Thursday, January 01, 2009

Deja Vu - Is this the Lebanon war redux?

Unfortunately I believe so. Again, the government has no clear cut goal and is clearly hesitant to commit ground forces. There is no political will to win the war.

Here are 2 articles that say it better then I can.

Analysis: Disturbing echoes of 2006

...And yet, as Day Five of Operation Cast Lead drew to a close, dismaying comparisons with 2006 were multiplying.

As happened then, there was a developing lack of clarity about the goal of the operation. Initially clearly defined as being aimed at restoring security to the South, it was being exaggerated by some Israeli officials as extending to the destruction of Hamas, and minimized by others as merely seeking a better version of the failed cease-fire.
The willingness to even begin to consider a time-out implicitly amounted to Israel starting a stopwatch toward a cease-fire - an approach that, at this stage, flies in the face of the relentless determination promised by the Israeli leadership at the outset.

As with 2006, the hesitancy has extended to the use of ground forces - or rather the non-use of ground forces

Like in Lebanon, in Gaza Israel blinked first

...The declared goal of Operation Cast Lead ("the creation of a new security reality") is minimalist and reveals Israel's unwillingness to fight for a long-term resolution that will create a comprehensive new reality, not only a new security reality.

What is worse, the way the battle is being waged after the impressive air strikes raises concerns that the operation's leaders do not intend to achieve even its modest aims, among other reasons because Israel once again blinked first. The blinking did not begin on Tuesday with Barak's announcement that Israel was considering a "humanitarian" 48-hour cease-fire. It began when the first air strikes were not immediately accompanied by a ground operation. Israel showed, as in Lebanon, that it does not want to reach a strategic resolution and does not have the will, determination or self-confidence to lead a military operation beyond reprisal and punitive action.

This is a major and painful operation, but despite its ambitious intentions it is not a military action that will end the eight-year nightmare of the people of the Negev.
If the concealed goal is not resolution but another cease-fire, then it is a pity to use ground forces because the enemy will revive once again and smuggle in rockets, which this time will be able to hit Dimona, and perhaps even Tel Aviv. And once again the air force will be sent in. And again, after every red line is crossed, there will be an amazing air strike. And what then? And until when?

The more days go by with the main component aerial bombardment, which, like in Lebanon, cannot stop the rockets, the public begins to feel (our leaders' arguments show this) that the operation is losing momentum.

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