Sunday, August 06, 2006

Ghosts Of Past Wars

The notion of fighting a well-supplied guerrilla army operating within it's own territory terrifies most Westerners. Americans have first the sentimental attachment to Washington's army, and every Western country has the memory of a terrible defeat at the hands of such a guerrilla force.

But it is not inevitable that such a force be victorious. They fight from an essential position of weakness. Unable to maneuver freely, they are always on the run. And they cannot rely on regular resupply. They win only when the regular army they fight decides it cannot afford the ruthlessness required to defeat the guerrillas.

Two articles today ruminate on Hezbollah as a guerrilla army and consider what Israel faces. American Thinker takes the position that Hezbollah has deluded itself much like the Japanese did at Iwo Jima (via Op-For):

Hezbollah's predicament comes closer to the Japanese forces at Iwo Jima than the German Army in Normandy and Western Europe. And as such, IsraelĂ‚’s strategy in part calls for trapping the Hezbollah terrorist forces in their entrenched, fortified positions where Israel will cut them off from re-supply and then tear apart piece-by-piece.

It's a persuasive and encouraging argument. The flaw is that Hezbollah has a place to run and the Japanese at Iwo Jima did not. It's strength is that it correctly relates determination of the U.S. to defeat the Japanese to the determination of Israel to defeat Hezbollah. At least I hope it correctly relates the two.

Less sanguine is Nouri Lumendifi at Publius Pundit. Lumendifi expounds on a Michael Totten interview with Lebanon expert Tony Badran. In addition to explaining the dire political situation in which Hezbollah has put its Shia followers, the piece also suggests that the IDF is losing its fight against Nasrallah's army, and that each of its strikes merely makes the country more of a pariah.

The issue for defeating Hezbollah is really one of careful ruthlessness. Nasrallah won't win provided the Israeli strikes are hard and well-planned. It will have to be someone else's role to say whether Israel has taken the correct approach.


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1 comment:

Nouri said...

Thanks for the mention. I have my own blog as well at ("The Moor Next Door").