Monday, September 16, 2013

ISRAEL VS. IRAN The Shadow War by Yaakov Katz and Yoaz Hendel

In order to understand what is happening between Israel and its neighbors, this book is a good primer. Katz, a military corespondent for the Jerusalem Post and Hendel, a military historian at Bar Ilan Unversity effectively discuss that last twenty years of the political tension and war between Israel and its neighbors concluding that Israel is in a proxy war with Iran.

The immediate neighbors of Israel are essentially being armed by Iran.  In the north, in Lebanon, Israel must contend with Hezbollah,  a Shi'ite military organization that constantly threatens Israel through rhetoric with heaving its arsenal of rockets down on Israel's north periodically.  Its main supplier is Iran.

Hamas, a terrorist organization that took over the Gaza strip, is constantly struggling with Fatah for control of the West Bank threatens Israel from the Southwest.  It is supplied secretly by Iran even though culturally Hamas is Sunni and Iran is Shi'ite.

Syria's ruling party, although not an immediate threat to Israel at this time because it is in midst of a civil war, nevertheless receives its weapons and support from Iran.

As Iran continues to march toward building a nuclear arsenal, Israel has had to make adjustments. The authors contend that Israel has adapted its army to the new conditions of a proxy war with a possible showdown by reworking its armed forces into a more commando style fighting force and utilizing high technology as opposed to a conventional army that is protected by a superior air force.  In the past, Israel has prided its army as fundamentally based on the civilian reservist who during war is called up to fight.  Now, the army does not rely on the reserve but relies on the commando concept of preemptive and surgical strikes with electronic warfare.

The ultimate gambit must include Israel's successful preparation for any serious counter strike from her immediate neighbors or from Iran itself.  Military planners must include a program to absorb the massive retaliation bound to occur from a very vocal and animated opponent.

This book is a very sobering, chilling read of history, strategic possibilities and military scenarios.

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