Assessing Israel’s Progress So Far

Earlier this morning, Scott laid out a pessimistic evaluation of the war in Lebanon so far, and of the performance of Israel’s leaders. Yoni, the former Israeli intelligence officer who appears regularly on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, shares Scott’s negative assessment. This morning, he posts an analysis by Yaakov Katz titled, “Analysis: Hizbollah Still Strong.” Katz shares the view that not enough progress has been made:

“Hizbullah has not been sufficiently weakened,” the officer said. “And there may be no choice but to expand the ground operation in the direction of the Litani River to achieve that goal.”

According to intelligence information, the Hizbullah command-and-control array is still functioning even after nearly four weeks of fighting. So are the logistical command centers – still operating and succeeding in directing the smuggling of weapons into Lebanon from Syria.

The officer said that Hizbullah still had the ability to fire short-range rockets, of which the guerrilla group has already fired 2,500 since the beginning of the war.

The only way to stop the short-range rockets, he said, was for the IDF to deepen its incursion north to the Litani and to sweep through cities like Tyre, estimated to be the hiding place for most of the short-range 122mm Katyusha rockets.

Katz does, however, note some achievements in the war so far:

[T]he IDF can still pat itself on the back. Over 400 guerrillas have been killed in IDF operations, most of the long-range rocket arrays have been destroyed and the organization’s stronghold in Beirut – Dahiya – has been almost completely demolished in IAF air strikes.

Every day, we are told how many rockets the terrorists fired into Israel, but it is hard to put the numbers into perspective. Blog of the Week Vital Perspective supplies this very helpful chart; click to enlarge:

It is all too clear that Israeli efforts so far have not sufficiently degraded Hezbollah’s capabilities. After a two-day breather–I’m not sure whether it was voluntary or involuntary–Hezbollah has come back strong. So, on the most optimistic scenario the war still has a good distance to go.

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