Best Defense

Two ‘proven providers’ on Gaza

Terry Daly, one of the smartest people I know on counterinsurgency issues, doesn’t see much hope for Israel’s crackdown in Gaza. "Don’t ask me what the solution is to Israel’s strategic problem," he comments in a note. "Thomas Henriksen’s excellent 2007 Joint Special Operations University monograph, ‘The Israeli Approach to Irregular Warfare and Implications for ...

Terry Daly, one of the smartest people I know on counterinsurgency issues, doesn’t see much hope for Israel’s crackdown in Gaza. "Don’t ask me what the solution is to Israel’s strategic problem," he comments in a note. "Thomas Henriksen’s excellent 2007 Joint Special Operations University monograph, ‘The Israeli Approach to Irregular Warfare and Implications for the United States,’ clearly relates how the Israelis have tried most of the usual solutions. For 60 years, though, Israel through the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), basically has relied on ‘the utility of force.’ The IDF became and remains a shining example of conventional military excellence, but it also seems to be heading for defeat in ‘war amongst the people,’ where the objective is to win peoples’ support not to kill them and break all their toys. . . .  Meanwhile the Muslim nihilists must be salivating at the thought of getting the IDF on the ground in the Gaza Strip."

Similarly, Andrew Exum, who I first met when he was a platoon leader in Afghanistan, who later fought in Iraq, and who is now writing a doctoral dissertation on the militias of  Lebanon, recommends this glum analysis, which begins, "Islamic Jihad – the extremist group behind many of the rocket attacks on Israeli towns – has got the war it wished for at least."

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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