Analysis: Preparing a strategy for the 'Day After'

Hizbullah and Syria won't be partners in the cease-fire or responsible for implementing it.

By SHMUEL L. GORDON
August 2, 2006 01:52
2 minute read.
Analysis: Preparing a strategy for the 'Day After'

nasrallah good 298.88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])

Most of us expect that a cease-fire agreement will be signed and that the hostilities in Lebanon and Israel will end immediately. What a pity that these expectations will never be fulfilled. Fire never "ceases" in the Middle East. There are not enough firefighters to extinguish the fire. The agreement will be signed by Lebanon, Israel and the UN. The dissenters - Hizbullah and Syria, which will not be partners in the cease-fire - will not be responsible for implementing it. Therefore, they will continue to cooperate in regrouping, rebuilding and re-equipping Hizbullah for the next campaign. Paradoxically, the proposed UN force, aimed at defending Israel against Hizbullah's attacks, will actually serve as a shield for the Islamist organization until it is once again ready to attack peaceful Israeli towns and villages. It is not to believed that those intending to sign this agreement think for a moment that the UN force will be able to control the long, curving Syrian-Lebanon border and halt the transfer of rockets, Katyushas and other weapons to Hizbullah. Therefore, a genuine and complete cease-fire is impossible in the short-term. We should accept the idea that low intensity operations will continue for the foreseeable future. This scenario imposes new restrictions and opportunities. On the one hand, Israel should moderate the intensity of its military pressure on Hizbullah. But on the other hand, the limitation of time, which works mainly for the benefit of terrorists, is removed. Israel's civilian and military leadership should develop a suitable strategy to meet the challenges of the "Day After." They should draw the proper lessons from the mistakes committed during the present campaign. The new strategy should incorporate a few changes from current tactics: We should avoid intensive, high-profile, brutal attacks on city centers and other highly-populated areas. We need to differentiate between the Lebanese people and the Hizbullah terror organization. Our improved strategy must accentuate focused small-scale and covert operations, instead of near all-out war in which the Lebanese people suffer more than Hizbullah. It should emphasize, more than ever, accurate, real-time, reliable intelligence, to prevent terrible mistakes. This operational strategy will make use of integrated, airborne and special teams and task forces, and prevent Syria and other countries from supplying Hizbullah. This type of strategy is designed to enable us to control the intensity of operations. The bottom line is a strategy that aims at the attrition of Hizbullah instead of the existing doctrine that seeks a decisive victory. Decisive victories over terror organizations are rare. But a strategy of attrition has brought substantial success around the globe. The list of terror organizations that have evaporated, slowly but surely, due to a strategy of continuous attrition could fill a thick book. Let us add another name - Hizbullah - to that list.


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