The Decisive Role of Operational Time and the Information Environment in the Israel-Hezbollah War of 2006
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
Pagination or Media Count:
Why did the Israel-Hezbollah War of 2006 result in strategic failure for Israel To date, the explanations for Israels strategic failure have centered on the relatively poor performance of the Israel Defense Force IDF, specifically as it relates to the employment of Effects Based Operations EBO and Systemic Operational Design SOD methodologies, an overreliance on air power, and a general lack of readiness for sustained combined arms operations by the ground forces. However, these explanations, while certainly contributing factors and sources of operational friction, do not adequately explain the reasons for Israels strategic failure. This study examines each of the existing explanations to determine whether they can, individually or in unison, account for Israels strategic failure. The explanations are found to lack exclusivity in their explanatory capacity as they do not account for how the time available to achieve the IDFs objectives was unexpectedly curtailed. An alternative hypothesis is offered whereby Hezbollah was able to force the culmination of the IDF offensive before Israeli strategic objectives could be met by using the media to exploit Israeli tactics and resultant civilian casualties in the Information Environment IE, leading to a collapse of regional political support and a premature ceasefire. The significance of this study lies in the introduction of the concept of operational time and a better understanding of the potentially decisive role of the information environment in modern warfare.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics