Thursday, January 25, 2007

Worse than I thought

Regulars know that I'm no fan of airpower triumphalists. I'm a big sloppy geek for aircraft, sure. But since the dawn of powered flight various douchebags have been promising that airpower alone will win a war. It never happens.

Douchebag of the week, apparently, is now-former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz. via Galloping Beaver, Haaretz reports:
A senior officer in the Israel Defense Forces General Staff said yesterday that during last summer's war, the option of a large-scale ground operation in southern Lebanon was not seriously discussed by the General Staff or by the political establishment until July 27, more than two weeks after the war broke out....
This isn't to say that ground troops weren't part of the early plan, but that Halutz seems to have believed -- along with the rest of the Israeli leadership -- that Hezbollah could be routed with airpower playing the lead role, and a small ground force basically mopping up. That didn't work out so well.

Ground forces aren't meant for every operation, sure, but when fighting a popular movement, they're essentially the smartest weapons you've got. To put it simply, the consequences when a rifleman misses are much, much less problematic than when an F-15 pilot does.

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