Gaza Policing Duties Behind IDF Disaster

Writing in Ha’aretz, Ze’ev Schiff gives a spot on analysis of the IDF’s decline:

One of the main conclusions of the war against Hezbollah will be the

fact that the fighting abilities of the ground forces deployed by the Israel Defense Forces in Lebanon have been blunted by years of police action in the territories.

Most units, in their training and operations, followed fighting doctrines of police forces and not of standing armies. Hezbollah trains, fights and is equipped as an army, utilizing some of the most advanced anti-tank missiles and other weapons.

The character of the IDF – known for its blitzkrieg methods, encircling

movements deep inside enemy territory, and the ability to bring about a quick and decisive conclusion to the fighting – has been spoiled by years of involvement in operations that tied it down, emotionally and politically.…

In many ways, the IDF became the standing army of the Shin Bet. This is not the army that Israel knew…

It would have been better, for example, had the war against the Palestinians been handled by the Border Police, allowing the regular army and its reservists to train for a different type of warfare.

It turns out that many of the commanders in Lebanon learned their trade in the fighting in the territories, and they thought in terms of fighting the Palestinians. The “Palestinian model” guided the way IDF units fought…

The IDF was also surprised in Lebanon by the amount of anti-tank missiles

fired by Hezbollah. The immediate reaction in the territories is to take cover in the closest home. In Lebanon, many soldiers were killed when anti-tank missiles penetrated walls behind which IDF troops had taken cover. Two weeks into the fighting, a specific order went out on how and where to take cover.

In Lebanon, soldiers fought in bunkers just like the Americans in Vietnam. A Hezbollah prisoner, who was part of an anti-tank missile team, said that during their training, they were allowed to fire as many as 15 anti-tank missiles. These are very costly, and the IDF doesn’t even dream of such training, even though the experience is invaluable.

Another example is the deployment of the Golani Brigade from the Gaza Strip to Lebanon. It turns out that this excellent fighting force lacked officer expertise in coordinating with artillery batteries, something that they don’t have to do very often in their policing duties.

Forced to deal with an unpopular occupation and to prepare for months of Jewish rabbinic-inspired unrest, the IDF lost its way. If the right wing and its rabbis had been better behaved, perhaps the IDF could have concentrated on fighting real wars. Instead, it behaved despicably. That, combined with ongoing Palestinian terror, turned the world’s best army into a mediocre fighting force. No amount of dancing with soldiers and picture posing will change that fact.



Filed under Chabad Theology, Haredim, Israel, Jewish Leadership, Modern Orthodoxy

10 responses to “Gaza Policing Duties Behind IDF Disaster

  1. hashfanatic

    The problem is that it is now impossible to believe anything you read or hear.

  2. Paul Freedman

    Good. Israel should be no place that Arabs don’t want Israel to be.
    OR, IDF should train for both occupation and conventional wars just as most people in the workplace do a variety of tasks. Chewing gum and walking at the same time is possible.

  3. Paul Freedman

    Shmarya: your post reminds me of an Orthodox “peace” group that I think is now inactive:

  4. avrohom


    here ho go again with you crooked outlook. Zchif wasn’t writing that being busy with unrest of settlers led to lack of concentrartion; actually you have to learn to read what other people write and not project your ideas into someone else’s.

    He writes that they applied different methods for different places.

    In any event (wehther you or shif or whoever writes differently), the MAIN problem of the whole situation was and is: the mindset the “Settlers” and “the “occupation” was at fault. The main prbolem was CONCESSIONS; that we can trust the arabs…that the “peace” will unfold…the idea that stopped thinking that the arab wants to drown us at the sea…that is all a matter of “pieces” what they get with “negotiations” is a pringboard for what they will get later through katyuchas etc. the main problem is (not that can didn’t learn to chrew gum and walk at the same time as our dear paul reminds us, but) that we stopped preparing for war altogether…we gave the arabs more appetite for them to do what they did…they think they can be suffeccful…they lost the deterrrence power once owned by israel….and actually the settlers were and are a source of protection for the whole israel…for every inch of land that is reside by a jew is a piece of land where a rocket launcher is not there…a place where soldiers roam around and see things on the ground with the nakes eye…and the arab sees that the jew is THERE…and it is adetterrence when he is afraid that if will not behave aother piece of land will settled by the jew…

    all your talk has no relevance now…as you will see the events unfolding i n israel you will see that the views of the leftists writers in the past 15 years will be thrown in the garbage at the ballots…the leftists, merets shmerets and kadima will sink as you have never seen before…

  5. Paul Freedman

    you know, in any event, it occurs to me that the IDF had actually left Gaza so they weren’t doing any “policing” in the sense of milling around and, well, “policing things”

  6. Neo-Conservaguy

    Yes, but the point of the article is well-taken: the IDF had had its mindset formed by those years of a different style of conflict. This is a known military dynamic – a classic example would be the American military forces trying to make the transition from WWII/Korea to Vietnam, which was an entirely different military (and political) dynamic.

    The US failed to learn from this history in another way when we allocated military funding toward more star-wars programs rather than armor for troop-carrier vehicles. We should have learned that lesson in urban combat in Ethiopia a decade ago, but we didn’t, and hundreds died riding in unarmored humvees because of that failure.

    The IDF was caught off-guard by the advanced anti-tank weapons utilized by cHizbAllah; our Syrian friends seem to have been a conduit of state-of-the-art Russian missiles, which few expected to be deployed. Let’s face it, the Merkava mk4 tank is one of the best in the world, but no one would have set them up to be lazy lumbering targets if they knew they would be attacked with weapons known to penetrate their impressive armor. This was a serious military intelligence failure.

    As for avrohom’s thesis that at issue is a political/perception dynamic, I can only say that it wasn’t politics that was blowing up those tanks, it was Russion Kornet missiles. CHizbAllah didn’t expect a full-scale incursion because of one of their standard cross-border raids, so deterrence wasn’t an active dynamic. The active dynamic was the government didn’t know what to do about the soldier kidnapped by Hamas – less clear military targets – so when cHizbAllah opened the door for conflict and a redirection of national focus, the IDF drove a tank through it.

  7. avrohom

    so many distortions…

    the simple fact: israel and tehir “piece” shmiessess with all the requests off all leftists until 6 years ago: left lebanese border and allowed hezzbbollah to camp there with thier outposts and bunkers and arms to pierce the merkavah wit the russiian missiles…had they not listened to all the haters of israel and all liberal bleeding hearts good for nothing who criticize israel day and night….and blame israel for the temerity to want to exist….hezbollah would NOT be there…and it is so pathetic for theliberals and leftists now to start twist and turn with crooked arguments about the hezbollah herself not expecting the incursion: what do these secular idol worshippers think hezzbbollah armed herself with all those russian anti tank missiles and infused in ther gerrillas the zeal of self sacrifice to fight till the end: that they did not plan to use it???? and that they are not planning to use in the future?????? how much bloodshed could have been prevented had jews not been filled wityh so many failed messiahs with so manhy failed and false idols…had they smashed these idols we would not have oslo…hezbollah and hamas in our border….but they are ashmed of the “settlers” and that is their sole concern in life….having Erets Yisroel” is a thorn in their flesh…but why should this be at the expense f other jews….make no mistake ( as the writer here and other leftists are now regrouping with their farkrumpte theories) hezbollah is rearming NOW with the blessing of the UN and the acquiescence of the “World” including the liberal world…and they will have blood in their hands if they do not stem their murderous propaganada….how much ego can a human being have not to recognize his mistakes that he confuses himself and others and invents pseudo fictitous theories to cover his own false and utopic bleiefs????

    but not on Jewish blood…

    stop the false rethoric…olmert and peretz RESIGN!!!!!


  8. Neo-Conservaguy

    avrohom: Prozac – try it.

  9. Franji

    what is behind failure in the battle field?
    our sages said:
    תפסת מרובה לא תפסת
    we want to grab more than we can chew, indeed more than we are commanded.
    we think that angry, outraged people of ours (always angry and outraged) in New York and Baltimore can bring victory.
    we belittle the enemy. we belittle even our allies.
    many of our rabbis involved in politics are not worth their title. on the contrary, they are harmful , by planting in people’s minds false hopes for things both wrong and impossible.
    a very simple exemple is used by these so called rabbis, is what the midrash reports as being commanded to king Saul on the matter of his failure to eradicate the Amalekites: אל תהיה צדיק הרבה
    in one swoop, we become the israelites of yore, the rabbis become the prophet samuel, and the arabs become amalekites, at our convenience. not right, nor clever.
    the neo black hats of r’ lior, r’ shapiro, r’ eliahu and sons et al, as well as the new self appointed sanhedrin are in my opinion a manifestation of sitra achoro, that is leading us to ruin!

  10. avrohom

    A very important article here.,7340,L-3295035,00.html

    Pay attention also to the his warnings about Philadelphi road and about Gaza becoming a Lebanon. And may the lunatics (the left commentators of this blog included) stop smoking pot and pay attention to what is really happening on the ground.

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