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We Were Caught Unprepared: The 2006 Hezbollah-israeli War

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  • We Were Caught Unprepared: The 2006 Hezbollah-israeli War

    WE WERE CAUGHT UNPREPARED- COMBAT STUDIES INSTITUTE
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  • #2
    Really eye opening. The vaunted IDF brought low by a terrorist organisation.
    For Gallifrey! For Victory! For the end of time itself!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Bolo 121 Reply

      Every dog has his day.

      As long as there's a significant civil/political component to this fight, POG (party of God) retain some advantages. They can be mitigated, however, and I'd anticipate that the Israelis are carefully considering their possible options.
      "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
      "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

      Comment


      • #4
        I haven't had a chance to read the CSI article; check out the article linked to in this post, http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/sta...l-vol-4-a.html, as a companion read.
        "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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        • #5
          Shek Reply

          "Intellectually, then, it was easier for the U.S. Army officer corps to go back to defending the Fulda Gap against imaginary Soviet tank divisions using the same tactics employed in the Second World War. In the same way, the belief that the United States might someday fight like Israel did in 2006 is being used by some to argue for a reversion back to what the U.S. military does best and finds easiest: conventional warfare."

          Didn't agree with Bigfella and I don't agree with Exum. He's dismissive by suggesting that we dashed to momma's womb in the mid-70s. Too young to draw upon personal context, he utterly failed to acknowledge the strategic imperative and operational/technical bankruptcy with which we were faced in western Europe.

          Where's his proof of doctrinal failure? Don't they call it Russia these days?

          Conversely, he's welcome to suggest that a paucity of intellect was devoted in the post-Desert Storm army addressing the evolving nature of conflict. It might be fair to say that we mimiced Tom Clancy in identifying future threats.

          Had Exum done so, I'd have applauded the proper identification of the moment in our history when we became too utterly infatuated with our bad selves to see the emerging world. From 1991-2001 (maybe 2005) we failed to adjust to the newly-evolved nature of conflict-hybrid or otherwise.

          "Guns, bombs and tactics from the Second World War are simply not enough. This has been the harsh lesson of the U.S. militaryís counter-insurgency campaigns since 2001, and this is also the enduring lesson of Israelís war with Hizb Allah."

          Yeah, well, I dunno there. I'll let that nugget stand on it's own weight.
          "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
          "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

          Comment


          • #6
            S-2,

            Perhaps a historic analogy can bring this issue to more light.

            There is absolutely no question that the Boer War armies could have taken the combined armies of the Union and the Confederacy of the American Civil War times 3 (ie, outnumbered 5 to 1) ... and yet, WWI reflects more on the American Civil War than the Boer War.

            I have absolutely no doubt that today's NATO could have kicked both Armies at the Fulda Gap ... but is our next big war reflective of the Fulda Gap or Operation Iraqi Freedom? And what are our armies designed for?

            Just like what were WWI armies designed for? The Boer War or the American Civil War? Not what they eventually end up fighting but what did they envisioned the war to be?

            Comment


            • #7
              OoE Reply

              "...but is our next big war reflective of the Fulda Gap or Operation Iraqi Freedom? And what are our armies designed for?"

              Colonel,

              With all due respect, sir, I'm not arguing that point. My posts elsewhere on "Transformation" argue for focusing on the fight before us and doing so while attuned to it's evolving and subtle nature.

              No sir. I'm arguing that Exum does himself no service with his stock AND trite reference to our post-Vietnam experience as a foundation for our present dilemma. He fully ignores context then as he accuses the IDF and, more importantly, the U.S. Army now.

              Colonel, it's real nice that he's a Ph.D candidate at Kings College and all. I'm sure he gets good grades. Attending a conference on the information component of the Israeli-POG war doesn't give him special insight into what we are OR aren't actually studying.

              I say, if the shoe fits-wear it. There are lessons galore from that war that everybody in every army from fire-team leader on up should be sifting for relevance to their immediate, near-term, and down-the-road posture. Exum's comments struck me as nothing so much as mildly patronizing and lacking the insight that I find daily right here at WAB.
              Last edited by S2; 18 Mar 08,, 06:09.
              "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
              "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

              Comment


              • #8
                Captain,

                Please do forgive me for not being clear enough. I am not agreeing with Exum at all. I know our armies are more than capable of fighting Fulda Gap and with probably less than our current strength to do so.

                What I am saying is that we may very well have ignored Fulda Gap version 2.0 (just like we ignored WWI, ie American Civil War version 2.0) while concentrating on Afghanistan 2/Iraq 2 (ie, the Boer War).

                Would military theorist at the time of the Boer War gone back to the lessons of the American Civil War instead of the Boer War to come up with the doctrines for WWI?

                I am only saying that Exum's warning, not his thesis, may have merit. Are we ready to fight Fulda Gap 2.0?
                Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 18 Mar 08,, 06:18.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                  Just like what were WWI armies designed for? The Boer War or the American Civil War? Not what they eventually end up fighting but what did they envisioned the war to be?

                  Colonel,

                  If I may interupt. Weren't the Germans still thinking in terms of the Franco-Prussian War? A quick strike and France would be defeated.... Not 4 yrs of trench warfare.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kansas Bear View Post
                    Colonel,

                    If I may interupt. Weren't the Germans still thinking in terms of the Franco-Prussian War? A quick strike and France would be defeated.... Not 4 yrs of trench warfare.
                    And you're further making my point. The armies of the Boer War and the Franco-Prussian War would make mince meat out of the combined armies of the Union-Confederacy of the American Civil War. Was there doctrinal failures in both the Boer War and the Franco-Prussian War that would've prevented those armies from fighting the American Civil War? Not by a long shot. BUT were those armies ready to fight WWI? Also not by a long shot.

                    Do remember that before the trenches were dug, both sides tried to outmaneuver each other and instead found trenches to be far more effective only afterwards.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      OoE Reply

                      Colonel,

                      His warning is simplified and trite, if fundamentally correct.

                      His premise of doctrinal escapism in the aftermath of Vietnam is utterly inaccurate and foolish. Instead, the threat was correctly assessed and the proper remedies prescribed. Evidence? No Soviet Union.

                      He accuses the U.S. Army of failing to study the 2006 POG-Israeli war in proper context then uses a study by a U.S. Army captain about the IDF that perfectly illustrates contextual lessons. WTF?

                      He's preaching to a very nuanced choir in the CTC readership that's heard this righteous sermon presented better and earlier.

                      I was sorta underwhelmed.
                      "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
                      "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by S-2 View Post
                        I was sorta underwhelmed.
                        S-2,

                        I now see your point and I am embarrassed to have saw more in the article than what was actually there.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          OoE Reply

                          "I am embarrassed to have saw more in the article than what was actually there."

                          Colonel,

                          I confess to being unsure where Kansas Bear and you are going right now but, sir, I'm willing to go anywhere you tread first.:)
                          "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
                          "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by S-2
                            Didn't agree with Bigfella and I don't agree with Exum. He's dismissive by suggesting that we dashed to momma's womb in the mid-70s. Too young to draw upon personal context, he utterly failed to acknowledge the strategic imperative and operational/technical bankruptcy with which we were faced in western Europe.
                            I'd agree that his dismissal is out of context, as it ignores the monumental task that the Army had to rebuild following Vietnam given the low esteem granted to it by the nation as well as doing it through a AVF in addition to having to turn to a real threat.

                            Originally posted by S-2
                            Where's his proof of doctrinal failure? Don't they call it Russia these days?
                            The proof of doctrinal failure is the need for a COIN manual to be written after four decades (I believe this to be correct, although a LIC manual geared towards Latin America had been written two decades prior) without a new one.

                            Originally posted by S-2
                            "Guns, bombs and tactics from the Second World War are simply not enough. This has been the harsh lesson of the U.S. military’s counter-insurgency campaigns since 2001, and this is also the enduring lesson of Israel’s war with Hizb Allah."

                            Yeah, well, I dunno there. I'll let that nugget stand on it's own weight.
                            His quote sums up that diMe doesn't work. It takes DIME. Heck, how successful was CJTF-7 in Iraq? You can even extend his quote back through Vietnam.

                            While he was speaking about COIN, apply his statement to your Russia example. What were the bombs that brought about the collapse of the USSR? While the means existed, these were not the means that brought about the collapse of the USSR, but rather, it was on the economic side that the conflict was eventually won.

                            His dismissal of the valid need to focus on the Red Army (although this doesn't excuse the method in which the Army turned its back on COIN and deprofessionalized by becoming task/condition/standards oriented - great for training, bad for institutional adaptibility) shouldn't overshadow the insights he offers, especially in cutting through the supposed analogy to Israel becoming to COIN oriented. He found the exact same thing that a four person grad school group found - the IDF doesn't do COIN, but CT instead.
                            "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                              And you're further making my point. The armies of the Boer War and the Franco-Prussian War would make mince meat out of the combined armies of the Union-Confederacy of the American Civil War. Was there doctrinal failures in both the Boer War and the Franco-Prussian War that would've prevented those armies from fighting the American Civil War? Not by a long shot. BUT were those armies ready to fight WWI? Also not by a long shot.

                              Do remember that before the trenches were dug, both sides tried to outmaneuver each other and instead found trenches to be far more effective only afterwards.
                              Are you saying that Confederate General Nathan Bedford and Stuart's methods of raiding and manuever tactics would not stand up to the Boer War and Franco-Prussian armies?

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