Informative NY Times article.

“Never before in history has a terrorist organization had such state-ofthe-art military equipment,” from medium-range rockets and laser-guided antitank missiles to well-designed explosive mines that can cripple an advanced tank, General Amidror said.

At the same time, Hezbollah has no armor or easily visible storehouses or logistics lines, the Israelis say, and its members live among the civilian population of southern Lebanon, storing their weaponry in civilian buildings.

That is why Israel’s top commanders say this operation may take many weeks.

At the Pentagon, senior military planners cast the conflict as a localized example of America’s broader campaign against global terrorism and said any faltering by Israel could harm the American efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hezbollah “has features of a stateless terrorist organization, but it also holds territory — and is quite dug in there — and is able to hold at risk the population of the regional superpower in the way that only national militaries once could,” said a senior military officer with experience in Iraq

Mr. Dichter said Israel’s deliberate pace was an effort to minimize casualties — both to Israeli forces and to Lebanese civilians.

“You can do it in a short time,” he said. “You can flood southern Lebanon with ground troops and you can bomb villages without warning anyone, and it will be faster. But you’ll kill a lot more innocent people and suffer a lot more casualties, and we don’t intend to do either.”

Part of what makes Hezbollah unique as a nonstate militia is its store of more than 10,000 rockets, including a few hundred Syrian- and Iranian-made missiles that can go more than 60 miles and carry large warheads. Some of the Syrian missiles, like the ones that hit a Haifa railway yard, have warheads filled with antipersonnel weapons like ball bearings.

A Katyusha can be launched, on command, by a man who takes it from his house and can be back inside, as a civilian, in 10 minutes, General Amidror said. “He’s under command, but he has his own logistics, and he lives as a civilian among civilians. And only the ground forces can deal with these guys in the villages.”

Read the article, it’s one of the better ones I’ve seen since this war began.

About the author