“In a special meeting Thursday on the IDF’s operations in Lebanon, most of the members of the security cabinet expressed their opposition to expanding ground missions, as per the army’s request, and it appeared unlikely that IDF plans would be approved.”
For more background and about many who disagree, click Cabinet Won’t Expand Ground Operations, Agrees to More Reserves
Today US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The press reports leading up to their meeting were full of details about how European armies wish to send their forces to Lebanon. The reports also noted that Israel will be expected to surrender the Shaba Farms on Mount Dov to Lebanon in exchange for promises of security.
For their part, Israeli leaders from Olmert to Defense Minister Amir Peretz to Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni have been demonstrating a disturbing lack of resolve. Their statements expose a consistent watering down of the goal of the IDF’s mission in Lebanon – from destroying Hizbullah as a fighting force to weakening it as a fighting force and “paving the way for a diplomatic settlement” that will apparently include Hizbullah.
On the other hand, other voices make clear that despite the best wishes of the government and the Israeli left-wing intelligentsia, it is far from clear that the IDF will end its operations without victory achieved.
First of all, the IDF has discarded its dangerous delusions that it will be possible to win this war by remote control. Today it fights like an army that knows it is both at war, and at war with an enemy that needs to be destroyed, whatever the price may be.
The IDF is fighting well, boldly and effectively on the ground. Halutz initiated a rolling mobilization of the reserves, and the IAF has pulled back to its proper supportive role.
As well, it is impossible not to recognize the Bush administration’s centrality in the current campaign. Not only is the US rearming the IAF with bunker buster bombs, it is making certain that its own public and the international community recognize that what is at stake here is far greater than the well-being of Israel’s citizens.
As a friend put it the other day, “Halutz has no choice but to win. Israel is a country with five million chiefs of staff and they are all breathing down his neck.”
To read the entire article, click Seeing the War in its True Colors