Israel's Wars in Lebanon, 1982-2006: An Ends/Means Mismatch   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the thesis abstract: "The Israeli government failed to heed the lessons of Operation Peace for Galilee, its unsuccessful 1982 invasion, when it made the decision to invade Lebanon in 2006 and established political goals that could not be accomplished through the military means applied. Israel's wars with Lebanon, analyzed within the context of Clausewitz's determination that war is subordinate to the political goals of the government, identification of centers of gravity, strategic theory and risk assessment, clearly indicates an application by Israel of political ends using inadequate military means. In both wars Israel's goals included the removal or destruction of a non-state actor from southern Lebanon and the establishment of a government friendly to Israel and capable of securing its borders. In neither case did Israel commit sufficient military power to meet its policy goals, yet Israel failed also to conduct an adequate risk assessment that would identify the high likelihood of failure and seek to adjust the means, ways or goals of either campaign. By failing to heed the lessons of the 1982 invasion on the limitations of military force and the necessity of conducting a realistic assessment of the risks involved, Israel committed many of the--same mistakes in its 2006 invasion. These mistakes, coupled with an over-reliance on airpower, the adoption of a new, untried system of command and control, and the reduced combat effectiveness of the Israeli Army due to a focus on counterinsurgent/terrorist operations in the occupied territories vice training for conventional war, led to a defeat of the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] at the hands of Hezbollah."

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