The Corner

John Keegan On Israel V. Hezbollah

The bee’s knees of military historians has a piece that’s a cut above the rest, here’s the opener:

        Another Mid East War is On the Horizon

LONDON —There will soon be another war in the Middle East, this time a renewal of the conflict between the Israel Defense Force and Hezbollah. The conflict is inevitable and unavoidable. It will come about because Israel cannot tolerate the rebuilding of Hezbollah’s fortified zone in South Lebanon, from which last year it launched its missile bombardment of northern Israel.

Hezbollah has now reconstructed the fortified zone and is replenishing its stocks of missiles there. It is also creating a fortified zone in the Gaza Strip and building up its stocks of missiles there. Israel, therefore, faces missile attack on two fronts. When the Israel general staff decides the threat has become intolerable, it will strike.

What happened in South Lebanon earlier this year has been widely misunderstood, largely because the anti-Israel bias in the international press led to the situation being misreported as an Israeli defeat.

It was no such thing. It was certainly an Israeli setback, but the idea that the IDF had suddenly lost its historic superiority over its Arab enemies and that they had acquired military qualities that had hitherto eluded them was quite false. Hezbollah suffered heavy losses in the fighting, perhaps as many as 1,000 killed out of its strength of up to 5,000, and it is only just now recovering.