"Israel's" claims that it is able to defeat Hezbollah in the next war received a slap from within following a leaked report released by the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and [Defense] Committee. The report was described as "very dangerous," revealing "gaps" in the readiness and preparedness of the "Israeli" army.
The "Israeli" public was shocked by the Committee's leaks. Although the report is classified and should presumably remain under lock and key, the reason behind the leak was the result of a disagreement between the members of the committee. The disagreement was not about the gaps in the army's preparations, but about who was responsible for these gaps. A member of the committee refused to sign the report because it holds the "Israeli" government - i.e. Benjamin Netanyahu - fully responsible for the deteriorating readiness and preparedness of the soldiers.
This brings us back to the subject of the great military exercise that "Israel" just concluded a few days ago, which was focused on defeating and crushing Hezbollah. The point of focus has been the subject of debate and widespread skepticism by military correspondents, experts and the public.
Even though "Israel" and its enemies understand that the former is incapable of defeating the latter in the next war, "Israel" and its army use the following justifications to prove otherwise:
- There is no doubt that the legionary maneuver was an urgent necessity for "Israel" in raising the readiness of its army to confront Hezbollah's growing military and weapons capabilities. It reveals the size of Hezbollah's military threat and the magnitude of the challenge facing "Israel." On the other hand and in light of the magnitude of the unprecedented maneuver - the first of its kind in 19 years - which consumed all of "Israel's" military, security and political capabilities, the army couldn't simply claim that the objective of the drills revolved around gaining the ability to expel Hezbollah from settlements it may occupy during the next war, preventing Hezbollah from reaching those settlements and successfully defending military sites. It is also difficult for the "Israeli" army, with such a large military exercise, to say that it has dealt a serious enough blow to the party, ensuring "Israel's" deterrence for years. These results are seen as an unnecessary refraction, which entails claiming an overwhelming victory that is also accompanied by the lifting of white flags by Hezbollah.
- On the other hand, it appears that the political and military decision maker in "Israel" has realized that recognizing the limited military ability to defeat Hezbollah - which is the accepted truth in "Israel" - would harm the level of the activated deterrence against the party. "Israel's" deterrent is measured by the actual result it can achieve in the event of a war, and by recognizing its inability to achieve victory and that it is only capable of inflicting limited harm on the enemy, means that Hezbollah possess an opposite deterrence to inflict harm on "Israel." This mutual deterrence is currently prevailing in the equation and balance of power between the two sides.
From here, "Israel" had to, albeit belatedly, re-distort expectations and doubts regarding the fact that it could only inflict limited harm on Hezbollah and Lebanon, even though it has acknowledged this fact in word and action for years. If it succeeds in achieving change in the consciousness of the enemies that it is able to win the war, it will achieve a complete and non-reciprocal deterrence, while its enemies will recognize its capability to inflict harm - whether limited or extensive - and thus result in a mutual deterrence.
The mission failed. "Israel" has not been able to convince its enemies of its ability to win, nor has it been able, in parallel, to convince its public.
- The report by the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and [Defense] Committee confirms a series of separate reports published in "Israel", which questioned the outcome of the declared maneuver: the defeat of Hezbollah. The wide range of skepticism on the part of military correspondents and experts leaves little room for the report to add new information.
Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper, Translated by website team