All Glory Is Fleeting: Insights from the Second Lebanon War
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
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A Hizballah raid along the Lebanon-Israel border on July 12, 2006, resulted in the capture of two IDF soldiers and others killed and wounded. The response from Jerusalem was both quick and violent, surprising Hizballahs leadership and triggering a monthlong conflict that, in retrospect, has been labeled the Second Lebanon War. Lebanese tend to call the conflict the July War. The term Second Lebanon War is used throughout the following pages to avoid confusion. The event left the IDF a chastened force and Israel an introspective nation. An independent commission charged with reviewing that militarys performance soundly criticized the nations prime minister, defense minister, and IDF chief of staff. The latter two lost their positions. The prime ministers fate is undetermined at the time of this writing. Israel was not alone in suffering the results of the conflict. The brief war damaged Hizballahs self-appointed status as Lebanons protector. Casualties among its fighters were far higher than were those suffered by the IDF. Many of Lebanons citizens lost homes too many were killed. The nations economy suffered yet another brutal blow. However, the difficulties that Israel and its military confronted are the primary focus of this book. The IDFs efforts to learn from the war and correct recognized deficiencies began immediately. This book draws on information provided by serving IDF personnel during a March 2007 conference held in Tel Aviv, interviews with active-duty and retired IDF officers, and written sources. The analysis first reviews identified shortfalls, then offers an external perspective to provide further thoughts on sources of difficulties and analyze what the conflict offers the U.S. military in the way of lessons that might assist it as it confronts operational challenges today and in the future.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics