IDF Ground Invasion – with updates

It’s full-bore now, with the Israelis possessing a 5-1 numerical advantage while trading at about 1-6/1-7 in terms of battlefield losses, and tons of indirect support.  Hezbollah, on the other hand, has a number of anti-tank rockets, and has deployed troops with IR-masking uniforms (casualties amongst these guys “count”: these are clearly Hezbollah cadre, not just spear carriers), and has plenty of prepared defenses.

Opfor has a pretty good assessment of Israeli “grand tactics,” and it’s pretty clear that this is generally what’s occurring.  Looking back at what folks considered the weirdly slow start to GWII, the parallel is pretty clear.

Thus far, I’ve been borne out on  1) The Pious Noises ™ will be disregarded.  And given the number of pundits who were publicly bemoaning Olmert’s lack of fortitude last week, I feel perfectly justified tooting my horn on that one.

But it looks like I’m off-track on:  2) Israel’s going into the Bekaa Valley.  May still happen with Specfor types, but apparently not with units en-masse.

The only functional remaining questions left are whether an international force actually materializes (NATO or not, you can bet the French and Greeks won’t be on it!), and whether Syria ups the ante so that Iran can get itself a war (which it badly needs to mask its domestic economic difficulties), or whether Assad decides that he doesn’t want to be Iran’s stalking horse, and sells Hezbollah out.

My money is still on the latter. 

UPDATE:  Tag! I am demonstrated correct on #2, as the Israelis have strike teams inserted into the Bekaa Valley, possibly an assassination attempt.  Links via Pajamas Media here, here, and here.  Fox News relays an IDF report stating no Israeli casualties in said raid, here.

UPDATE2:  Steve Schippert at Threatswatch has come out agreeing with Prognostication #3.  Thanks, dude, but I had your back on July 17th… (snark snark snark)

UPDATE3:  Ba-da-bing!  Has Syria already begun to blink?  Is it, in fact, selling Hezbollah down the river?  If the following bears out, Israel will have to give some, but Hezbollah’s status as a Sword of Damocles in Lebanon will become non-existant.  What exactly is meant by “return of refugees” could make this a non-starter, so the devil will be in the details.

UPDATE4:  Perhaps not surprisingly, Syria may like this plan (which might, in theory, greatly rehabilitate it with the US and ameliorate the potential for Kurdish Furball ™ in the near future), but the Iranians don’t like it at all.  Gee, and people still think that Syria’s going to lay down and roll over for whatever orders come down from Tehran?  Better than that, many of the same talking points are showing up at the UN for Israeli-Lebanese talks.  Meaning that Olmert may be a drip, but that he just might be lucky enough to preside over the era when the Israelis have a shot at 100% peaceful borders, with Hezbollah put out of business for good, and Iran totally sidelined out of the Med.  If this sort of thing continues apace, it’s looking like a lot of stupidity and carnage may present hope for some actual unbridled good.

“Ain’t outta the woods yet,” though.  Syria would love to get its meathooks back into Lebanon, but that’s an old play.  My whole prognostications have been based on the idea that the Syrians are smart enough to know when to ask for a fresh deck of cards.  For everybody’s sake, especially civilians south of the Litani, let’s hope they are.

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  1. Mike

     /  August 1, 2006

    Actually, you may be right on Number 2. I heard on Fox news that the IDF is entering the Beka Valley. From what I can gather, it sounds like they are doing a modified “shock and Awe”. Move around built up areas wherever possible and going for the far end. Fox news wasn’t really clear, and I have to say data is sparse from the IDF. But that falls under the “no kidding” clause, who the hell wants to tell the game plan to CNN? But, if the IDF IS entering the Beka, then its a whole new ball game. And backing up the earlier post, if you are a talking head who is only talking about civilian losses and IDF losses and make no mention of the Hez losses, then you are slanted and talking out of you butt. If the IDF is headed into the Beka, then they are looking for a real fight with the Hez. Not to say that they haven’t had one yet, but this is one the Hez has to fight. The Beka is their Fort Apache, or Gibralter, or Verdun, or Khe Sahn. If they can’t hold it, its a propoganda victory the likes of which you can’t recover from. I wish I had more info, but then they started talking about Castro and the private sitting next to me and myself started talking about how nice a world without Castro would be.

  2. Confirmed!!

    I am feeling snarkily happy, especially given the whiny “Israel’s losing to brilliant Hezbollista strategery” blather in the WSJ this morning, to have out-analyzed half the Punditocracy at this stage… And I’m just this dude, ya know?

  3. Mike

     /  August 2, 2006

    Yeah, but you spend time on this stuff. Its amazing what you can learn when you spend time on a subject instead of bouncing around ever 2 days to another subject. And also don’t forget that these talking heads don’t usually have degrees or any formal training on any of these subjects. I don’t know jack all about medicine, so I’d ask a doctor. A talking head would do a quick google (if we were lucky) and then sound off like he was doctor.

    Feh, MSM sucks.

    Anyway, read the latest and it sounds likes old Israel is telling the international community to stuff it until Hezbollah is either dead or has begun disarming. Good stuff.

  4. I suspect you’re right about the “right of return” though. Since Israelis don’t want to be “a minority in our own country” (quote from gazillions of different racist zionist freaks — ahem, Israelis over the years), “right of return” has always been the token that says “we’d like for negotiations to halt”.

  5. (oh, please don’t interpret my anti-zionist invective as being pro-Hizb — they’re scum and I’m against them 100%, even if I don’t support their enemies) :o)

  6. Mike

     /  August 4, 2006

    Well, to quote someone from briefing yesterday: “Nothing against the speaker (the Lebanese woman), but first off, who exactly haven’t we pissed off already over there, and two, since we can’t be everyone’s friend, we need to pick a side and I would much rather be friends with Israel”.

  7. And if possible, both Israel and Lebanon, since we apparently have an offer to train their people once the furball’s over.

  8. “And if possible, both Israel and Lebanon, since we apparently have an offer to train their people once the furball’s over.”

    Yes, Lebanon *must* have a strong, organized military. It’s the only way for Lebanon to survive as a sovereign country, instead of being a pawn of Syria, Iran, Israel, or anybody else, for that matter.

  9. Absolutely true. In that process, Hezbollah’s been stirring up the crap since ’82. Now, not that Israel hasn’t stepped on itself a few thousand times — and some of the stuff their settlers have done is just disgusting. BUT, with stable borders, something resembling a real solution to the “root cause” deal would also be far more tenable.

  10. Mike

     /  August 4, 2006

    Yes indeed. A viable armed forces and internal security force (police, not secret police) that can slap down Hez militants (or Christian, or Druze) whenever they start acting stupid is a key point. The only problem is that if we (the US/Western types) start helping to build one, we are seen as taking sides and then cease being “neutrals”. Our talk of a stable government runs right into the issue that all the other Mid-eastern countries have (barring Israel). Namely, so long as my block/tribe is in charge then, yes a strong central government is good, and the US is really neutral. If you are not part of this group, then the US has picked a side and is helping them to hold the others down.

    I’m not one for ethnic cleansing or anything, but I swear maybe we should just forcibly move everyone into their own areas and say “Here, you are the Christian Republic (or Hezbolla, or Druze), you own damn nation, so can we be friends now or what?” and see how that works out. By order of the US/Effective World Governments, we declare Lebanon to be abolished and instead declare 4 smaller countries. Its no longer a civil war, its a war on soverign powers and we will get involved on that COUNTRY’S behalf.

    Boy that would be nice. Better than the current non-melting pot that exists.

  11. I think that doing that would solve a lot of problems in the Middle East, but it’s not exactly in the interests of the ruling parties, and WOW would we need a lot of troops to accomplish that, as in “JimDesu has to get his fat @ss in shape” level of troops.

  12. convivialdingo

     /  August 4, 2006

    It sounds good – but you get into the “indian reservation” problem. Or better yet, the Indian-Pakistan problem.

    And I heard that France is ready to send troops on the BBC last night… ahahahah.

  13. Mike

     /  August 5, 2006

    Whoopie. If it was just troops I would have no problem, the French Military is really pretty good. The only bad part is that the military is run by the French Politicians who have screwed them (and so many others) so often. And since they make no secret of whose side they support (Hez, or anyone NOT Jewish), we would probably start getting raids and lots of “wink-wink” going on in French areas and end up back where we started.

    True about the issues of dividing everyone up too. Yeah, LOTS of troops. I don’t think the Indian Reservation analogy is a good one though. India-Pakistan is a much better one. But then again, if we have an Indian Pakistan one, and the Hez keeps getting its ass beat for being stupid, what’s so bad about that? If you have a Sunni, Christian and Druze country, its a pretty safe bet they all would ally against the Hez. Throw in Israel, we have a nice little alliance. How froggy would Hezbolla be if they faced a 4 front war?

  14. The problem is the bloodletting while they sort it out..

  15. Mike

     /  August 6, 2006

    Well, not that I am a really bloodthirsty lunatic or anything, but sometimes certain people need killing. And that can usually only be done by getting some of your own killed in the process, because all “progressive” work attempted to the contray, we just can’t seem to talk certain elements into just shooting themselves and saving us the bother.

    Sometimes there are no good solutions.

  16. A good solution is one that solves the problem.
    A better solution is one that does it on the cheap and easy.

    Sometimes, there are no *palatable* solutions…


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