Air Operations in Israel's War Against Hezbollah: Learning from Lebanon and Getting It Right in Gaza

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Rand Corporation, 2011 - Arab-Israeli conflict - 442 pages
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In response to a surprise incursion by Hezbollah combatants into northern Israel and their abduction of two Israeli soldiers, Israel launched a campaign that included the most complex air offensive to have taken place in the history of the Israeli Air Force (IAF). Many believe that the inconclusive results of this war represent a "failure of air power." The author demonstrates that this conclusion is an oversimplification of a more complex reality. He assesses the main details associated with the Israeli Defense Forces' (IDF's) campaign against Hezbollah to correct the record regarding what Israeli air power did and did not accomplish (and promise to accomplish) in the course of contributing to that campaign. He considers IAF operations in the larger context of the numerous premises, constraints, and ultimate errors in both military and civilian leadership strategy choice that drove the Israeli government's decisionmaking throughout the counteroffensive. He also examines the IDF's more successful operation against the terrorist organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip in December 2008 and January 2009, to provide points of comparison and contrast in the IDF's conduct of the latter campaign based on lessons learned and assimilated from its earlier combat experience in Lebanon.--Publisher description.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Highlights of the Campaign
13
Key Israeli Air Accomplishments
73
Problem in Air Employment
135
The Winograd Commissions Findings
199
A Second Chance in Gaza
221
The Second Lebanon War Reconsidered
277
Conclusions
335
Bibliography
345
Index
367
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Benjamin S. Lambeth is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a position he assumed in 2011 following a 37-year career at the RAND Corporation. A long-time specialist in international security affairs and air warfare, he has extensive flight experience in more than 40 different combat aircraft types worldwide and is the author of The Transformation of American Air Power.

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