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calendar   Monday - July 31, 2006

Asymmetric Warfare

Today’s topic for discussion is “asymmetric warfare”. Here is a simple definition from Wikipedia ....

Asymmetric Warfare is a term that describes a military situation in which two belligerents of unequal strength interact and take advantage of their respective strengths and weaknesses. This interaction often involves strategies and tactics outside the bounds of conventional warfare. If the inferior power is in an aggressive position and/or turns to tactics prohibited by the laws of war (jus in bello), its success depends on the superior power’s refraining from like tactics. For example, the Law of land warfare prohibits the use of a flag of truce or clearly-marked medical vehicles as cover for an attack or ambush, but an asymmetric combatant using this prohibited tactic depends on the superior power’s obedience to the corresponding law. Similarly, laws of warfare prohibit combatants from using civilian settlements, populations or facilities as military bases, but when an inferior power uses this tactic, it depends on the premise that the superior power will respect the law that they are violating, and will not attack that civilian target, or if they do the propaganda advantage will outweigh the material loss.

-- Wikipedia

That is the description of how it works. Here is a picture of asymmetric warfare in action ...

image
Gary Varvel - The Indianapolis Star-News


Now, let’s look at how that compares to the current conflict in southern Lebanon. Yesterday Israel hit a house in Lebanon where Hezbollah fighters were hiding. Also inside the house were several dozen civilians. As you can see below, the media tells us about 37 children being killed ... several times in the report but only briefly mentions the 150 rockets that hit Israel. Asymmetric warfare is about propaganda and world opinion, not about actual combat. It is basically a way of forcing one side to play by the rules while the other side practices unrestricted mayhem.

Israel Moves to Suspend Air Attacks for 2 Days
After Strike in Lebanese Village Kills 57 Civilians

As Leaders in Region Condemn Operation, Rice Says Cease-Fire Could Come Soon

BEIRUT, Lebanon (WASHINGTON POST) - Monday, July 31, 2006

Israeli warplanes hunting Hezbollah rocket launchers in southern Lebanon on Sunday killed at least 57 civilians, most of them children, huddled inside a three-story building in a small village. In response, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appeared set to abandon diplomacy in the region and said she would return to Washington on Monday. But after an intense day of negotiations in Jerusalem, Israel agreed to suspend air attacks on southern Lebanon for 48 hours.

[Rice told reporters early Monday morning that she would soon seek a U.N. resolution that would bring a cease-fire. “This morning as I head back to Washington, I take with me an emerging consensus on what is necessary for both an urgent cease-fire and a lasting settlement,” Rice said. “I am convinced we can achieve both this week."]

The attack on the small Lebanese village of Qana was the bloodiest single incident in 19 days of warfare between Israel and Hezbollah. Among the dead were 37 children and a large number of women, according to the Lebanese health minister. Hezbollah, the radical Shiite Muslim movement, vowed revenge, and more than 150 rockets slammed into northern Israel, wounding at least five people. It was the highest number of rockets fired at Israel since the conflict began.

The announcement of a pause in airstrikes was made after midnight by State Department spokesman J. Adam Ereli to reporters traveling with Rice. It fell short of the full cease-fire many world leaders had sought. The suspension will not apply to other parts of Lebanon, nor diminish ground operations underway along the Israeli-Lebanese border. [Israel launched airstrikes in eastern Lebanon overnight, but the raids occurred before the 2 a.m. start of a 48-hour suspension of aerial bombardments in the south, an Israeli military spokeswoman said Monday. Earlier, Lebanese security sources said that at least two Israel airstrikes hit roads near the Lebanese border with Syria after the suspension went into effect, the Reuters news agency reported.]

The two-day pause, which will include a 24-hour window for relief organizations to deliver supplies and allow residents to leave southern Lebanon, could be jeopardized if Hezbollah continues firing rockets or Israel detects an imminent launch, a U.S. official said.

“This is an issue that we have been working for some time and calling for for some time,” Ereli said. “We expect that Israel will implement these decisions so as to significantly speed and improve the flow of humanitarian aid.”

After news of the attack broke Sunday morning, angry Lebanese leaders said they told Rice—who had arrived in Jerusalem a day earlier to negotiate a settlement—not to visit Beirut as planned. Rice said she had canceled the trip in light of the day’s events.

Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told his cabinet he was “deeply sorry” for the civilian deaths. But Olmert said, “Israel is not rushing into a cease-fire before we reach a situation in which we can say that we have achieved the main goals that we set for ourselves.” According to a senior Israeli official in attendance, Olmert added, “We won’t stop this campaign despite this morning’s tragic events. We will continue despite it not being popular.”

- More on the story at the WAPO...

And that’s how it works. The leaders of these terrorist groups are well versed in asymmetric warfare and are playing to a full house of liberal media and hand-wringing bleeding hearts on the world stage. Israel has already lost the first round of this battle by simply defending itself. How else can self defense be “not popular”?


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 07/31/2006 at 07:33 AM   
Filed Under: • RoPMATerrorists •  
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