Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Israel Using Plans Developed Year Ago

The San Francisco Chronicle has an article about the plans the Israelis have been using in the current 'war' or military response (hat tip to Steve Clemons of The Washington Note; bold emphasis mine):
Israel's military response by air, land and sea to what it considered a provocation last week by Hezbollah militants is unfolding according to a plan finalized more than a year ago.

(snip)

More than a year ago, a senior Israeli army officer began giving PowerPoint presentations, on an off-the-record basis, to U.S. and other diplomats, journalists and think tanks, setting out the plan for the current operation in revealing detail. Under the ground rules of the briefings, the officer could not be identified.

In his talks, the officer described a three-week campaign....

(snip)

The advance scenario is now in its second week, and its success or failure is still unfolding. Whether Israel's aerial strikes will be enough to achieve the threefold aim of the campaign -- to remove the Hezbollah military threat; to evict Hezbollah from the border area, allowing the deployment of Lebanese government troops; and to ensure the safe return of the two Israeli soldiers abducted last week -- remains an open question. Israelis are opposed to the thought of reoccupying Lebanon.

(snip)

Thursday's clashes in southern Lebanon occurred near an outpost abandoned more than six years ago by the retreating Israeli army. The place was identified using satellite photographs of a Hezbollah bunker, but only from the ground was Israel able to discover that it served as the entrance to a previously unknown underground network of caves and bunkers stuffed with missiles aimed at northern Israel, said Israeli army spokesman Miri Regev.

It's an informative article but I have a question about the above paragraph. How does one fire missiles already aimed at northern Israel if they're in an underground network of caves and bunkers? The missiles involved are small and short range; still, many years ago, I saw firsthand ICBM missile silos with their retractable covers but the paragraph above doesn't mention a system like that. No doubt Israelis have their own version of spin.

If the plans were developed a year ago, they were developed during Ariel Sharon's administration. That raises a number of questions though the article mentions that Israel has been thinking about the plans since 2000 when they left Lebanon.

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