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Mideast War special report. Israel is flunking anti-terrorism 101. Here's how to do it better.


(Full disclosure. This writer has not served in any military or law enforcement capacity.)

Israel hasn't yet screwed this up on the same scale of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But it's bad enough to have pushed the Ukraine war completely off the front page.

[b]First of all, October 7th was an astonishing intelligence failure on Israel's part[/b]. Somebody didn't keep track of the websites, cellular calls, emails and physical comings and goings of Hamas operatives. How else to explain Hamas stockpiling 10,000 rockets, drones, and cruise missiles? Pinpoint detailed Hamas plans on how to overwhelm border kibbutz's and settlements. And those assassins in hang gliders with AK-47s??? Come on! How could anyone miss the prep for all those things?

So . . . Israel needs a new intelligence team. But it can't dismantle the old one yet. They're the ones with all the legacy confidential informants, double agents, electronic fingerprints, facial recognition software, and digital voice prints. Israel needs to assemble a “Team B”, made up of some new guys, and select legacy guys from the bad intelligence units.

Start identifying the qualified guys by looking at all the military fitness reports and disciplinary hearings which complain that “lieutenant so-and-so is a pain in the ass and should be demoted, because he keeps pestering me about things which aren't a threat.” I'm serious – Israel needs to reach out to the guys who actually found evidence of risk. Let the new and old teams operate side by side, while the losers are being phased out.

[b]Second . . . stop bombing Gaza civilians. [/b]This isn't World War 2, where you are allowed to have a blitzkrieg of London, followed by the incineration of Dresden. Or nuking cities like Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Every counterinsurgency manual in the world is clear about this. You HAVE to win the allegiance of non-combatants. And you can NEVER do that by indiscriminately massacring them. Every war crime in history began with civilian atrocities.

This may already be a moot point, however. Gaza is 2 million people crammed into a sliver of real estate 5 miles wide and 30 miles long. They are surrounded on two sides by Israel. Their back is at the Mediterranean Sea, which Israel has also blockaded. They have a tiny bottleneck exit at the south, into Egypt. Except Egypt doesn't want any Gazans and built a wall some time ago. Israel telling Gaza civilians to "evacuate" to Egypt is beyond ludicrous.

Anyway, those videos of burned screaming kids are out there already. You can't un-see those. Maybe Israel needs to replace the guys in charge of the air war too? I've never seen a city softened up for a ground invasion by a non-stop air attack. Not London, Dresden or Hiroshima or Kiev. The bombing of Gaza civilians is an atrocity.

[b]Israel needs to make an immediate pivot.[/b] Move toward targeted assassinations of Hamas leaders. This is where the restored/recalibrated signal intelligence comes into play. Israel just got a cell phone intercept for some guy named Mohammed al Kill'yall? Put a cruise missile in his bedroom window. If he's already fled by the time it hits, immediately acknowledge it was your cruise missile, and promise to continue to act on any intelligence. Do this to the top 3 guys, day after day. Their homes, their hideouts, their safe houses, their known associates, their brothers in law. Whenever there is any reason to believe you've got one cornered, attack him. Pretty soon nobody will even open the door when one of these guys shows up looking for a bed and a sandwich. When you get one of the Hamas top 3, promote number four to the most wanted list. That's what Hamas is doing, operationally – battlefield promotions. But Israel needs good intelligence for this. And they get if operatives are sheltering in place or pissed off because someone just bombed their apartment building.

[b]Don't launch a ground invasion fronted by 300,000 reservists.[/b] These guys MIGHT have some value as greeters at the front door of the local Walmart. But not as invading shock troops. If Israel decides some Hamas guy should be knocked off by boots on the ground, it should use the equivalent of Seal Team Six or the Green Berets. An Israeli bank clerk with an M16 that he's barely used is just a complication.

In addition to scheduling only limited, targeted ground incursions into Gaza, make continuous feints. Mass troops at various border points. Jam the local GPS sporadically. Send jets over daily. Keep Hamas on high alert. Make them spend resources on playing defense, even when they're not actually being attacked. Hamas has limited resources – make those disappear.

[b]Long run . . . sponsor Gaza and Palestine for UN membership. On one condition.[/b] They have to delete and repudiate their charters and manifestos which call for the elimination of Israel as a state. Israel should continue to supply electricity, natural gas, and water to the newly independent nation-states for a phase in period. Ten years? Then its up to countries like Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Iran to pick up the tab. Those are the guys who've been helping Hamas buy rockets. And they've been getting away scot-free. Gaza and Palestine can become normal. There are lots of resource deprived regions that have become wealthy: Hong Kong. Singapore. Monaco. Lichtenstein. Bermuda . . .

[b]Remember – cease fires and peace treaties only ratify realities which already exist on the ground.[/b] Israel can never – and doesn't want to – be a permanent occupying force in Gaza and Palestine. The reality Israel needs to achieve is the complete decapitation of local terrorist organizations and ending Gaza's civilian misery.

There's enough here to annoy both backers of Hamas, and of Israel, I presume?
wildbill83 · 36-40, M
[quote](Full disclosure. This writer has not served in any military or law enforcement capacity.)[/quote]


Good thing no one takes tactical advice how to fight a war from someone whose never been in one...
SusanInFlorida · 31-35, F
@wildbill83 so you have no actual response to the text of the post? Just a personal attack on me? Well done!
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SusanInFlorida · 31-35, F
@jshm2 i endorse your viewpoint, and was trying to say the same thing. just before the 10/7 terrorist attacks, some Israeli government minister gave an extensive interview about why Hamas wasn't going to attack anytime soon. If you're this wrong when you attempt to do your job, you should be fired on the spot.
graphite · 61-69, M
re: Second . . . stop bombing Gaza civilians.


Headline: Israeli Military Strikes [b]Hamas, Which Is Using Shelters, Hospitals as Cover[/b]
SusanInFlorida · 31-35, F
@graphite yeah - Hamas (and other terrorist organizations) have been using hospitals, schools, and apartment buildings as missile launching sites for decades. And able to show "atrocities" when Israel fire back.

I think we can agree that Israel's counterpunch isn't in any way effective.
wildbill83 · 36-40, M
@SusanInFlorida how would you do it? go door to door, knocking, and asking "hello, are there any hamas in here?" 🤔
Terror will always be effective against humanity. Americans are God's answer to peace forever.
SusanInFlorida · 31-35, F
@Roundandroundwego until we elect a president who backs away from NATO, Taiwan, or other treaty obligations. then all bets are off.
@SusanInFlorida no reason to back away from international morality, human rights or World Citizenship, it's just your policy.
Guardian · 56-60, M
I think the best evidence is a testimonial from someone who has been there:

SusanInFlorida · 31-35, F
@Guardian i'm hearing impaired. what does she say? BTW, she looks like she came from a cocktail party, and is completely lit up - not like she returned from a war zone.

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