Thursday, March 15, 2018

Why Israel will avoid a direct show-down with Hezbollah

Much has been made of the alleged "increased tensions" in the Middle East, due in no small part to both Israeli and US meddling in Syria. The more paranoid factions of the punditocracy see an Israeli or combined Israel-US assault on Hezbollah in Lebanon as imminent, especially in light of Mr. Netanyahu's dire straits vis-a-vis those various corruption investigations.

It won't happen, and here's why. That number is from two years ago. Unofficial estimates have the Hezbollah arsenal at well over 200,000 rockets today, and we're not talking about the homemade stuff the Gaza rocketeers lob into the Negev on a regular basis. We're talking about the real deal.

If you assume a best case scenario wherein the various Israeli anti-missile defences, Iron Dome, David's Sling, and the Arrow program, all function flawlessly, they could be expected to be effective against an initial barrage of a few hundred incoming. They'd be less effective going forward, and they'd essentially be a non-factor after a few thousand, which in the case of all-out war would be a matter of hours.

Then what? Even if the IAF managed to take out half the Hezbollah arsenal in a massive first strike, that'll leave a hundred thousand missiles and Israel with it's missile shield spent. Political rhetoric aside, IDF leadership will never permit this.

What we're looking at is a regional case of MAD lite. There may be proxy battles here and there, but there will not be a head-on confrontation.

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