Lesson 1: You can win every tactical engagement and still lose at the strategic level.
Israel's fought well. But its forces did a polite minuet, while its enemy's danced madly in the streets...but the Olmert government asked them to do the wrong things - and to do too little for too long...without sound strategic planning, our tactical wins will not add up to victory.
Lesson 2: The global media can overturn the verdict of the battlefield.
Too many politicians and generals still don't get it.
Lesson 3: If you start off on the wrong foot in war, you may never recover your balance.
This old rule never changes. The Israeli government dreamed of fighting a short, clean war on the cheap. Now they're playing incremental catch-up. It's a formula for stalemate, if not defeat. If you must go to war, go with everything you've got. From Day One. In war, the only bargain at any price is victory.
Lesson 4: Technology alone can't win 21st-century wars.
You've heard it before and, sadly, you'll hear it again. These asymmetrical, brutal human conflicts require flesh-and-blood solutions - boots on the ground, not just airpower.
Lesson 5: Never underestimate your enemy.
Another timeless rule. The Israelis did it in 1973, and now they've done it again. They undervalued Hezbollah's preparedness for a serious war, its armaments, its training - and its tenacity.
Lesson 6: In war, take the pain up front, and the overall suffering will be far less.
A policy of casualty aversion - in Israel or in the United States - results in more casualties in the end.
Lesson 7: Terrorism is no longer a limited, diffuse, disorganized threat.
Hezbollah has an army, if of a new and innovative kind. Iran and Syria supply, support and succor it. It has strategic depth and startling resilience.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Ralph Peters has learned some lessons that he'd like Israel to absorb:-