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The War Nerd October 3, 2007
 
Nahr al Bared: A Squeamish Siege
The art of the seige By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
 
Page 4 of 4
 

The Lebanese tried that technique for a while, but the drawback with all these longrange clean killing deals is they won’t really root out diehards like these dudes, who had themselves measured for their funeral shrouds before signing up with Fatah al I. You can only do that with house-to-house advance through the ol’ urban canyons. That’s what the Lebanese troops ended up doing, slicing up the camp into zones, blasting a zone with artillery and then pushing in with troops and dozers before the smoke cleared, then mopping up anybody still yelling about Allah from the basements.

In the process, they found what armies always find out: they had the wrong weapons for the job. Part of that you can thank your local congress-coward for, because nobody in DC was willing to piss off Jerusalem by giving the Lebanese anything like the Hellfire missiles the IDF uses to clean house in Gaza.

But part of it is just that armies won’t face up to urban combat. Take armoured dozers. The only army that really has enough of the right kind of militarized dozers is the IDF. The Lebanese were begging for armoured dozers to sweep through the rubble, which the rebels had rigged with hand grenades-on-a-rope, but they had none, had to call in the local welders to put old boiler plates on civilian dozers.

See, in the all-out war our armies are designed for, there’s no point to a weapon like that. The army moves in proper order, with bombardment, then frontline troops. By the time the dozers arrive, the area should be pacified. Of course it’s also supposed to approximate the terrain on a North European farm, because that’s the environment our NATO obsession took for granted when we were ordering up weapon systems. That was the plan: us and the Warsaw Pact, mano a mano, no quarter asked or given. It’s been a long, long time getting the brass to face the fact that there’s no such war in the offing. What we got is this messed-up half-war scenario, the squeamish siege. 

The "military" side is the smallest bit of all. Killing 200 crazy muzzies? Easy. Carving your way down to their little homemade bunker is the problem. Do you blast and blast til they're dug out like gophers in July, or do you let your men die doing it the sensitive way? So far, we're stuck on sensitive, which when it comes to war is a lot like stuck on stupid.


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Gary Brecher
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Email Gary at war_nerd@exile.ru, but, more importantly, buy his book.
 
 
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