From the Jerusalem Post:
"IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz is known to be opposed to a ground incursion into Lebanon, which he has said would only be carried out as a last resort. Harel also said that while the possibility existed, the chances the IDF would launch such an incursion were slim."
I’m just an old combat infantryman, but Haluzt seems to be worried more about his casualties than eliminating the Hez rocket launchers. Which he’s trying to do from the air and sea, and with massed artillery and small-unit special operations, rather than in large movements of infantry and armor.
It fits in rather unpleasantly with something else in the JP edition, commentator Daniel Pipes’ opinion that the IDF has lost the touch that once made it great, and his conclusion that all of this will mean little in the long run.
"Deterrence cannot be reinstated in a week," he writes, "through a raid, a blockade, or a round of war. It demands unwavering resolve, expressed over decades."
But there aren’t any decades left before Iran gets the bomb and gives Hez a really nasty warhead for its rockets, and Nazareth, for instance, is not merely rocketed but turned into glass. Casualties now or nuclear war later?
Israel blogger Meryl Yourish ( who lives in Virginia and may have finally found a job she wants and best wishes to her) notes that Hez has extensively mined the southern Lebanon borderland which would make it deadly to invade even in a Merkava tank. Yet she thinks IDF morale is high, and saves a taunt for Hez bossman Hassan Nasrallah, otherwise known as "Chipmunk Cheeks."
There’s a last chance feel to this latest Israeli war on its terrorist tormentors and, hesitant chiefs of staff or no, I hope Olmert’s otherwise dovish government takes it while the taking’s good.
UPDATE There’s at least one company-grade IDF officer saying battalion or division size invasion isn’t out of the question. "’There is a possibility _ all our options are open. At the moment, it’s a very limited, specific incursion but all options remain open’ Capt. Jacob Dallal, an Israeli army spokesman, told The Associated Press on Wednesday."