Israel stumbles

Problems with Israeli military performance

The Israelis are finding that the Hizbullah guerrillas have excellent intelligence on Israeli weaponry, and that they are capable of fighting orderly tactical battles from buildings with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. In other words, they are not facing the militia of tobacco share croppers. They are facing a highly professional military force, perhaps the most professional in the region aside from Israel’s own.

Hezbollah is homegrown, something the neocons (and Democrats) appear incapable of understanding. They are a guerilla army supported by the people, and would not exist without that support.

The Israeli military is rapidly scaling back its military goals, since the ones initially announced with such confidence (pushing Hizbullah back 35 miles and completely destroying its missile arsenal) are obviously pie in the sky. The Israelis are stumbling around so badly that yesterday they lost a helicopter and killed 6 of their own men (it could have been much worse).

More on this from Billmon

My friend is an old Middle East hand who has some good sources on the Israeli side, mostly ex-military and ex-Mossad, plus some contacts among the Bush I realist crowd — although of course they’re not in government any more either.

He didn’t have any secret dope on what the next military or diplomatic moves will be — it seems to be purely day-to-day now — but he DID get a clear sense that the Americans and the Israelis both understand now that they are in serious danger of losing the war.

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