ISRAEL – LEBANON WAR 2006
1. Ever since the inception of Israel as a Jew state in the midst of Arab land in 1948, the world has observed Middle East to be the most turbulent and volatile region. Lebanon being immediate neighbor has been amongst the most affect countries. Israel and Lebanon have never signed a peace accord and remained in a state of war since the decision of Lebanese Muslims to align with Arab nationalism against the wishes of their Christian counterparts during 1948 Arab – Israel War. The polarized confessional system of Lebanon has been one of the reasons for her internal strife as well as external aggression. With a large Christian minority in an overwhelmingly Muslim region, Lebanon was considered the weakest Arab neighbor to Israel. Therefore, Lebanon had been the subject of Israel’s invasion more than any other country of the region. 2. In mid-July 2006 a month-long conflict broke out between Israel and the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon after the latter took two Israeli soldiers hostage during a cross-border raid. Israel responded with an intensive campaign of air-strikes and sent troops in Southern Lebanon, where strong resistance was encountered from Hezbollah. This Israel’s 34-days invasion of Lebanon from 12 July to 14 August 2006, known in Lebanon as the July War and in Israel as the Second Lebanon War, proved costly for its military standing. This was not the first time Israel attacked Lebanon to defend against perceived threats to its national security. In the past, Israeli forces have overrun the country twice, first in 1978 and then in 1982. What was different about these earlier encounters, however, was that Israel did not have to face a credible and determined resistance force such as Hezbollah (Party of God) which emerged in 1985 as a result of Israel’s occupation of Southern Lebanon till 2000. Hence, Israel’s recent attack had been aimed at eliminating the Hezbollah threat to its own security. Instead, the resilience of this non-state actor until the end shattered the myth of Israeli invincibility. 3. The month-long war was devastating for the people of southern Lebanon because Israel’s “disproportionate use of force” destroyed their civic infrastructure, homes and hospitals. The region suffered over 1,000 casualties, around one million displacements, and incurred economic losses estimated at $1.5 billion. But the damage to Israel was also severe, accruing mainly in the form of military failures, and loss of a deterrence strategy as well as political unity. Israel suffered around 160 casualties — a very high figure in Israeli calculations, undermined its command and control, and aroused questions about its political leadership. It was compelled to initiate an inquiry into the war failures in Lebanon. The country also came under severe international criticism over its military tactics, especially the use of cluster bombs against the civilian population and infrastructure. 4. The war has had many important and multidimensional implications for all actors, the regional environment and future security milieu. A multitude of factors contributed to the outcome of this war which is considered as a classic asymmetric conflict in its manifestation. Therefore, this paper will trace the historical circumstances leading to the war, objectives/ goals of the involved parties, examine strategy and postures adopted by the belligerents in order to objectively analyze and reveal deeper dynamics of this remarkable war to extract relevant lessons. Aim
5. To study and analyze the Israel – Lebanon War 2006 in the framework of its asymmetrical nature with a view to drawing relevant lessons from the war. Scope
6. In view of the multidimensional nature of its impacts at regional level as well as globally, the Israel – Lebanon War 2006 can be discussed in a variety of ways, however, this paper encompasses more on its asymmetric nature in particular and other related aspects of the...
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