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All Glory Is Fleeting

All Glory Is Fleeting: Insights from the Second Lebanon War

Russell W. Glenn
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 120
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  • Book Info
    All Glory Is Fleeting
    Book Description:

    The Israeli Defense Forces’ efforts to learn from the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and correct recognized deficiencies began immediately after the war’s end. Drawing on interviews and written sources, this book reviews identified shortfalls, then offers further thoughts on sources of difficulties and analyzes what lessons the conflict offers the U.S. military.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-7949-7
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figure
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Summary
    (pp. xi-xviii)

    As with many Arabic names,Hizballahappears with several spellings (e.g.,Hezbollah). The former is used throughout for consistency with the exception of references in direct quotations.

    A Hizballah raid along the Lebanon-Israel border on July 12, 2006, resulted in the capture of two IDF soldiers and others killed and wounded. The response from Jerusalem was both quick and violent, surprising Hizballah’s leadership and triggering a monthlong conflict that, in retrospect, has been labeled the Second Lebanon War. (Lebanese tend to call the conflict theJuly War. The termSecond Lebanon Waris used throughout the following pages to avoid...

  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xx)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction and Background
    (pp. 1-14)

    As with many Arabic names,Hizballahappears with several spellings (e.g.,Hezbollah). The former is used throughout for consistency with the exception of references in direct quotations.

    The Hizballah fighters executed their July 12, 2006, attack with deadly efficiency. It was a limited tactical action with dramatic strategic impact.Jane’s Intelligence Reviewconcisely summarized the incendiary event and its immediate consequences:

    At 0905 local time, two IDF armoured [HMMWVs, or highmobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles] were hit by at least one roadside bomb and rocket-propelled grenades fired by a squad of IR [Islamic Resistance] fighters hidden in dense undergrowth on the...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Israeli Postwar Analysis and Reaction
    (pp. 15-34)

    Initial Israeli self-evaluations regarding the Second Lebanon War have been harsh. Major issues of particular concern to serving and retired Israeli military personnel include the following:

    An inappropriate defense strategy and failure to update campaign plans established the foundation for failure in July–August 2006.

    IDF confusion on the battlefield was at least in part due to unnecessarily complex new concepts and doctrine.

    Preoccupation with intifada-type operations to the neglect of warfighting skills left the IDF unready to fight effectively.

    Inadequate synchronization of combined arms and joint capabilities crippled battlefield performance.

    Excessive concern regarding IDF casualties made what should have...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Responding to the Lessons: IDF Reactions in the Aftermath of the Second Lebanon War
    (pp. 35-42)

    Israel’s responses to what it considers an unacceptable performance incorporate every level of war and both the diplomatic and military arenas. Conclusions from the various panels that have investigated the event run the gamut from the highest echelons of the nation’s decisionmaking to the lowest tactical levels. The reactions were as swift as the comments motivating them were blunt. Shortfalls, such as an armored battalion commander having never had the opportunity to move his unit in darkness until called upon to do it in time of war and junior leaders lacking even a single combat-training exercise in five years, were...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Additional Thoughts Regarding Lessons from the Second Lebanon War
    (pp. 43-66)

    Israel’s introspection and response to internally identified concerns as they appear in the preceding chapters have wide scope. There are others whose consideration is in its embryonic phases during the research that underlies this book or that seem to have been overlooked altogether and are perhaps yet to come to the fore as investigations continue. The following are among them:

    Important Israeli decisions were founded on a misreading of the relationship between means and ends.

    Israel’s leaders seem to have misunderstood the fundamental nature of their struggle with Hizballah.

    The Second Lebanon War has notable implications for the operational art...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Revalidations and New Considerations: Implications for the United States and Other Nations
    (pp. 67-86)

    Many of the world’s militaries looked to Israel as an example to emulate after its stunning victory in the 1967 Six Days War. The Yom Kippur War of 1973 offered further lessons. Though not as overwhelming in its effects, we have seen that the latter conflict demonstrated that the IDF could adapt to overcome initial surprise and disadvantage, capabilities not lost on militaries confronting a numerically superior Warsaw Pact enemy in Western Europe.²

    Some 40 years later, Israel stands accused of resting on its past military glory and allowing its capabilities to atrophy, thereby putting itself at strategic risk in...

  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 87-98)