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Hard Fighting: Israel in Lebanon and Gaza

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Before the wars in Afghanistan 2001 present and Iraq 2003 present began, the U.S. military was largely designed for major combat operations against state actors. Over the past several years, it has made significant changes in its training, organizing, and equipping paradigms to adapt to nonstate, irregular threats in those two theaters. However, the adversaries the U.S. military has faced in these two wars have yet to employ effective standoff weaponry, such as man-portable air-defense systems MANPADS and antitank guided missiles ATGMs, in large enough numbers to change how U.S. forces operate. The introduction of such weapons, if it were to occur, could radically intensify the challenges confronting U.S. forces. All that the Taliban needs to become a more lethal adversary is a state that will supply it with effective standoff weapons and training in their use. This monograph examines the Israeli experiences in the Second Lebanon War 2006 and Operation Cast Lead 2008 2009 to assess the challenges posed by hybrid adversaries and the military capabilities needed to prevail over them. It describes what happened during the war in Lebanon, why the Israel Defense Forces IDF had difficulty fighting Hezbollah, what corrective measures the IDF took after Lebanon, and what happened during the operation in Gaza. The research presented here shows that the Israeli experience provides compelling insights that will be important to the U.S. joint force -- and particularly to the Air Force and the Army -- as it considers the capabilities needed in the future to prevail against hybrid challenges. To this end, the monograph makes several recommendations about ways to improve the integration of air power, ground power, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ISR across the Air Force and the Army in hybrid warfare.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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