Israeli Army in Disarray During War

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 1 month ago

The AP is reporting:

Israeli soldiers returning from the war in Lebanon say the army was slow to rescue wounded comrades and suffered from a lack of supplies so dire that they had to drink water from the canteens of dead Hezbollah guerrillas.

“We fought for nothing. We cleared houses that will be reoccupied in no time,” said Ilia Marshak, a 22-year-old infantryman who spent a week in Lebanon.

Marshak said his unit was hindered by a lack of information, poor training and untested equipment. In one instance, Israeli troops occupying two houses inadvertently fired at each other because of poor communication between their commanders.

“We almost killed each other,” he said. “We shot like blind people. … We shot sheep and goats.”

[ ... ]

“I personally haven’t thrown a grenade in 15 years, and I thought I’d get a chance to do so before going north,” an unidentified reservist in an elite infantry brigade was quoted as telling the Maariv daily.

Israel’s largest paper, Yediot Ahronot, quoted one soldier as saying thirsty troops threw chlorine tablets into filthy water in sheep and cow troughs. Another said his unit took canteens from dead guerrillas.

I had heard (from a source I will not name) an analysis from the U.S. that Israel doesn’t know how to conduct urban warfare; that U.S. troops practice stacks and room-clearing and various urban warfare tactics; and that the proof of U.S. readiness is what happened in Fallujah (and what happens every day in Iraq).  The U.S. is good at this.

But it would appear that Israel has allowed their readiness suffer, due in (at least some small) part to this over-reliance in air power.

The post-mortem on this whole ugly affair had better dig very deep and be very extensive.  Israel has up until now fielded troops and employed tactics looking as if its very existence depended upon being the premier military on earth.  This ordeal was a blunder of staggering proportions.



  • Beej

    Captain…

    The best of equipment won’t work if it isn’t used at it’s maximum—or for what it’s meant for. It very well may be that Israel needs better equipment and training…A small start in would be to quit training and using them to expel Israeli citizens–their countrymen–from their homes…so the military could focus their energy on destroying the enemy instead of their neighbors.

    Sorry…sore point with me, had to say it. That said, I don’t trust the AP with news about Israeli anything. It sure seemed to me that the IDF training was what a lot of the strategy for house-to-house training for our own troops was based on…but that could have just been someone talking…

    The Israeli leadership, for the last six years at least, has left the Israeli military without a strong vision of who they are, and what their goals are. In some ways, this reminds me of the troops who fought in Viet Nam…The Israeli cabinet and most of the Knesset act and speak so like the Congress of the United States during the mid-late 60′s…unwilling to back the war–or even calling it a war, but were the ones responsible for getting the US involved. Then, wouldn’t support the military, or let the soldiers do what they were trained to do. Every time the gazans cried ‘foul!!’ Ollmert was johnny on the spot with apologies, and promises of action to investigate and make the situation correct…As our own government heeded every cry of ‘baby killers’in the late sixties and early seventies of Viet Nam. You remember, we were like ‘jengis kahn’ according to J.F. Kerry….
    (This is only my take on that period, having lived through it, but not as a real history buff)

    I feel very strongly the Israeli government has been negligent (if this report is true) in not keeping those that defend their country in the ready. Sheesh…they only live surrounded by how many millions and millions of people who want them all killed? Even if the report isn’t true, still, the strategies used by the naive, ego-driven, pompous, arrogant cabinet placed the citizens of Israel as well as the military in grave danger.

    Israel needs a strong leader who says what he means and means what he says, who can lead his country AND the military. Don’t know if it would/should be Netanyahu, but someone who pursues a strong defense. The keystone cops of Kadima need to be ousted, and forever regarded and shunned as lepers, to know no relief from the derision of the people of the land of Israel. The blood of those fallen is on their hands and on their heads as much as the Hizballah who actually fired the rounds that felled them.

    Beej

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This article is filed under the category(s) War & Warfare and was published August 18th, 2006 by Herschel Smith.

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