Certain foreign leaders and elements of the MSM have attempted to create the impression that Israel is attacking Lebanon indiscriminately and “disproportionately.” But this analysis at the Op-For blog (via Cliff May) argues that Israel’s bombing campaign is calculated to “prep” the battlespace for a ground assault on Hezbollah in southern Lebanon:
So far, Israel has relied on its dominance in sea and air forces to isolate Hezbollah, rather than focusing their brunt of their superior forces on actual enemy positions. By blockading the coast, neutralizing Beruit’s airport, and damaging roads and bridges into and out of Lebanon, the IDF has cut off Hezbollah’s supply routes by land, sea, and air, and blocked all lines of escape. The end result is a battlespace that traps the now ill-equipped enemy force, the ideal environment for Israel to crush Hezbollah forces.
I think that in the coming days, we will see a sizable Israeli ground incursion into southern Lebanon, a campaign designed to exploit the favorable conditions that Israel has created for itself. I have the feeling that once that invasion comes, Hezbollah’s ability to launch rocket attacks into Israel proper will be severly reduced, if not eliminated.
Endstate: IDF holds the territory until it is satisfied that the Lebanese Army is A) free from Syrian control and B) capable of holding the southern border on their own.
This sounds right to me, and it had better be. The minimum that Israel needs out of this war is the total defeat of Hezbollah in south Lebanon. And I don’t see how that can be accomplished without the introduction of forces on the ground.
JOHN adds: I saw a report today that an IDF spokesman said the Lebanon operation would be over by the middle of next week. I hope not, as that can’t possibly be enough time to put Hezbollah out of business. At this point, I don’t see that the Israelis are under any particular pressure to pull up short.