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BTW, there is one question I couldn't find an answer for. Maybe someone here can venture a guess:

Why did IDF land incursions extend only until the protrusion of Metulla to the East?

Hezbollah is definitely present further to the East, at Shebaa, they were lobbing rockets at Shebaa Farms from there. And Khiam was another Hezbollah stronghold, but the IDF didn't attempt to encircle it with another incursion from the East, like it happened to Bent Jbeil.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Aug 25th, 2006 at 05:04:19 AM EST
Why did IDF land incursions extend only until the protrusion of Metulla to the East?

I'm not exactly sure what "Metulla" refers to on the map. I heard of a village near Mt Hermon, but I guess you are refering to a region?

I'm assuming for this comment you're asking "Why didn't the IDF go into places like "El Khiam" and "Chebaa" (and the area around and between them, on your map.

  1. Who knows the mind of military planners?

  2. More seriously, they may have had PR reasons (when designing the offensive) to not wish to draw attention to the Shebaa situation. Likewise, the design may have included earlier fears about ground forces too close to Syria bringing unwanted attention from the Syrians.

  3. They really believed bombing was the key and never intended even the level of ground operations they undertook. Thus, obvious (looking at the map) territory maneuvers weren't the issue. That is to say, the ground force attacks were not planned in advance and so occured in an ad hoc manner, depending on where the rockets landing on Israeli towns seemed to be coming from.

  4. Or, if you look at the map of undertaken attacks, it looks a lot like the political imperative was to annex the territory along the line of the Litani. Maybe turn it into a buffer zone or something. If we consider that the Israelis never expected the level of world opinion outcry to reach what it did, then the strategy of annexation makes sense in terms of the offensives undertaken:

a) Strike along the Litani towards the coast, encircling the desired territory.

b) Push troops from the south up toward the Litani.

c) Strike towards Marjayoun to prevent resupply and reserves from Metulla coming to the rescue of resistance south of the Litani.

All this is predicated on the idea that the Israelis thought they would have easier time of it than they did on the ground. And that they estimated they could conduct an operation to "annex" south of the Litani, then hold it for negotiations to turn it into a buffer zone or something.

That's a pile of speculation, but it's hard to draw more out of the limited information available.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Aug 25th, 2006 at 07:10:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brilliant Diary and Maps, DoDo!

Colonel Lang is currently writing an off-line Lessons Learned on Lebanon for someone, and is soliciting reader input for his paper.

Your maps are the best I've seen to date, and the analysis of events is excellent

Might want to drag everything over to http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2006/08/pete_hoekstra_a.html#comments

and help the colonel out.

"When the abyss stares at me, it wets its pants." Brian Hopkins

by EricC on Fri Aug 25th, 2006 at 10:32:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not exactly sure what "Metulla" refers to on the map.

Sorry, didn't thought of it and just assumed others' knowledge. Metulla is a medium-szed Israeli town situated right at the Northern end of that protrusion of Israel from which IDF troops moved to Marjayoun.

I'm assuming for this comment you're asking "Why didn't the IDF go into places like "El Khiam" and "Chebaa"

Correct for Shebaa/Chebaa [I guess the two versions are down to English  vs. former colonialist French transliteration], but I see I was unclear regarding Khiam: the IDF did attack it, but only coming from the West, they didn't send another tank column from the East to cut it off. I.e., what they did was a rather senseless attack, unless it was all smoke and mirrors in service of the objective in your point 4 c) (e.g. they didn't meant to take khiam, only to bar through-passage to Kfar Kila [the town overlooked by that Northernmost outpost still in place four days ago] and further).

You call it a piole of speculation, but your points 2 and 4 seem like the explanations I looked for, thanks :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Aug 25th, 2006 at 06:52:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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