2006 September 10 Sunday
Hezbollah Beat Israel At Electronic Warfare?

An article in the Asia Times reports a variety of ways in which Hezbollah fighters, using technical help from Iran and Syria, were able to glean important battlefield information from Israeli forces in Lebanon while blocking Israeli attempts to block Hezbollah communications.

"Israeli EW [electronic warfare] systems were unable to jam the systems at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, they proved unable to jam Hezbollah's command and control links from Lebanon to Iranian facilities in Syria, they blocked the Barak ship anti-missile systems, and they hacked into Israeli operations communications in the field," Richard Sale, the longtime intelligence editor for United Press International, who was alerted to this intelligence failure by current and former CIA officials, told Asia Times Online.

In the next Arab-Israeli conflict will the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) take way the cell phones of Israeli soldiers going into battle?

Part of the reason for Hezbollah's decisive battlefield performance was that it was gleaning valuable information by monitoring telephone conversations in Hebrew between Israeli reservists and their families on their personal mobile phones.

We do not see much (or at least I haven't) about electronic warfare in Iraq where the insurgents use electronic measures to monitor or block communications of US forces. The insurgents use cell phones to set off bombs. Do they do anything more with electronics and communications?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 September 10 12:56 PM  Military War, Rumours Of War

mike said at September 10, 2006 4:28 PM:

Reportedly, one of the reasons that the Israelis had difficulty blocking Hezbollah communications is that Hezbollah has installed a great many fiber optic lines rather than relying on wireless communications. This was how they were able to communicate orders to fighters in the south and coordinate rocket attacks for the entire duration of the conflict.

Of course, in order to install those lines they had to occupy the territory in question: more evidence that Israel made a big mistake in pulling out of southern Lebanon all those years ago.

Engineer-Poet said at September 10, 2006 6:15 PM:

The machinery for laying fiber is pretty distinctive and hard to hide.  Had Israel kept careful note of where those machines were going, some carefully-laid artillery fire on the routes would probably have done at least as well as a platoon of backhoe-operators.

John S Bolton said at September 11, 2006 12:35 AM:

Hezbollah avoided being routed, which is not the same as winning.
The UN would not have rushed so frantically to get a ceasefire, unless they feared a total rout for a favored terrorist
organizaion of theirs.
Several Suez canal ceasefires promoted by the US or the UN in the past, to avoid an impending complete disgrace of moslem soldiery, might be a more correct analogy.
The administration likes to pose as the leader of a global war on terrorism, yet panics when Hezbollah is being attacked by Israel, and becomes as soft on them as the UN, or nearly so.

RobertHume said at September 12, 2006 7:29 AM:

"more evidence that Israel made a big mistake in pulling out of southern Lebanon all those years ago."

Prof Robert Pape of U. Chicago has shown that occupation by an army from a democratic country of a different religion is almost guaranteed to generate suicide terrorist attacks. These attacks are often propounded by the terrorist leaders as religious wars but are in fact executed in large measure by committed secularists who are desperate over the occupation of their homeland. An example, besides Palestinians, is the Tamil Tigers who execute suicide terrorism attacks against the Buddhist Sinhalese from democratic southern Sri Lanka. The Tamilese rant against the religious aggression of the Sinhalese to gather recruits.

Pape notes that suicide terrorists do not come from unoccupied Muslim states, e.g. Sudan and Iran. They do come from occupied states such as Palestine, Saudi Arabia and, now, Iraq.

It's the occupation, not the religion.

Watch Pape at a webcast: http://www.americaspurpose.org/archives/tsap.asp

His book is "Dying to Win, The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism" now in paperback.

(Vicente) Fox Hound said at September 12, 2006 11:49 AM:

"It's the occupation, not the religion."

See that's not true, because the IRA (and all its reincarnations and offshoots) never sent one suicide bomber. Suicide bombing is a very location and people specific tactic. Tamil Tigers and various Islamic terrorist groups are responsible for pretty much all of them. The Iranians have been signing up and training volunteer for suicide bombings, iirc. I'm not going to deny the role occupation (actually, more like the presence of perceived hostile foreigners as the US never occupied Saudi Arabia), but Pape is delusional if he thinks religion has little to no effect.

mike said at September 12, 2006 6:52 PM:

"Prof Robert Pape of U. Chicago has shown that occupation by an army from a democratic country of a different religion is almost guaranteed to generate suicide terrorist attacks."

Whatever. The only non-Islamic "suicide terrorists" I ever hear about these days are the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. Their situation is rather unique. All of the rest are Muslims. A more accurate description would be that wherever Islam goes, suicide bombings tend to follow.

Every time Israel has made concessions to the Arabs it has worsened its security situation. In spite of this, some people continue to hold out hope that if the Israelis simply make more concessions eventually they will get peace. I've heard this called the "threshold theory." If the Israelis just cross a certain threshold of appeasement, so the theory goes, terrorism will go away. No more terrorists from Hamas, Hezbollah, Islam Jihad, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. No more terrorism from the Palestinians, the Lebanese, or the greater Arab world. I'm not buying it.

Compare the First and Second Intifadas. The latter occurred before ceding political authority to the Palestinians. It was tame in comparison to the former.

"Pape notes that suicide terrorists do not come from unoccupied Muslim states, e.g. Sudan and Iran."

Pape doesn't do his homework then. More laughably bad social research from left-wing academics.

We've seen suicide bombings in Europe. I suppose Britain is being occupied by the British, right? Clearly the British have stolen Britain from its rightful owners, the Pakistanis, correct? One of the Madrid bombers detonated himself in an attempt to kill Spanish police officers in the wake of the train bombings. I suppose the Spaniards need to stop occupying Spain. And those damn Americans dared to occupy America when they were attacked by suicidal terrorists on 9/11.

We've also seen suicide terrorism in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Qatar, Tunisia, Kenya, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. None of which are occupied. Lebanon's former prime minister was killed in a suicide bombing. We saw the assassination of the leader of the Northern Alliance shortly before the US invasion of that country by a Tunisian-born supporter of the Taliban.

Bob Badour said at September 13, 2006 5:45 PM:

If the Tamil Tigers are not muslims, how many virgins do they get in the afterlife? Or do they get something else?

mike said at September 14, 2006 9:12 AM:

They're Hindus, so they get approximately the same number of virgins as they get lives. The exact number depends on their karma, I suppose.

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