Air vs ground

Posted in Politics + Diplomacy by expresscheckout on 21 July, 2006

Israeli Jet 

An aerial war
By Ari Shavit
For 78 days, the U.S. air force bombed the Serbs, led by Slobodan Milosevic, until it achieved a resolution in Yugoslavia in 1999. The Israel Air Force will not have 78 days for its air offensive in Lebanon. There are more restrictions on the IAF’s activity in Beirut than there were on the U.S. air force in Belgrade, and Hezbollah is a lot more sophisticated than Milosevic’s army was.

The significance of this is clear: There will be no resolution from the air, even if the pilots ultimately manage to locate Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and kill him. Despite the media euphoria and the patriotic spin, the aerial war led by Chief of Staff Dan Halutz is not heading for victory. In the best case, it is heading for a limited military achievement.

Following the humiliation of the ground forces by abductions in the north and south, the air force strikes are straightening the national spine and arousing combative instincts. But the hard truth is that the air force’s hammer blows are hitting Lebanon harder than they are hitting Hezbollah. At least two-thirds of Nasrallah’s war machine remains intact. The achievements in curbing the Katyusha fire are insufficient. There is no chance of dismantling the guerrilla army in a matter of days.

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