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July 18, 2006
IDF: One More Week Needed

The Jerusalem Post notes that the IDF needs just one more week to render Hezbollah incapable of conducting missile attacks on Israel from southern Lebanon. Hezbollah attacks have dropped almost 75% over the past week, dropping from 150 a day to 40, and the IDF believes it can drop that number to zero:

Forty to fifty percent of Hizbullah's military capability has been destroyed in the six days of the IDF counter-attack following last Wednesday's Hizbullah raid in northern Israel, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The IDF, it is understood, believes it needs another week or so minimum to achieve its military goals in terms of alleviating Hizbullah's capacity to threaten Israel. ...

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Amir Peretz approved a call-up of three additional reserve battalions.

The reservists are set to replace troops currently operating in the West Bank, allowing those soldiers to be deployed in the north, to assist in the conflict with Hizbullah. The orders were expected to be distributed on Tuesday.

The New York Times notes the drop in missile launches in its report on efforts for a new multinational peacekeeping force deployment:

Brig. Gen. Ido Nehushtan, on the Israeli general staff, said, “We have damaged Hezbollah but they still have significant operational capacity.” He noted the decline in rockets launched into Israel in the last two days — an average of 40 a day, down from initial highs of 150 — and said it was a testament to the damage caused by the Israelis.

“It will take time, it’s more than a matter of days on the military side,” he said. “We aim to change the situation and not go back to where we are.”

Despite the dramatic drop in missile launches, the consensus on actual damage to Hezbollah capacity hovers between 30-50%. The difficulty in launching missiles under bombardment probably accounts for the remainder of the difference. Both demonstrate the effectiveness of treating Hezbollah as an enemy at war rather than as some sort of organized crime syndicate. The Israeli offensive has forced Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah to open up a full-scale offensive on Israeli cities. In doing so, he has depleted his missile stocks, estimated at around 11,000 at the beginning of the conflict, and revealed his launch sites and exposed his personnel. That has allowed the IDF to target Hezbollah's forces with deadly accuracy.

This demonstrates why Israel should not be shackled by the United Nations or the G-8. Hezbollah does not have the status of indigenous fighters opposing an occupation. Nasrallah leads a foreign paramilitary force that has attacked a sovereign nation, and Lebanon has allowed them to stage themselves on Lebanese territory (albeit unwillingly, as most acknowledge). The only solution to these non-state militias is their destruction. They cannot survive a war; they rely on soft-hearted diplomats to keep them out of a full-scale military situation.

So far, the diplomats have mostly declined to pull Nasrallah's chestnuts from the fire. However, as the Times reports today and as wire services reported yesterday, Hezbollah's salvation may yet come. Tony Blair and Kofi Annan have continued to press for a multinational force deployment to the region, despite the one that already exists, the one which allowed Hezbollah to start this war in the first place. The Times doesn't bother to mention UNIFIL until halfway through the story:

Israel’s rejection of an international force stems partly from recent history. The foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, said in an interview that such a force must be able to intervene, unlike the current troops, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or Unifil, which was established in 1978.

“We have an experience with Unifil,” she said: When an Israeli was seized previously, “they just watched.”

As I wrote yesterday, UN peacekeeping forces do nothing but watch anywhere they deploy, because the UN will not engage aggressors. They stood aside in Srebrenica, in Kosovo, and in Rwanda. The only action UN peacekeepers get these days is in tricking out young girls under their protection in exchange for food and water.

We face a global war against the very kind of terrorists that comprise Hezbollah and Hamas. We need to stop rescuing them from their own evil and allow them to suffer the full consequences of their attacks. Only a war will wipe out Hezbollah, because the last six years since the Israeli occupation of Lebanon has proven they won't go away on their own. (via It Shines For All)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 18, 2006 11:03 AM

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» Hezbollah Crumbling; Iran Flinching from
Flyers are raining over south Lebanon, mocking Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, and calling on him to face his inevitable death like a man. Where are you hiding? the flyers read.The answer: Nasrallah is hiding behind the innocent women and children [Read More]

Tracked on July 18, 2006 5:57 PM

» Diplomacy and the Hounds of Hell from A Blog For All
Why do people many consider to be smart keep making the same stupid decisions time and time again? Why do people keep insisting that we have to talk with the terrorists who keep raining down rockets and missiles on Israel? Hamas and Hizbullah are doi... [Read More]

Tracked on July 18, 2006 8:59 PM

» Beyond The Battle from Hard Starboard
A week ago the IDF told the Jerusalem Post that it needed one more week to finish crushing Hezbollah - or at least its ability to bombard northern Israeli cities. It's a week later, and the fighting rages on. Ordinarily this would not a good sign.... [Read More]

Tracked on July 25, 2006 11:05 PM


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