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Why the Israeli Military is Largely Ignoring Advice From America on Dealing With Hamas

Why the Israeli Military is Largely Ignoring Advice From America on Dealing With Hamas

“The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is fundamentally different from the U.S. military.”

There are actually a number of reasons which are spelled out by Raphael S. Cohen in this piece for Foreign Policy:

Israel’s ‘People’s Army’ at War

Since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, a parade of U.S. defense officialspoliticians, former generals, and defense policy wonks have offered advice—largely unsolicited—about how Israel should conduct its offensive in Gaza, based upon the lessons the United States learned from its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of these recommendations have centered on the need to protect the civilian population during the ongoing fighting and plan for the day the war ends, if only to prevent a power vacuum and subsequent insurgency. Much to this group’s increasing frustration, a lot of the advice has gone unheeded.

There are many reasons why Israel has so far chosen to ignore these recommendations. For starters, Iraq and Afghanistan were much larger and half a world away; Gaza is far smaller, more compact, and right next door to Israel. The Israel-Hamas war is also bound up in the long and troubled history of Israeli-Palestinian relations. And then, of course, there is the fact that most Americans leave unspoken: The United States lost the Afghanistan War and produced, at best, a muddled outcome in Iraq. Neither war is a great selling point for the U.S. model for fighting an insurgency or a group like Hamas.

And yet, on top of these considerations of military strategy and tactics, there is another important factor at play, just below the surface. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is fundamentally different from the U.S. military. Its relationship with society, cultural predilections, and individual norms of behavior are uniquely its own. And so, despite outsiders’ advice and pressure to the contrary, the way it fights in Gaza is—and will continue to be—different, too.

At the Ben Gurion Airport gift shop, there are T-shirts showing a tank, an attack helicopter, and a fighter jet, along with the slogan “America Don’t Worry—Israel Is Behind You.” The motto is drenched in irony. After all, Israel receives more than $3 billion a year in aid from the United States, and the F-16 fighter jet and AH-64 Apache helicopter emblazoned on the shirt are both U.S.-made. But the shirts also capture Israel’s prewar idolization of its military—a mixture of nationalism and a deep-seated, if misplaced, belief in the invincibility of its military prowess. Prior to this war, there was an unspoken contract: For all the turmoil and chaos in Israeli society and politics, the military would always be there to keep citizens safe.

Read the whole thing.


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With our military turning into a woke joke filled with trannies, social justice morons, and a Sec Def who goes AWOL, why would anyone take military advice from America?

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to SField. | January 22, 2024 at 8:33 am

    It’s simpler than that. They know that we’ve not won a war since 1945.

    Danny in reply to SField. | January 22, 2024 at 3:09 pm

    A better point would be the advice the U.S. has been giving has consisted of either the “do what you are already doing” advice (Israel is protecting civilian life as is) or the “plan for the post war” (which would be stupid you need the victory first, and Netanyahu will be out of office the day the battle ends whatever the result making it also undemocratic because it would deprive the next PM of the choice).

You have an important mission. Assume that this mission is dangerous, and requires extreme skill and courage. Assume that the mission can be accomplished with the materiel you have. You can choose: a fighting unit (whether planes, infantry, tanks, etc.) from the US or a fighting unit from Israel. It’s not an all out war. Do you choose US forces or Israeli forces for this mission?

    OldProf2 in reply to Stuytown. | January 22, 2024 at 4:18 pm

    You’ll have to use the US forces, because the Israeli forces probably won’t know the right pronouns to use, causing hurtful microaggressions.

Israeli is doing a fine job in turning cities in to rubble on it’s on, they don’t need any instruction.

    docduracoat in reply to TimMc. | January 22, 2024 at 10:04 am

    Israel is correct in turning Gaza from a city of buildings into a city of tents.

    It will be a lot harder to dig terror tunnels and weapons depots inside tents

    Ch65 in reply to TimMc. | January 22, 2024 at 10:08 am

    Dear Tim Mc – It sounds like you disapprove of Israel’s tactics? Am I mistaken?

    How would you do things differently, were you in charge?

    JackinSilverSpring in reply to TimMc. | January 22, 2024 at 10:18 am

    Well, that’s what happens when nearly every residence stores weapons, including bombs. There are almost no innocents in Gaza.

JackinSilverSpring | January 22, 2024 at 10:15 am

Israel has done far more to protect Gazan “noncombatants” than any military to date. Hamas says thar 25,000 Gazans have died (a number I doubt in light of the Arab penchant for lying – taqiya). Let’s assume that number is correct. Israel has said it has killed 10,000 Hamas terrorists. Assuming all 25,000 are “noncombatants.” Then the ratio of “noncombatants” to combatants is 2.5. No other army has ever achieved a ratio that low. Usually the ratio is 9. If the 25,000 includes the 10,000, which I suspect it does, than the ratio is an amazingly low 1.5. So those who blabber on about Israel protecting “noncombatants” should STFU.
Note: I have been enclosing noncombatants in scare quotes because IMHO very few Gazans are noncombatants. I say that based on the IDF finding firearms in almost every Gazan home, usually in a child’s bedroom.

    Compare to the Russians in Aleppo fighting exactly the same opponent to over a similar time frame.

    Most of the “advice” being given consists of doing something Israel is already doing in order to court Muslim voters and telling Israel to plan for the post war which would be stupid because you need to achieve a victory first.

    The alleged 25,000 definitely includes the 10,000. And I find it hard to believe that their alleged number is not inflated by at least 100%. Therefore the true number is between 10,000 and 15,000, probably towards the lower end of that range. Which means the number of “noncombatants” killed (i.e. combatants who were not actually shooting at the IDF when killed) is less than 5,000, probably a lot less.

Godspeed IDF

Israel needs to send Hamas/Fatah/Hezbollah/PIJ and anyone else that bothers us to HELL, or at lest Carpet Bomb the above along with the Red Cross, the UN, the Obama Democrats and Ben and Jerry Vermont. We need to send the Arabs in Gaza and Judea and Sumeria to New York, Chicago, San Francisco and any other Democratic Controlled Hell Hole.

Because they’re not idiots?

Israel needs to remove the Palestinians. Right now, they are biding their time, waiting for an opportunity.

Why would a military with a perfect win record over 60 years take advice from a military with a perfect loss record over that same period?

BierceAmbrose | January 23, 2024 at 4:34 pm

“Why the Israeli Military is Largely Ignoring Advice From America on Dealing With Hamas”

Because the US is dispensing “advice” to do stuff to the US’s advantage and the administration’s convenience, and the Israelis know this.

Once they say it, Israel knows what the US is going to work toward. After that nothing more to be gained.

caseoftheblues | January 24, 2024 at 5:51 am

…. Because the IDF is running a military operation to wipe out a terrorist organization not running workshops on wiping out whiteness