Top officers criticize PM’s lack of strategy

Posted: May 13, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in Hezbollah, IDF, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Terrorism

Hezbollah firing rockets at Israel. Soon to become nearly obsolete? In a somewhat extraordinary circumstance, top IDF generals criticized Prime Minister Netanyahu’s lack of long-term strategy vis-a-vis Lebanon:

…the officers accused the prime minister and chief of staff, who observed the drill, with doing nothing because they were over-anxious to "keep Israel’s borders with Syria and the Lebanese Hizballah calm, whatever the cost."

This kept the Israel’s military machine waiting in passive mode for Hizballah to go to war when it was fully armed and ready.

Netanyahu used the occasion to accuse Iran of warmongering and inciting Syria and Hizballah to attack Israel with the lie that Israel was on the point of attack.

"Hizballah’s war-planners cannot avoid noticing that Israel has retreated from every warning it issued in the past year," said this officer, and are therefore paying no heed to new ones."

For instance, Israeli threats to strike Lebanon and Syria held Damascus back from handing Hizballah M-600 surface-to-surface missiles, essentially Scuds – but only for a while. Recently, when they saw nothing happening, Syria went ahead and sent them over the border.

(DebkaFile)

THE GENERALS DID their homework on this one. Before the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah tested Israel’s patience, frequently opening mortar fire on IDF positions, as well as firing short-range rockets at Israeli cities. After a few years, when Nasrallah understood Israel does little but small-scale retaliatory artillery fire, he masterminded the crossing into Israel and murdering several IDF soldiers, stealing two bodies.

IDF brass believes the situation currently repeats itself, however, now the outcome could be much worse, as Hezbollah armed itself with more powerful weapons, and Israel having little deterrence power against them. Nasrallah understands that in a few years his weapons could be much less effective, thanks to Israel deploying several systems, such as the Iron Dome. Thus, he would have to strike soon in order to make use of his short and medium range missiles and rockets.

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