How Israel Won the War....
An excellent piece in the Ottawa Citizen by Barry Rubin.
If you don't know that Israel won the recent war with Hezbollah it's because you haven't heard the behind-the-scenes story of the fighting.But, please read the whole thing...
A good place to start is to ask why, despite many televised threats from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah did not hit Tel Aviv. The answer is that using a combination of intelligence and technical means, Israel identified the location of Hezbollah's longer-range missiles and knocked them out with amazing speed and efficiency.
About 90 per cent of them were destroyed quickly in the war. Nasrallah could not deliver on what he considered to be his ultimate weapon.
An equally remarkable success, despite being taken for granted, is Israel's domination of the air. More plane and helicopter combat flights were flown than in any previous war by Israel, yet only one helicopter was shot down.
This was not due to Hezbollah lacking advanced anti-aircraft systems. In fact, they had the best light equipment available. Highly secret Israeli counter-measures, however, ensured that every anti-aircraft missile missed. Throughout the war, Israel retained full air superiority, which meant that its planes could go anywhere in Lebanon and hit any target.
While Hezbollah lost the war militarily, it did score significant victories in terms of public relations. One of the biggest hoaxes of modern media history was how Hezbollah manipulated the media. Photographs were falsified by those fooled by or aiding Hezbollah. All Lebanese casualty figures came from the Lebanese government, of which Hezbollah is part, and these never admitted that anyone killed was a Hezbollah gunmen or that any target hit was a military one.
Yet Israel has firm evidence that around 450 Hezbollah soldiers were killed -- more than half the purported civilian death toll -- and large numbers of Hezbollah facilities and arms dumps were destroyed. This is roughly 20 per cent of Hezbollah's best soldiers. Proportionate to forces in the field, Hezbollah's death toll alone was more than 30 times higher than Israel's.
One of Israel's most impressive achievements, which has still not been fully comprehended, was its ability to hit incoming shipments of arms from Syria. In many cases, trucks were hit within moments of crossing the Syria-Lebanon border. Hezbollah was using up munitions far faster than they were coming in. If the war had not ended when it did, they would have suffered an even more visibly humiliating defeat.
Another factor that has not yet registered is the deaths of high-ranking Hezbollah officials, several of whom are still missing, due to Israeli attacks on their headquarters and hiding places. One known name is Sajed Dawayer, head of Hezbollah's special forces. At one point, Mr. Nasrallah threatened to attack Tel Aviv if Israel struck at central Beirut. But why central Beirut when Hezbollah's followers live in south Beirut? Presumably, he was hiding in the centre of the city.