Beyond the Cusp

March 27, 2017

What Happens When the World is Warned and Ignores the Warning

 

Well, the United Nations has been informed and their response was a simple, “Ho Hum” and they went on as if nobody had spoken. They claim that the people have not said anything and query, “Would not the people protest such things?” But why would people make any complaint over their own nation having the military place their weapons in their towns as they would be told this was for their protection. But who is protecting what? Are these weapons of war to protect the people of the town or are the people protecting the weapons from attack? This depends on who you ask and their perspective of the entire matter. Those whose weapons are spread amongst the towns and even in homes will claim that the safety of the people and the weapons are all one and the same. They will tell the world that this is necessary because their enemy is likely to attack at any time with no warning and that this at least allows some of the weapons to survive to defend the people. The enemy is one of the most vicious and heinous of enemies in the entire area after all they have been condemned by the United Nations so many times as to be near countless. Their perfidy has been established by the United Nations Human Rights Council at virtually every meeting even requiring special sessions just to address their acts against people across the entire region. Almost every country across much of the nations included in the MENA alliance (Middle East and North Africa) repeatedly bring complaints against Israel to such an extent that they include almost all measures taken for the nation’s defenses. Anyway, the people have volunteered as they are patriotic and know what the risks are and are willing to assist their national military in this attempt to protect the nation as they see this as their patriotic duty. Additionally, they realize that the military will also be in their location which will only serve to make their towns and villages even safer.

 

There are a few things which should probably be added to clarify this picture. The evil entity which requires all this using of civilian homes and locating weapons stores, rocket launchers and the rockets themselves in and around towns and villages is, in case you did not guess, Israel. The claim is being made by the Lebanese Army. The Lebanese Army has another name with which you are likely more familiar with, Hezballah. Recently the Lebanese government, which is heavily influenced if not controlled by Hezballah, merged their military with the forces of Hezballah, a merger where it is difficult to know which one was more heavily armed. The main difference for Hezballah is they will gain some American weaponry and weapon systems. These weapons and weapon systems include, but are not limited to, M-4 assault rifles, M-16 assault rifles, Barrett M82 50 cal. sniper rifle, M-24 7.62 mm, sniper rifle, M249 squad automatic weapon (SAW), M-60 30 cal. machine gun, M-2 (Ma Deuce) 50 cal. machine gun, M-203 grenade launcher, M-72 LAW (light antitank weapon), M-141 bunker defeat munition (BDM), M-40 105mm recoilless rifle, MK-19 40 mm grenade launcher, and BGM-71 TOW (“Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided antitank weapon). These are the firearms, but wait, there’s more. Wait for it, because here are the vehicles they have provided care of the United States. Starting with the tanks they have M60 Patton main battle tank, M48 Patton main battle tank, M1 Abrams main battle tank, Humvees, M113 armored personnel carrier, AIFV-B-C25 Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle, M109 self-propelled 155mm howitzer, M198 self-propelled 155mm howitzer, M114 155 mm howitzer, M101 and M102 105 mm howitzer plus jeeps and other various military vehicles.

 

The one item which simply screams at you is the M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks which were recently delivered a mere two years ago. The Obama Administration and military personnel, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made a direct query of the Lebanese government as to whether their military was also under or cooperating with the Hezballah terrorist group. From the best we have been able to determine, the question was very likely phrased something like this, “Our friends, the Lebanese government, could you tell us that your military is not aligned in any way and is completely separate from the Hezballah terror group as if it is we could not in good conscience provide you with the A1M1 Abrams main battle tanks.” And somehow the Lebanese government provided the expected guarantees that their military was not aligned in any way and is completely separate from the Hezballah terror group. What a surprise. Who would have ever predicted such an answer? We are surprised as we thought that it was known and understood by even the most casual of observers that Hezballah now ruled Lebanon and had complete control and full access to all military and other such equipment owned or operated by the Lebanese government. We had been under the idea that Hezballah had a majority coalition in the government and had placed their personnel alongside the generals and other command officers within the Lebanese military and that the two had full operational cooperation in all means and measures since immediately after the 2006 Second Lebanon War with Israel as Hezballah realized they required similar weapons systems to the Israelis, particularly when it came to armored fighting vehicles such as main battle tanks, armored personnel carriers, wheeled fighting vehicles and mobile artillery. As Hezballah is not about to be capable of buying such weaponry on the open market because even should some government feel inclined to sell Hezballah such weapons to use against Israel or Islamic State, doing so would place them in a position where they would be considered a pariah amongst nations due to selling weaponry, especially weapons of war, to a known and universally recognized terrorist group.

 

This brings us down to the specific problems. Imagine if Israel were placing their weapons of war inside its towns, cities or villages; placing artillery pieces, rockets and/or missiles as well as their launchers within built up civilian areas and even within people’s homes. Other than the United Nations and the European Union and their member states denouncing Israel, there would be calls universally for weapons embargoes and possibly general trade embargoes and Israel would be excised from the community of nations. But when Israel pointed out to the world that the villages and towns across Lebanon were being utilized by Hezballah to locate their rockets and missiles, their launchers, entrances to their tunnel and bunker systems (which keep their fighters safe but are forbidden to the Lebanese people even including those whose houses hide their entrances), MLRV’s (multiple launch rocket vehicle), fighting and ambush positions, and weapons and ammunitions caches. Hezbollah reportedly has gone so far as to offer reduced-priced-housing to Shiite families who allowed the terrorist group to store rocket launchers in their homes. The Israelis even declassified one of their military maps which had been researched through intelligence and surveillance drones allowing for an accurate and precise location and classification of each location (see map below). Our map only displays the weapons distribution in the Nabatieh region of Lebanon which can be used as a representation of the remainder of Lebanon. This area is also including part of the Bekaa Valley, a Hezballah stronghold, but the entirety of the areas south of the Litani River, which was presumably prevented from Hezballah returning and building up their provisions, weapons stores, rocket and missile launchers and their bunker and tunnel systems by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) which was presumably doubled in size in order to enforce such a return by Hezballah, has now been transformed into an area bristling with offensive weaponry and underground facilities. Their failure was complete enough that one might even suspect they assisted in Hezballah’s efforts in rearming the areas south of the Litani River (see lower map). These was the same identical region from which Hezballah launched their murder and kidnapping raid on an Israeli squad patrolling the border killing eight Israeli soldiers and taking three captive, who they later simply executed.

 

Declassified Map of Hezballah’s Military Infrastructure in Lebanon

Declassified Map of Hezballah’s Military Infrastructure in Lebanon

 

Southern Lebanon South of Litani River to the Israel Border

Southern Lebanon South of Litani River to the Israel Border

 

The reality is that Nasrallah has been threatening Israel rattling sabers and dealing threats. His big threat is that he promises to destroy the huge ammonia storage tank in Haifa, and a nuclear reactor in Dimona. His threats are directly aimed to emphasize high casualty events and declaring the improved accuracy of the Iranian provided missiles which also have far greater range and accuracy than those Hezballah possessed in the 2006 war. He has also expressed that targeting Eilat is within their capabilities which is the southernmost tip of Israel and the furthest from Lebanon. Nasrallah has also warned that when he strikes Israel that it will be due to the Israeli strikes on Hezballah soldiers and innocents in Syria. What he has left out is that the Israeli strikes have been targeting advanced weapons being smuggled into Lebanon which are absolute game changers such as advanced anti-aircraft batteries and heavy weapons. These are legal attacks as Hezballah is a recognized and universally declared terrorist group. Nasrallah is now claiming that these attacks are on Lebanese military stores using the fact that Hezballah has taken control of the Lebanese military absorbing their armaments and the majority of their troops which already consisted of a fairly high overlapping of personnel. The world will soon realize that there is no longer an independent nation of Lebanon but that it has become a simple cover story for Hezballah. The world will likely continue to turn a blind eye to the reality in Lebanon for as long as possible as to do otherwise would create a situation where all travel and trade with Lebanon would become problematic, and the world has sufficient problems and is not seeking another. As far as Europe, the United Nations and likely just about everybody else, the situation in Lebanon will be treated as a purely Israeli problem. The world really does not desire to accept another Syria. What is really sad is that Syria is much of the reason that Hezballah has taken such complete control over Lebanon as Iran simply desired that Lebanon become the final peg in their Shiite Crescent from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea which includes Iran, much of Iraq, Lebanon and they are working on cementing Syria once they retake Syria from Islamic State and the rest of the rebels (see map below). Iran has been working to establish this slash across the Middle East providing them with an opening on the Mediterranean Sea allowing them to become a major player in the Muslim world and as their initial play to bring Shiite Islam into the mainstream and end it being simply the little sideshow playing second fiddle to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Sunni world. This is why the war in Syria is so important to the Iranians, but a war solely in Syria is becoming hard to sell both for Iran and Hezballah at home.

 

Iranian Crescent Resulting from an Iranian Surge Retaking Syria for Bashir al-Assad Connecting Iran to Mediterranean via Iraq, Syria and Lebanon

Iranian Crescent Resulting from an Iranian Surge
Retaking Syria for Bashir al-Assad Connecting
Iran to Mediterranean via Iraq, Syria and Lebanon

 

There is a solution to the Syria dilemma, and that solution unfortunately is Israel. If Iran can sell the war in Syria as their next front against Israel, their people would be more willing to accept the losses being taken by Iranian soldiers from the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) fighting in Syria. They could sell such as further support for Hezballah against Israel claiming that Hezballah also sees the advantage to having another front against Israel through the Golan Heights if they can gain control of Syria. Hezballah has all but completely taken control of Lebanon and one last war with Israel and they can use such to finish their takeover and totally divorce the Christians and other opponents from the public domain. Those who have attempted to rescue Lebanon from Hezballah and keep them from taking complete control have been fighting a slowly losing battle. Lebanon is but a slip and a fall from falling into the graveyard of failed terror controlled states across the MENA expanse. Already there are Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, South Sudan and Iraq with some even including Afghanistan which is falling inch by inch to the Taliban. Even Iran could be considered to be a nation controlled by a terrorist group commanded by the Mullahs and enforced by the IRGC and religious police. The Middle East is facing the danger of falling to any of a number of terrorist entities including but not limited to the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, Hezballah, Taliban, Iran as the IRGC, and other groups such as Boko Harem and smaller groups from Sudan, Somalia and throughout lower Sahara states including Nigeria, Kenya, Niger, Chad and others in what has been called the African Transition Zone (see map below). This is an area currently under threat by Islamist terrorists and considered to now becoming more and more unstable. These are the areas where in the future we will see new failed states in the future. This is an area of the world which, were the West not under threat itself, it would be receiving greater attention but with the world currently so unstable, these nations are going to be left on their own for the immediate future.

 

African Transition Zone

African Transition Zone

 

The greatest threat looking at the world in the near term future is the area surrounding Syria. Within this area is Lebanon which will soon be lost to the Hezballah terrorists who all but control the area and should there be yet another war started by Hezballah with Israel, part of their reasoning will be that any opposition to their complete control will be more easily destroyed while the world is ignoring their war with Israel and thus not looking at what is happening inside Lebanon beyond what Israel is doing that they can condemn. The United Nations and European Union will both play a large part as they condemn Israel defending herself against Hezballah and their rocket and missile placements within people’s homes, hospitals schools and other public buildings and locations such that they can picture suffering Lebanese victims of Israeli strikes, of course the remains of the rocket launcher in the living room in the bed room will be ignored as that is of little consequence and certainly no reason for a bomb to be dropped on a house. Then there will be the stories of the people who lost everything in the evil Israeli raid and the higher death count than the count in Israel. We will hear all about the disproportionate damage and disproportionate civilian casualties and we will almost hear the question of where are the dead Jews equal to the dead Lebanese. There will be no mention of the obvious difference where the Lebanese are forced to be human shields while Israel provides shelters and defends their civilians keeping them as far as possible from the war, not the first line victims as Hezballah will do. The world will stop turning and all eyes will be on Israel and the lack of casualties by comparison and they will demand to know why so few Israelis have died, why so few, well, do we even need say it?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 25, 2017

Return of Permanent Limbo in Israel

 

The Trump opportunity has passed at least for the summer. There was the opportunity for a change in Israel and the standoff with the Arab world. The Israeli hesitation over moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem, specifically the warnings of potential violence which, according to Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, was something Israel was not prepared to face at the time forced President Trump to hesitate and at best postpone any actions on the embassy or possibly totally abandoned, time will tell. President Trump was elected President with a Republican platform which had refused to continue with the two state solution as part of its Middle East policy, a first for United States policy since the Oslo Accords were signed in September of 1993. The Republicans managed to do something which apparently far too many Israeli politicians are unprepared to do, reject the paradigm of the two state solution and accept something entirely separate. President Trump has stated even since taking office that he is ready to accept whatever decision is presentable to the individuals, which guarantees that he is open to almost any solution providing it is a workable solution. Between President Trump’s statements, the appointments made concerning Israel and the Republican platform, anything is potentially acceptable once one takes all of these particulars together and weighs all of the possibilities. Unfortunately it appears that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is not prepared to take any alternative before other issues including but not limited to Iran, Hezballah, Islamic State and the stability of the areas surrounding Israel are more secured and balanced. Netanyahu also is most concerned with the Iranian race to produce nuclear weapons and properly fears their finally becoming nuclear weapons capable, or worse, having tested and produced a nuclear weapons arsenal which would permit them to project power and terrorism throughout the entirety of the Middle East and across North Africa threatening Europe and possibly beyond to include the United States, China and even Russia. None of the current main nuclear weapons powers should consider their position secure as the potential for Iran to commit nuclear terrorism must not be considered as impossible or out of the question as such will be a definitive and dangerous possibility once Iran has produced miniaturized nuclear weaponry, something they are predicted to have the capability to produce within the next decade.

 

Another threat which Israel is facing has ties to Iran as well. Syria is allied with Iran and Hezballah which controls Lebanon under Iranian direction to the point that Hezballah commands the Military of Lebanon using their strength in the war in Syria against the Sunni rebels including the Islamic State. This conflagration which has destroyed much if not almost all of Syrian infrastructure outside of a thin strip along the Mediterranean Sea, particularly Latakia where the Russians have their active port facilities in the Mediterranean Sea. The losses being taken by Iran and Hezballah in the Syrian catastrophic civil hostilities have produced much consternation within their respective publics which is demanding good and understandable reasoning as to why they should continue to support such bloodshed. Thusfar they have not been rewarded with results which show that their involvement is of any worth as Syria is beginning to appear as a killing field where they are being asked to sacrifice for no good reason. There is a building demand that Assad be replaced allowing for an end to a seemingly endless and pointless waste of resources. The one means for making the Syrian war to appear to have an acceptable reason, at least in Lebanon as well as much of Iran and vast numbers of the IRGC and Hezballah soldiers and their families would be an expansion of the war to include a full on war with Israel. Such a war against the Zionist entity would make the efforts in Syria appear to have a payoff which would be understood and well received thus rejuvenating the support for the forces which are fighting in Syria and an excuse for the losses. Such a decision requires for Iran, as it is the Iranian leadership, the Mullahs and the Supreme Leader who decide, to decide to take such a move as they will be the ones providing the majority of the military resources should such a war be initiated. The cost of such a war for Syria would be inconsequential as much of the nation is already in ruins and most of the military supplies would be provided by Iran. On the other hand, for Hezballah such a war would be a double sided sword cutting both ways as Lebanon has not been near as torn asunder as has Syria. Any war with Israel which included Hezballah would also endanger much of the infrastructure south of the Litani River and the length of the Bekaa Valley as well as parts of Beirut as well as potentially the Beirut International Airport should it be utilized by Iran to fly in provisions for Hezballah using the airstrips of this airport.

 

Where losing men and munitions fighting in Syria is growing less and less popular, a war with Israel if it should bring destruction raining down within Lebanon itself could backfire. While it is possible to have Hezballah troops only attack Israel from areas such as across the Golan Heights, this would not guarantee that Israeli responses would only be targeting Hezballah forces in Syria and not their rocket stores and command and control headquarters within Syria. This would be a definite possibility as Hezballah has sufficient stores of rockets and missiles provided by Iran and placed under the noses of UNIFIL forces assigned by the United Nations to prevent exactly that buildup, they failed completely. These rockets pose an existential threat to Israel and should Hezballah forces be fighting Israel, even if just across the Golan Heights, Israel could not permit Hezballah to have the opportunity to choose the point at which to introduce these assets into such a conflict. In any conflict with Hezballah, Israel correctly feels that their first and most important targets are the stores of rockets and missiles, their launching facilities and the command and control nexuses in order to remove this threat from their civilians, their infrastructure and the Israeli Defense Forces. Even with the Arrow systems, the Iron Dome and David’s Sling, the well over one-hundred-thousand rockets and missiles held by Hezballah could be launched in such a manner as to overwhelm the Israeli defenses and thus inflict unacceptable damage. Where Israel has exceptional interception capabilities, no such system is one-hundred percent successful and with the numbers of weapons Hezballah alone has, not even counting the potential from Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian stores, Israel would be hard pressed to rely on interception thus only destruction of these threats before they can be utilized is the only answer.

 

There is another set of reasons which might cause Iran to seek a war with Israel, and these include Russia and the United States. The Iranians would probably desire testing President Trump as well as pressing him to take a stand one way or the other concerning supporting Israel. If Iran can show that President Trump supports Israel against them, they could attempt to portray themselves as leading the fight against the Zionists and use any United States support as proof that President Trump was fighting a war against Islam. They would use all the claims by the left and the United States liberal media who claimed that the immigration restraint against seven terror prone nations which were so labeled by the Obama Administration and simply that classification was used by President Trump for his imposing an immigration hold until proper vetting could be arranged for these nations but Iran could use the media claims of that being President Trump starting a war against Islam. This would be blown into a full-fledged campaign by President Trump and the United States in supporting Israel as simply the next step in Trump’s war on Islam which Iran would claim they and Hezballah were fighting for the entire Muslim world and in the name of the Prophet Mohammad. The Iranians could attempt to persuade some, if not all, the Gulf States to join them in this noble war against the evil Zionist entity and then attempt to pull Turkey’s Erdogan into the war using popular pressure to drag him into a war thus using his own program of using anti-Semitism to raise his own support levels. How much success Iran might have in turning the Islamic world against Israel and the United States could be debated but results would need to wait to be seen. Further, Iran could use such a war with Israel as a means of forcing Russia to take sides thus driving a wedge between Russia and the United States or driving a wedge between the United States and Israel as Trump would have to choose which side to inflame should Russia be forced to support Iran against Israel. This could lead to a whole new proxy war in the Middle East pitting the two powers, Russia and the United States on opposing sides and once again drag much, if not all, of the Arab world into the Russian sphere of influence and heighten the risk of embroiling the entire Middle East in a war even broader in scope than the 1948 War where the Arab League attempted to wipe Israel from the map. Now the idea of wiping Israel from the map is a wholly, or is it holy, Iranian concept. Iran has threatened to open a front against Israel as a means of leading the rest of the Islamic world into a general war with Israel and granting themselves with the title of the great leaders of the new Caliphate which is what they would use as their alliance’s title so as to give it an Islamic rallying cry. Iran has already made some inroads with some of the Gulf States much to the chagrin of the Saudi Royals who used to have an iron grip on these states.

 

Iranian Crescent Resulting from an Iranian Surge Retaking Syria for Bashir al-Assad Connecting Iran to Mediterranean via Iraq, Syria and Lebanon

Iranian Crescent Resulting from an Iranian Surge
Retaking Syria for Bashir al-Assad Connecting
Iran to Mediterranean via Iraq, Syria and Lebanon

 

Further reasoning behind Iran taking the lead in a charge to try and bring down Israel is to bring themselves to the fore of the Islamic world and to attempt to sell their brand of Shia Islam as the real bold, brave and action center for all Islam and thus start to turn the Islamic world from Sunni to Shiite. Iran has had this dream to form a crescent of Shia states across the heart of the Middle East, their Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon crescent which was looking good until Syria disintegrated. What Iran needs now is some means by which to force much of the Syrian resistance to come across to their side and thus reestablish their hold on most if not all of Syria. Iran might even try to win the Kurdish to their side by sacrificing a small section of northwestern Iran and northern Iraq along with some of northeastern Syria forming a Kurdish nation state if they will ally and take up Shia Islam. This would sandwich the Sunnis in central Iraq placing them in a very precarious position which just might force many to accept Shia Islam in exchange for protection from Islamic State. This would leave Iran with a smaller set of opponents to their taking the lead as the great power in Islam allowing their reestablishment of the power which once was Persia. With such a success and Russian backing, the Iranians might even be able to really crack the back of Sunni Islam and convert the Muslim Brotherhood over to Shia Islam if Iran would work with them to remove President Sisi in Egypt and place the Muslim Brotherhood back into power in Egypt which could be assisted with pressure from the south using their friendly relations with the Sudan as their wedge. From this they could then take control of the Horn of Africa and complete their vanquishing of their opposition in Yemen and now have Saudi Arabia surrounded. All of this is speculation and highly unlikely but this is also seen by the Mullahs as potentially plausible if only they could gain an upper hand along the Gulf States and win over many in the Islamic world through a war with Israel. The one catch there is that any war with Israel promises to be as short as Israel can possibly make it which would very possibly not turn out so well for Hezballah or Lebanon. The only thing that Iran would not be risking is the infrastructure of Syria. Also, getting Russia to work against Israel is iffy at best as Russia and Israel have already been working in cooperation sharing intelligence and Israel warning the Russians before striking at targets in Syria or near the Syrian Lebanese border in the Bekaa Valley. Add to that the news that the missile shot from the sky by an Israeli Arrow System was a Russian made SA-5 missile proving that the Israeli military technology is everything it is cracked up to be and this should make Putin wary of any plans to go against Israel. Iran would be treading dangerously trying to force such a conflict and may find they could lose Russian assistance in Syria and that Russia might just take Western Syrian coastal cities as their own just as they did the Crimea with one difference, Israel would welcome Russia as their new friend in the region and that would leave Iran weaker for their efforts.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 21, 2017

Syria Attempting to Broaden War Threatening Israel

 

Israel sent her warplanes into Syria this past weekend in order to intercept yet another attempted shipment of weapons potentially including advanced anti-aircraft missiles into Lebanon arming further the Hezballah terrorists who rule the Bekaa Valley and most of Lebanon south of the Litani River. Hezballah has already taken control of most of Lebanon and has indirect, more like reviewing rights of any actions or laws, of the Lebanese government, an improvement of sorts over the direct rule they held a few years back. Apparently trying to rule and fight wars with Israel was taking too great a threat of Israel holding Lebanon responsible. Now Lebanon has been afforded plausible deniable for Hezballah military actions which has not helped much with the events across the border and within their borders with Syria. The length of the reach by Hezballah included their required approval of choice for the new Prime Minister when the new government was formed. Full display of both Lebanon’s difficulty and the threat to Israel are obvious in the map below. Syria will try to drag Israel into the war once again so they can claim to be fighting a holy war against the Zionist entity and will use all of Hezballah’s abilities if need be to accomplish this. That makes the weapons Hezballah already possess and any they are able to smuggle all the more important and why Israel must prevent certain weapons systems of ever being smuggled into Lebanon and to Hezballah forces there. That was the reason for the raid and why there may be more in the future with each one presenting the same difficulties.

 

Map Depicting Hezballah Control in Lebanon Thanks to Syrian and Iranian Assistance

Map Depicting Hezballah Control in Lebanon
Thanks to Syrian and Iranian Assistance

 

Israeli sources including Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman reported the raid was a success and that all planes returned and were undamaged. The Syrians reported things differently claiming to have shot down one Israel aircraft and damaging another. No pictures of the destroyed Israeli plane were provided to back the Syrian claims and they have made similar claims on previous occasions including once against American aircraft under President Obama’s brief attempt at a Syrian campaign against Islamic State. The Syrians also fired four missiles into Israel with one being intercepted by the Arrow III system which was the first real world use of the system which operated well in all aspects. The remaining three landed in open areas, two in the Israel area of the Jordan Valley and the final one landed in Jordan reportedly causing no damage or loss of life. The attempt by Syria to provide their Hezballah ally with rockets is far from new and Israel has taken to only intercepting weapon systems which would provide Hezballah with additional capabilities with the most serious being anti-aircraft missiles and anti-ship missiles. The Iranians have been attempting to provide the Hezballah terrorists with the Chinese C803 anti-ship missiles as well as SAM missile batteries of a more advanced series than those in the Bekaa Valley already. This probably requires an update on the extent to which Hezballah has been rearmed since the United Nations, United States and European Union guaranteed after the Second Lebanon War as part of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 and the doubling the size of the UNIFIL forces who were assigned to prevent Hezballah from rebuilding their tunnel and bunker systems and rearming with rockets, let alone missiles.

 

The UNIFIL forces have been photographed allowing and even assisting in loading their trucks to move Hezballah munitions, armaments, rockets and personnel around in southern Lebanon south of the Litani River, the area where they are presumably tasked to prevent Hezballah from accomplishing such minor details. Hezballah had completely restructured their tunnel systems, underground bunkers, and massively extended these systems and improved their command and control as well as their communications systems and networks. This will have massive positive effect on their abilities and lethality should there ever be a need for Israel to attempt to blunt their threat to Israeli existence. Before the Second Lebanon War Hezballah was suspected of having stocks reaching as high as thirty-five-thousand rockets of which a very small percentage were of the larger varieties able of reaching beyond Haifa and even fewer which had any guidance whatsoever. This had vastly changed. Their current armaments include tens of thousands of missiles with ranges reaching the entire length of Israel carrying as high as five-hundred kilo warheads which also makes the nuclear arms capable. The various names are easy to remember and they are with their range, diameter and payloads as follows:

Katyusha approx. 132mm diameter range 10 kilometer with a 5 kg payloads
FAJR-3 approx. 240mm diameter range of 43 kilometer with a 45 kg payload
FAJR-5 approx. 233mm diameter range of 75 kilometer with a 175 kg payload
Fateh-110/M-600 approx. 0.61 m diameter range of 300 kilometer with a 500-650 kg payload
Zelzal-2 approx. 610 mm diameter range of 210 kilometer with a 600 kg payload
SKUD-D approx. 0.88 m diameter range of 700 kilometer with a 1000 kg payload

The map below indicates the ranges as they pertain to Israel and the danger becomes evident, very evident. This is one of many reasons that Israel has developed the world’s most advanced layered missile defense systems and is working on secondary and triple level means of intercepting all varieties of indirect weaponry including missiles, rockets, artillery and mortars. Israelis are thankful as many lives have been saved and apparently more will need these systems in the future, which is unfortunate.

 

Hezballah Rocket & Missile Threat

Hezballah Rocket & Missile Threat

 

Hezballah has not just tens of thousands of rockets and missiles but somewhere approaching two-hundred-thousand of varying sizes and capabilities. Additionally, there have been reports that through captured weaponry from various Syrian rebel groups that Hezballah has come into possession of a limited number of American MANPAD anti-aircraft weapons as well as similar systems designed from Russian and Chinese types of anti-aircraft weapons of a similar nature. These anti-aircraft and any anti-ship missiles which the Iranians have managed to provide to Hezballah are amongst the most dangerous should another war break out. The last war already provided ample indications that Hezballah has received numerous effective anti-tank rockets and have developed very effective tactics for their deployment. This was one area which the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) needed to develop some form of countermeasures. The greatest threat is to the Israeli public as Hezballah’s numbers of missiles are sufficient to use for swarm attacks as they can lose large numbers to interception providing they are able to get some percentage through the Israeli defenses. The numbers of missiles makes air superiority a necessity which is why Israel cannot allow large numbers or advanced air defenses to be provided to Hezballah as only through air superiority can Israel successfully destroy the stores of missiles and their launchers before they are sent in numbers over Israeli cities such as Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheba and numerous others.

 

The difference between Hezballah and Israel is a familiar one but still important to mention while we are on the subject. First, Hezballah uses identical tactics as does Hamas and will the PLO, which is to say the Palestinian Authority when they decide they have gained all they can through blackmail and using the world to demand Israel kowtow to demands for their surrender and return to their terrorist ways, which means firing from behind the people they claim to protect while Israel does everything possible to protect civilians, both Israeli and Palestinians. Hezballah has placed their rocket launchers inside civilian homes and place their command bunkers under hospitals, schools and even Mosques. They defend their positions using civilians and store their weapons and rockets in civilian’s homes, Mosques and schools. Hezballah builds tunnels and bunkers in which they secure their fighters and civilians are forced to remain on the surface usually near Hezballah fighter locations. Further, Hezballah uses villages and towns as their operations centers and builds fighting positions within these locations often people’s homes, schools and other public locations. The Hezballah tactic is to maximize civilian deaths, hardships and destruction of civilian structures all such that at the end of the conflict they can show this destruction to the media as proof of Israel offenses claiming the Israelis simply attacked civilian homes and structures out of spite and not because of their being used as military enforcements. Often the media can tell the claims are bogus as they can see the fortifications and still take their photographs using such angles so as to avoid displaying the fortifications while maximizing the obvious damage. Often the media has their photos and stories edited by Hezballah and in order to be permitted to return and cover future events each media outlet is required to follow the Hezballah story otherwise their entire news service will be barred from covering anything in Lebanon. Meanwhile, in Israel the media is permitted complete freedom and is free from any forms of censorship whatsoever which is why often the bad stories come out about Israel while Israeli enemies always get star treatment by the media. Israel suffers from the identical media difficulty that the United States also faces with total freedom of the media. When you have no operational control over the media and their stories and your enemy exercises total media control and is willing to lie and the media willingly follows along with their messages, it should be no surprise that Israel has the media difficulty.

 

The final warping of the media coverage is the often result in civilian casualties between Israel and her enemies. The extensive efforts that Israel goes to in order to keep its civilians protected, its enemies all spend seemingly an equal amount of effort to maximize the destruction of civilian structures and the numbers of dead and injured civilians they are able to produce. This leads to a high civilian casualty count while Israel often suffers minimal civilian deaths and casualties. Israelis are well trained and are conscious of the closest shelter when there is a war and are willing to drop anything including prayers to head to their closest shelter. Israel’s enemy governments and terror forces consider shelters as a waste of resources which could be better used to purchase weapons. This leads to a civilian casualty count in Israel often approaching zero while her enemies who place their fighting forces and weapons stores and rocket tubes within civilian homes and use civilians as human shields suffer civilian casualties in the tens, hundreds or unfortunately thousands. Still, it has been shown and witnessed that Israel does far more than any other military to protect and avoid civilian casualties on either side even to the point of calling off strikes to avoid civilian casualties even when the civilians have voluntarily gathered to protect terrorists. The IDF is amongst, if not the, most moral military in all history. Don’t take our word for it; listen to Colonel Richard Kemp in the video below giving evidence to the United Nations.

 

 

An example came when the IDF had three terrorist leaders holed up in a Mosque in Gaza. The IDF troops refused to enter the Mosque as this is something they avoid out of respect for a house of worship (you never want to see what Israel’s enemies do to captured Synagogues). Hamas radio called for women to rush to the Mosque with some extra burkas and within minute’s two dozen women in burkas and some carrying burkas entered the Mosque. Soon afterwards, the women left the Mosque as a mob hiding the three terrorists wearing burkas somewhere in the group. The IDF officer ordered his men to simply leave as the alternative would have been unthinkable for IDF soldiers to potentially appear to accost Muslim women.

 

In conclusion, the problem facing Israel also involves Russia as the ally and enforcement arm of Syria. Israel coordinates with the Russian commanders before sending any aircraft into Syrian airspace such that Russian and Israeli aircraft are not in conflict. Thus far, by all information, the Russians have not been sharing such information with the Syrians intentionally but there is obviously some leakage. When Bashir al-Assad’s military commanders receive hints or information of an imminent Israeli strike they inform their militias and other unattached forces who have been armed and often actually are Hezballah and receiving support directly from Iran. Syria would love to open a front against Israel in the hopes of internationalizing the war and bringing it before the United Nations General Assembly where Israel will be once again denounced. The end result will be a front opened across the Golan Heights with Hezballah attacking from the Israeli northern border backed by the Lebanese Army which is American armed including tanks and aircraft. As they have already been given these arms, the merging of the Lebanese Army with Hezballah being placed under their control, Israel may be facing the combined forces of Hezballah, Lebanon, Syrians and presumably independent militias all of which are backed by Russia. Russia is not in any means taking action against Israel and with Iran gathering forces and aligning forces under a unified command group independent of the Russians, is going to put Putin into a delicate position. When these forces finally open a full force assault upon Israel in an attempt to bring things before the United Nations where Israel will be blamed for initiating the violence and this will place Russia in the position of deciding whether to pull out of Syria demanding that their port facilities in Latakia as Russian protected territory and otherwise Russian forces will stand down and release Syria to its fate or Russia continuing to back Syria and very possibly be drawn into a war with Israel. Should Russia engage Israeli forces, be it on the Golan Heights or against aircraft in Syrian or Lebanese territories, then what does the United States do and NATO and the United Nations. There is a distinct possibility that the United States will use these events to press Israel into making a crippling series of concessions to Abbas giving him his state with the Green Line as a border as a prerequisite for continued aid while facing the war on the Israeli north against Syria, Lebanon, Hezballah, and full Russian assistance and Iran who will also add another front at some point using Hamas on the Israeli southern border along Gaza and with aid of militias along the Sinai-Negev front. This would soon include the Palestinian Authority as Abbas would be overthrown immediately after the forced peace and the withdrawal of the IDF either by ISIS or Hamas bringing this as well as the final front. This could lead to Israel fighting a war with fronts on all borders even to include the Mediterranean Sea leaving Israel in a desperate war for her existence and Israel would at best finally establish her borders as the Jordan River and hold the southern borders while establishing the Litani River and Golan Heights as their northern border and end these wars by establishing defendable borders with the downside of the entire nations requiring the rebuilding of her entire infrastructure. It would take Israel over a decade to rebuild but once the restructure has been completed, Israel would be the envy of the world when it comes to infrastructure and the Third Temple would be constructed and the Arabs who are unwilling to live supporting the Jewish State deported and finally a bright future before her.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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