in mortal danger when they aren’t. We need to figure out their tells and use it to kill them. We need to trick them into abandoning their hidey-holes and them kill them over open ground.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
Well the problem with these rabbits is if you send the dogs after them, they’ll ambush the dogs and fire rockets at their kennels.

Sit under a tree and wait and you’re most likely to get nailed to the tree with an RPG.

Stalking? Well, make sure you have a point and flank security as well as pre-planned artillery and CAS on call because these are some mean rabbits.

The problem with stalking is you have to do it in the rabbit warren (not in the open, like you’re hoping). And these rabbit know their warren much better than you do. Besides, they have a tendency to mix with kittens and puppies and you know you can’t risk killing them without upsetting a whole bunch of folks.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
No solution has been written. But it would include military force along with diplomacy, economic assistance, intelligence and information campaigns.
The Neoconservative solution as proposed before the Iraq War still has legs. Bring the staging areas for terrorism to democracy, basically give them something more important to do than making war on the world.

The problem in this conflict is Lebanon. After independence Lebanon was a basket case that had a massively flawed electoral system, designed to perpetuate the power of the Christian sects favored by the French. A civil war was fought for 15 years, ending with a marginal shifting of power to 50:50 Christians & Muslims. Not that this mattered because by then the Syrians were in charge of 90% and Israel in charge of 10%. Now the Syrians have left and the Israelis have left - new elections have been held, under pretty much the same system that led to war 30 years ago. And now surprise, surprise a war is happening.

What is needed is a commitment to implement a full democracy in Lebanon. Each and every adult having a free and equal vote irrespective of creed or religion. This is something Israel cannot do, this best path to a solution lies within the power of the Lebanese alone.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
The problem with stalking is you have to do it in the rabbit warren (not in the open, like you’re hoping). And these rabbit know their warren much better than you do. Besides, they have a tendency to mix with kittens and puppies and you know you can’t risk killing them without upsetting a whole bunch of folks.
Well when you hunt with missiles and five hundred pound bombs, yeah, you’re going to blow a lot of stuff up including all manner of wildlife no matter how careful you are. Instead you have to pick them off as they present themselves.

And there’s not a hunter alive that knows the woods better than the rabbits do. The hunter compensates by knowing the rabbits.

yours/
peter.

 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
A few comments:

1. I think many of the civilians might be family of the fighters themselves. While most people wouldn’t send their family into war, if you believed that paradise awaited you, you might not object as much.

2. The publicity war is a very fickle thing to try to control if you are Israel. Perhaps its best to ignore it completely? Or will it come down to nation-states having to deliberately not protect their own citizens so they can keep "proportionality" correct?

3. The UN needs to set up an acceptable warning time for civilians before an counter-attack - is 48 hours enough? 72 hours? After that, it’s a war zone...and the local powers that did not expend enough effort to clear their areas are responsible.


 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
If Hezbollah is only interested in power in Lebannon, why are they bothering the Jooooooooooos in Israel? If their mission is to exist, control some of Lebannon, be armed - well then, they can stop can’t they? Mission accomplished and all that.

That was the basic logic behind the withdrawal in 2000. And mostly, it worked, for five years. Some would say, it worked for five years and then failed badly now, so it’s useless, right? Wrong. If Israel had stayed in the Lebanese security zone through now, there’d be lots more dead people in the intervening years and not significantly less dying right now. Peace - usually in its opening stages meaning the absence of open war - is a fragile product and prone to "false" starts.

And to flesh this out a little more- if Yasser Arafat had died in 98’, and Abbas had become president, Ariel Sharon had lost the 2000 elections in Israel, and a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian settlement had been reached around 2003 - would Hizballah have done what it did this year? I don’t think so. The costs and benefits would have looked different.

In any event, you misread me. The things I listed are what Hizballah stands to gain in this conflict, not its motives, which I don’t concern myself with, because motives are too emepheral to be applied in long-run analysis. They don’t stand to gain Israel’s destruction in this conflict. Furthermore, there’s something wrong with the idea that their motivation in this conflict is to destroy Israel - because their current plan of attack has no realistic capability to do that, and this is something that they are most certainly aware of. So either they’re really, really stupid, or they’re fighting for more limited goals right now.

That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be happy to see Israel destroyed. Lots of people - nasty, untrustworthy people - would be made happy seeing horrible things done. Maybe even some people we know and like around us. A few of the powerful/or and crazy ones actually talk about doing those fantasies. But only 1% of even those actually attempt to pull them off. Here we have Bin Laden.

This is realistic thinking. I’m glad to introduce you.



 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Omar -
Tom, as I posted above in my discussion with Robb, Israel in general, and the Jewish people in particular, have a demonstrated tendency to national matyrdom rather than giving in to the idea of stooping to the level of Nazis, terrorists, Romans, etc.
Not really true in ancient times. The Hebrew nomads were a warrior people and killed and enslaved lots of other people when they had their Kingdom. After the Romans got sick of their act and booted them, they embraced a middleman way of life and shunned both agriculture and warfare (other than profiting as merchants and moneylenders to Armies).

The idea that "Jews don’t stoop to bad things" and are morally superior, is BS. Jews acted like conquering Romans in their day, just the Romans were bigger and badder and beat them in turn. Jews invented modern terrorism as an official means of state control in Bolshevik Russia, and Jewish terrorists both undermined the Brit Mandate and did wholesale ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Jews weren’t Nazis, but they were the moving force of Communism, and communism killed more innocent people than the Nazis did.
==========================
unaha-closp -
The Neoconservative solution as proposed before the Iraq War still has legs. Bring the staging areas for terrorism to democracy, basically give them something more important to do than making war on the world.
Saying Democracy is the solution to the growing popular ideology of radical Islam is like Germans saying in 1930 the elections will hurt Hitler and his growing, popular ideology of national socialism. As things currently stand, anywhere elections are held, Islamists are winning over secularists - and winning or participating in elections does nothing to Westernize or secularize Islamists. They only get more legitimacy through it, as Hitler did as Germany’s democratically enabled "Fuhrer" in the 1933 Acts.

In the Arab wotld, elections in Turkey, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Egypt tend to bear out huge popular support for Islamists. The Neocons are ever-more discredited idiots.

It isn’t really about terrorism. The tactic of terror is just a component of the weaponry radical Islam can utilize, but not why it is as appealing as it is, or spreading so fast. While the opportunity to do the one thing guaranteeing a Muslim a place in heaven - Jihad - is - Islamic scholars are beginning to make rulings that there is no martyrdom in suicide patsies doing sneaky bombings, or purely targeting civilians - limiting the lure of suicidal terrorism as surefire path to Paradise.

The decision point is not about packing people to polls to dip their fingers in purple ink. The decision is about whether to join the modern world - or reject it and accept the consequences may well be isolation from the rest of humanity and permanent residency in an Islamist craphole. For now, much of the Muslim world believes radical Islam will help them succeed.
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
"How the f*** does that win them the hearts and minds? How? How can any populace willingly know that those who claim to fight for them are going to cause their deaths?"

Stockholm Syndrome, perhaps?

*************
"What is Hizballah "winning" when it wins this fight, pray tell?"

Why, they get to kill Jews.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
C. Ford:

You’re right, but also wrong. Unaha-closp is right - the basic idea of bringing democracy to terrorist areas is sound. But there are conditions, including "without killing large numbers of people or using large number of troops/munitions" The Cedar Revolution and/or the fall of the USSR should be the model.

While you’re promoting democracy. As a separated goal from destroying undeterrable terrorist groups (and there are both kinds) or responding militarily to attacks to restore deterrence.

You’ll note that Naziism may have started as a social movement coming to power in a democracy, but Hitler could not have taken Germany to war against the world while remaining a democracy. The needle that needs to be threaded is to allow Islamic militants the absence of war when they achieve power through democracy, but only until and as long as they preserve it, relying on democracy to erode the militantism, detterence to keep us intact in the interim, and warfare as neccesary to destroy the truly undeterrable.

There is no real alternative, except wiping all the potentially bad guys and bad guy sympathizers out down to the last man, and the problem with that is the pool of such people changes in response to your actions.

This primer is a good one: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/7/31/172013/456

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
glastnost - The initial warlike actions of Hitler, retaking the Rhineland, the Anschluss (not warlike but with threats to Austruan political factions holding out they would be punished unless they came on board), gobbling Czechslovakia, Poland, then getting France, Norway and the Benelux countries were wildly popular with the German public. The National Socialists maintained elections up through most of 1941, and many Nazi actions and victories before then were endorsed by voter plebiscites.

The radical Islamists - who the masses see as agents of badly needed change in the ME are very popular, and win elections. Remember Bush overrode the advice of Americans who have long ties and study of the Islamic world in favor of the rehashed Wilsonian American Crusade for Democracy that the Neocons and right wing Zionist Sharansky maintained would "moderate the radicals" and "give the moderates legitimacy". The only fruits have been Hamas and Hezbollah winning office, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood making gains - and the strengthening of the Islamists in Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Indonesia.
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://

 
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