Friday, November 23, 2007

The Indirect Approach

Prominent cats have recently advocated the Great Satan using the military option on the table to bring Iran back to the table. Clear, timely communications like bunker busting swift spinning centrifuges or vaporizing IRRG HQ's.

"The Iranian people are smart enought to recognize the difference between an
invasion and an attack on their unpopular regime." Ex UN Ambassa John Bolton.
"The day after'" would be scary and dangerous. Anything less than a total regime killing, regime decapitating regime change and the Islamic Republic would unleash pure heck - from a surge of their own into Iraq to unleashing Hiz'B'Allah to act out anywhere in the world, and really bring jihad to the Great Satan.

All true. Finger crossing aside, inaction unhappily calls into play how an Islamic Republic with deployable nukes would unleash pure heck.

Could the military option actually convince Iran to halt enrichment? An indirect approach?

"In strategy the longest way round is often the shortest way there; a direct
approach to the object exhausts the attacker and hardens the resistance by
compression, whereas an indirect approach loosens the defender's hold by
upsetting his balance."

This is significant. Attacking the B'Kah Valley in Lebanon is totally legit - Security Council Resolutions negotiated, democratically achieved by veto powered members make a case for intervention and the indirect approach.

UNSCR 1559 calls Syria to split from and end its interference in Lebanon.
UNSCR 1701 calls for the disarmament of Hizballah

The Be Kah Valley is the hood for Hiz'B'Allah. The original sharia law loving super villian caliphate. The Great Satan claims just vengence as the 1st Battalon 8th Marines redeems a blood debt.

"Bekaa is Hezbollah's lifeline to the outside world (especially at a time of war). Moreover, any form of Syrian or Iranian assistance comes to Hezbollah
through this area. Hezbollah's training facilities are spread across the Bekaa -- facilities that are vital, especially to a nonstate actor like Hezbollah, dependent upon support from Damascus and Tehran."
Geographically the B'Kah Valley looks like a magical panzer magnet to downtown Damascus and beyond. The Little Satan has extensive experience against Hiz'B'Allah in the July August War of 2006 . The Little Satan's Air Force recently dissed Syria's conventional wisdom to the Nth.

Attacking the B'Kah Valley is absolutely is essential to stymie Syrian designs in Lebanon. Confidential sources indicate the BKV:
" far more important for Syria, not just because of the country's historic
role as the patron of Hezbollah, but also because of its ambitions for Lebanon".
Such a pre emptive, preventive wicki smack by the Great Satan would most likely be interpeted in Damascus that

Supporting Hizbollah carries a prohibitive price Syria could respond with
missile attacks against Israeli cities, but given the dilapidated state of
Syria's army, the chances are greater that Assad will simply internalize the
It would also have the happy effect of drawing a client of Russian Air Defenseless Systems out of Iran's orbit and marginalizing Syrian influence in Lebanon and Iraq. Completing the Great Satan's Encirclement of Iran, whose fiery rhetoric is begining to sound old, played, flat out freaked out and desperate.

"Syrian ground forces deployed near the Lebanese border would be fair targets.
By eliminating 500 Syrian tanks--tanks that Syrian President Bashar Al Assad
needs to preserve his regime and presented with a choice between saving
Hezbollah and staying alive, Syria's dictator will choose the latter."

Removing a valued weapon like HBA out of Iran's armory will further unhinge the Mullah's who are increasingly isolated and may soon have their backs to the wall. The IR's economy would not be able to rebuild both the B'Kah and Hiz'B'Allah.

"Any course of military action carries risks, especially in the unpredictable ME.
The Six Day War presents a paradigm of an unwanted war that might never have
happend if a well placed strike at Syria had been undertaken."
Attacking the B'Kah Valley may be just the thing. The indirect approach.


American Interests said...

Given the unsavory characteristics of the Bekaa Valley including Hezbollah fighters and the hardware they are probably harboring, any military action in the region should also target this valley.

Notwithstanding this, then perhaps, as you have suggested, attacking the valley directly may prove a prudent approach, albeit an “indirect” one.

Great site, really dig what you are doing here!

Jeff said...

Good idea if we had the political will, but we don't. Our government is unwilling, at this time, to open another front in the diplomatic wars with our supposed allies.

On top of that, the indirect approach would only give more time for Iran to develop their trump card of nuclear weapons. The clock is running out. I suspect our approach with Iran is narrowing quickly to a very direct bombing run.

The BKV is best left to the Israelis. The BKV is a bombing range for them already. Our best role in this would be to help the Israelis with ordinance and intelligence.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

BH Liddelhart's strat/tact of the indirect approach could be applied in diplomacy.

Political will is very much in favor of anything that could slow Iran down until a legitimate government came into power.

Zogby's recent poll ( shows 52% of Americans expect action on Iran and 52% support pre emptive prevention against the mullahs.

Creating a PR campaign against HBA would not take very long in the Great Satan - especially since HBA uses their charming chant of 'Death to America' frequently and without modesty.

For serious diplomacy - destroying HBA - specifically denying them and Syria the B'Kah Valley would send a wonderful message to all parties in the ME - not just Syria and Iran.
The Arab League would be emboldened to straighten out and Lebanon would have a fighting chance.

Debbie said...

I like the way you think, but I have to agree with Jeff, it won't happen. Too bad. Did you hear that Saudi Arabia is planning to come to Annapolis, and Syria might come too (only if they get their wants on the agenda). Washington hopes the Arabs will recognize Israel's right to exist. PFFFT. They won't even shake hands with the.

Right Truth

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Annapolis may well be the last bit of Hudna before jihad.
Sleight of hand, the indirect approach and legerdemain are at work. One by one the Great Satan is making honest efforts to confront the ME's 'rasion de retarde' for failed economies, failed states and failed leaders.

Especially if Annapolis fails - HBA in the B'Kah will become a very tempting - geographically and politically - isolated target.

Donald Douglas said...

This is the part that caught my attention:

"Anything less than a total regime killing, regime decapitating regime change and the Islamic Republic would unleash pure heck."

Now that's going to take some domestic political will. I've advocated airstrikes against Iran all year. I still do. But some have pointed out that to really be rid of the problem will take a full-scale invasion, with scorched earth and all that.

In the meanwhile the Bakaa thing sounds like a plan. I'm still pretty pissed that Hezbollah and Iran were strengthened by the 2006 Mideast War...

Cedars1559 said...

Why Hezbollah LOST the War in Lebanon!
And the Current 'Present' Situation in Southern Lebanon

By Gabriel al-Amin
Beirut, Lebanon

On July 12, 2006 Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers that led to Israel's war with them and, by extension, Lebanon itself. Hezbollah has been on Israel's fence since the latter's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000. Israel always requested from the international community and from the Lebanese government to deploy its Lebanese Army there instead of Hezbollah militants. Hezbollah, quite naturally, refused! Hezbollah vowed to NEVER allow any other force other than itself to occupy southern Lebanon. Even during the conflict, Hezbollah said it would never agree to allow either the Lebanese army nor international monitors to patrol southern Lebanon.

Then finally, when two IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldiers were kidnapped, Israel found the perfect excuse it was looking for to go into Lebanon and push Hezbollah well away from the Lebanese-Israel border. Israel pursued a limited invasion and killed over 500-600 Hezbollah members during the one month war. Additionally, Israel took over every single village in southern Lebanon. During the conflict even though Hezbollah received such a blow and all its members were freaked out and on the run. Yet when the hostilities ended, Hezbollah claimed victory! But did it really win?

Firstly, Israel agreed to a cessation of hostilities NOT because it surrendered and defeated militarily, but because of international pressure from the European Union and the United States. During this conflict Israel endured more international pressure, than it ever did in the past 10 years. Israel was put forth conditions and international agreements, such as the deployment of 15,000 Lebanese soldiers and 15,000 United Nations peace keepers into southern Lebanon, and arms embargo on Hezbollah. "This" proposal which was presented to Israel which EVEN Hezbollah agreed to accept, was something Israel was yearning for for many decades and was a once in a life time opportunity, it was a REAL "golden opportunity," even the far right in Israel said "this is an excellent proposal, so give it a shot." This cessation of hostilities, known as "The August Ceasefire", was initiated by the United Nations and International Community, and was put forward before both parties, Israel and Hezbollah, Hezbollah JUMPED right on the wagon to accept, because they saw it as the only way out of the mess they got themselves into. While at the same time, Israel was more stubborn on accept this ceasefire-agreement, since they were on a winning streak. Ever since then Hezbollah has not been seen or heard from in Southern Lebanon! At long last the frail Lebanese Government has finally had a degree of sovereignty over all of its state and is finally monitoring and guarding its own borders.

Not too long ago, nearly all television and print media images coming out of southern Lebanon were that of armed Hezbollah fighters with their guns, outposts, and banners. Not anymore! Hezbollah is now hiding under rocks in Southern Lebanon, its military might having received a substantial blow. In addition, Hezbollah is no longer enjoying the freedom and luxury of easily transferring Syrian/Iranian weaponry across the Lebanese-Syrian border or via the Beirut seaport. Much of this due to the combined efforts of a stronger Lebanese army and U.N. forces keeping a lid on such transferals.

But even though the International Troops and the Lebanese Army keep Hezbollah in check, isn't there still Hezbollah presence in Southern Lebanon, EVEN THOUGH they are hiding "under rocks?" The same could be said for Al Qaeda presence in the United States, who are also hiding under rocks.

Hezbollah may portray themselves as fearsome "militants" but they are in fact cowards cowering behind Lebanese civilians. Yet, through mostly pin-point targeting, the IDF dealt a heavy blow to Hezbollah. Five to six hundred Hezbollah terrorists were killed and nearly all of their bases, headquarters and tactical infrastructure destroyed.

Some might say, "But didn’t Hezbollah manage to shoot over one hundred rockets into Israel every single day? AND why, during the war, didn't the Israel army/air-force ever manage to stop the Katyusha fire?" Well the answer to that would be "What's so impressive about groups of one or two rag heads pointing and setting off an unguided Katyusha southward into Israel?" In addition to the fact that Hezbollah only needed 1% of their military might in order to shoot Katyushas from their scattered fields and caves, into Israel every day. Plus, the only way to have completely stopped the Katyusha fire would have been to occupy every square inch of South Lebanon, including 20 miles north of the Litani, and to stay there for a few months.

Israel 'BADLY' miscalculated Hezbollah, those past 6 years since it withdrew from Lebanon. Why? Because in 2004, it was estimated that if Israel was to engage in war with Hezbollah, their Katyusha arsenal would result in 100 deaths per day on the Israeli side, but instead only 2 people per day were killed by those rockets. But during the war, Israel came to the realization that 99.9% of all those rocket attacks, mostly result in a lot of noise and broken windows. Prior to the war it was also estimated that if Israel launches a ground invasion, it would result in the deaths of over 70 Israeli soldiers per day, which would have left over 2000 dead on the IDF side at the end of the 34 day conflict. But only 120 soldiers were killed in total, which makes it 3-4 soldiers per day.

The reason 120 soldiers were killed in the first place, is because what would someone expect if an army deployed 30,000 soldiers squashed together in a small, tight, open space (South Lebanon)! It was amazing that after the war, those soldier didn't all suffer from cluster phobia. But even though Israel deployed so many soldiers in the open, Hezbollah didn't manage to deliver that harsh blow as was estimated before the ground invasion. But after all, Hezbollah didn't fight as courageous as the Egyptians during the Suez Canal invasion, nor as the Syrians during the war in the Golan heights.

It shouldn’t shock the world that Hezbollah bombed a couple Israeli Merkava Tanks, because even the Palestinians have done it in the past too. Blowing up a Merkava Tank is NOT an ‘uncommon’ operation. But at the same time Israel was still advancing and still taking over every village in South Lebanon, bombing every headquarter and outpost, all Hezbollah members were on the run. Even though Israel lost a couple of tanks and didn’t destroy Hezbollah, it still doesn’t mean they (Israel) were defeated militarily. The definition of military defeat, mean: to crush the other side, force it to flee and or be on the run, or force it into surrender. Israel was not defeated militarily!

The same can be said about the Israeli naval ship that was bombed by Hezbollah of the coast of Lebanon, during the first week of the conflict, which caused a tiny bit of damage to the ship and which resulted in the deaths of 4 Israeli naval soldiers. Once again this wasn’t a military defeat, but it was an internal flaw, which meant that; Israel needed a better anti missile naval detector radar, a better anti missile interceptor, and better armor for its ship. But did Hezbollah succeed in sinking the ship and destroying it completely, did they destroy all the Israeli naval ships of the Lebanon Coast, did Israel scurry away with all its ships with its tail in between its legs, or did Israel ask for a cease-fire? NO! Instead, Israel simultaneously the same day, brought the damaged ship back into Israel for repair and sent another ship to the Lebanon Coast to replace it.

During and after the war, Hezbollah regretted starting the war in the first place, by kidnapped the two Israeli soldiers. But Israel on the other hand, didn’t regret going to war with Hezbollah, not even 1%. In fact Israel was ready to go for round two, but Hezbollah, will not dare even consider thinking about it.

During the fighting, many people (both inside and outside Lebanon) finally saw Hezbollah as they really are... a terrorist group. It's strategy had little or no military value. The rockets they launched were intended to cause terror among Israel's citizenry. They were not aimed at Israel military targets.

Israel never managed to destroy Hezbollah. As much as the IDF might have wanted to, the wiping out of Hezbollah was not Israel's goal. Nor could it ever be its goal. It is against the laws of physics to destroy a guerilla/terrorist group (America is learning it the hard way with Al Qaeda) since their operatives and members are always blending in and out of the civilian populations from which they so cowardly operate. In fact NEVER in history has a guerilla group ever been destroyed.

Additionally, rescuing the kidnapped IDF soldiers without a strong intelligence as to exactly where they were hidden, would have been a nearly impossible mission.. assuming they had not already been secreted out of Lebanon into Syria or Iran!

We constantly hear phrases such "Hezbollah emerged stronger," "Hezbollah is now stronger than ever," or "Hezbollah is now seen stronger than before!" There is some truth to that. Since before the Israeli withdrawal of 2000, Hezbollah was seen as more of a small arms, home made explosive, cut and run group, but during this conflict they were able to show off their Iranian made weapons. But they were no match for the Israeli army, whom they bowed down to at the end, by feeling too threatened to attack and provoke ever again.

When the United Nations wanted to impose a 48-hour ceasefire, it was Hezbollah which rushed to accept while Israel had to be pressured. Obviously this was because Israel had the military momentum in her favor. And when the month-long conflict ended, Hezbollah leader, Nasrallah, remained in an underground bunker, no longer enjoying frequent visits to central Beirut, giving daily "Hate Israel" speeches, driving down to his home town of southern Lebanon or enjoying first class flights to Damascus and Tehran. Nasrallah even admitted that had he known that even one percent of this war would have gone as it had, he would have NEVER kidnapped the soldiers and thus started the war!

"We did not think, even 1 percent, that the capture would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude. You ask me, if I had known on July 11 ... that the operation would lead to such a war, would I do it? I say no, absolutely not.” - Hezbollah Leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, August 27, 2006

In February 2007, there was a skirmish between Israeli troops and the Lebanese army on the Israel/Lebanon border, even though this skirmish that resulted in a shoot out and was unfortunate, the ray of light from all this, was that Israel was confronted and attacked by the Lebanese army and not by Hezbollah. This was one of the first signs that showed that the Lebanese army was doing its job. This was mostly due to the fact that Hezbollah lost its kingdom in Southern Lebanon, and is NOW in constant check by UNIFL, Lebanese Army, and International Troops. At least the Lebanese army was able to stand its ground and take control, unlike BEFORE the August 11 ceasefire! At least Israel finally got its wish, after 40 years, to FINALLY have the Lebanese army in control of the border. Since August 11, 2006 when the Lebanese army began its deployment in Southern Lebanon, not a single Katuysha, let alone a singe bullet was fired toward the Israeli side of the fence by Hezbollah. Unlike after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, when Hezbollah would look for any excuse to shoot Katyushas into Israel at least once every three months, but not anymore. No longer will the Israeli citizens of Northern Israel will ever live in fear once again!

People in the Lebanese Government now hate Hezbollah, for bringing destruction to Lebanon. All of Hezbollah's southern Beirut strong posts were destroyed by Israel. Even after the cease fire, Israel stayed in Lebanon for two more months in order to destroy all remaining Hezbollah outposts and bunkers while Hezbollah stood by and did nothing. During the conflict some of the Israel/Lebanon border fence was destroyed and torn down, and Israel was in no rush to fix it, since what's the point? Hezbollah will not want to mess with the IDF again! Even until today some of that fence has not been fixed yet, since the only threat of infiltration, now, is from drug dealers smuggling Hashish across that border.

But what about the Winograd Commission, "which is an independent Israeli government-appointed commission of inquiry, chaired by retired Israeli chief judge Eliyahu Winograd, which is set out to investigate and draw lessons from the failures experienced by Israel during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. Which resulted in a war panel, and even the resignation of high figures such as the Israeli chief of staff Dan Halutz." The reason THIS is currently taking place in Israel, is it goes to show that Israel is a democratic country! If a "Lebanese-Winograd Commission" would be done to Hezbollah; for launching an illogical irresponsible attack on Israel, by kidnapping the two soldiers which led to the war and the destruction of Lebanon. And if a Lebanese Winograd Commission would be done to the Lebanese government; for not controlling its southern border by allowing thuggish armed militias (Hezbollah) to roam free there, allowing illegal weapon shipments via the Lebanese seaport, air port, and Syrian Lebanese border to those armed "non-governmental" militias, and allowing Syria and Iran to meddle in its politics, then Lebanon would crumble to dust! But after all, Lebanon is not a Democracy.

Worst case scenario, the Winograd Commission and some of the failures of this war, prove, that Israel might have been defeated from within, but not militarily.

Furthermore there hasn't been one complaint filed against Hezbollah on behalf of UNIFL and the International Troops since last year's August cease-fire, the only complaint filed, was against the Israeli army for their over flights over Lebanese territory. Speaking about Israeli over flights, even the Israeli army itself, hasn't complained even once, about hostile enemy fire against its planes by Hezbollah. Since Israel withdrew from Lebanon in May 2000, up until the war last summer, they continued their daily over flight and breaches over Lebanese territory, only to find themselves being confronted by Hezbollah anti-aircraft artillery. But after the August cease-fire Israel 'STILL' continued its breaches over Lebanese airspace, but this time, Hezbollah hasn't even shot one pellet at them! Maybe because they are deterred and maybe because UNIFL and the Lebanese army are now in control.

After the war, Hezbollah saw that it could no longer push around and bully Israel, and are therefore now trying to bully the "weak" Lebanese government by; their mass demonstration, camping out in front of the Lebanese Parliament, and political assassinations.

Israel did loose the war last summer, but not in Lebanon, but instead in Gaza. After Gilad Shalit was kidnapped, Israel began a massive military campaign in Gaza, destroying infrastructure, entering towns and cities, going after terrorists, and also trying to stop the Qassam rocket fire. But instead, all it achieved was nothing, and the results of it were, that now, the Palestinians saw even more of a weakness in Israel. After the Israeli military campaign in Lebanon, deterrence was at least achieved, BUT unlike in Gaza, after the massive military campaign took place there (Gaza), the Israeli deterrence was lost for good, and now, the Palestinians are, even, more UNDETERRED from Israel that ever! And therefore have increase their rocket fire into Israel. In addition to the fact that as soon as Israel stopped its military campaign, Hamas and other groups said, "They are now even more determined than ever to kidnap another Israeli Soldier." In April of 2007, they acted on their promise, under the cover of intense rocket fire on the Israel town of Sderot, Hamas terrorists again attempted to infiltrate Israel in order to abduct another soldier, but failed. A month later the militant group Islamic Jihad successfully infiltrated Israel, to also try to kidnap an Israeli soldier, but also failed. At least they weren't afraid to try!

After the war some Arab Governments claimed Hezbollah achieved a divine victory! But hey, lets not forget, that some of those Arab governments which claimed Hezbollah won that "divine victory," are some of those "same" Arab governments who "STILL" until today claim that the Syria and Egypt won the 1967 War and the 1973 War!


People from around the world, before the August cease-fire, would have never believed nor imagined that the Lebanese army would EVER be in control of its southern border. Nor, people would have never believed Lebanon would EVER be able to establish control over "illegal" arms shipments across its Lebanese/Syrian border, sea ports, and airports, and, well, it finally is!

Hezbollah will most likely never dare kidnap IDF soldiers because they saw the might and strength of the Israeli army, and they now feel threatened. Sure, some Hezbollah sympathizers may throw rocks, wave Hezbollah flags or scream "Allah Akbar" at the Lebanese-Israeli border fence but Hezbollah rank and file are laying low. Very low! And Hezbollah is no longer the imminent threat at that very same border.

Since the 'moment' the two soldiers were kidnapped and even during the war, Israel knew, they would not succeed in getting them back, in addition to the fact that destroying a guerilla group is against the laws of physics! Once people will get those two facts into their heads, then THEY will realize that, the outcomes that were achieved as a result of this conflict, were the best possible "REALISTIC" outcomes that Israel could have achieved.

Obviously this past year, the Northern Israeli border has been the quietest it has ever been over the past 40 years.

By, Gabriel al-Amin
Beirut, Lebanon

Articles and Refernces:

UNIFL: Not 'ONE' complaint filed against Hezbollah since last years cease-fire
(Jerusalem Post 6/14/2007)

Again, Israeli gloom is misplaced (First Post - 4/17/2007)

Lebanese army, UNIFIL are keeping Hezbollah in check (Haaretz - 2/21/2007)

Hezbollah's 'Victory'? (Washington Post 9/1/2006)

The Lebanese Winnograd Commission (Thomas Friedman, New York Times 5/10/2007)

Karen said...

You have a great blog here! I'm here from Heidianne's blog. I'll be back.

Butch said...

Bomb 'em. Now.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

We need to reduce their nuclear program to a smoldering crater for the world to see. They don't like it?