Sunday, April 17, 2011
Israel Has Gotten Even Smarter
Just when you thought that they couldn't get any smarter, Israel has stepped up the 'smart warfare' in response to the now-discredited Goldstone Report (Hat Tip: Daily Alert).
Among the changes made by the IDF were modifying the way soldiers fight in urban areas, teaching relatively low-level combat officers nuances in the laws of war, attaching humanitarian liaison officers to active forces and making media relations a priority.
Last May, eight months after the Goldstone report was released, the IDF issued a new document defining rules of engagement in urban warfare. Although the ideas elaborated long had been standard practice, putting them down in writing was tantamount to introducing a new doctrine for fighting in built-up areas.
The document noted that during the Gaza operation, even after every effort had been made to induce civilians to evacuate areas where combat was expected -- for example, by dropping fliers and making direct telephone calls to area residents -- more often than not some non-combatants stayed behind.
The new doctrine requires that after efforts have been made to warn the civilian population to leave, the incoming troops first fire warning shots and give the remaining civilians a chance to leave safely. Then, to minimize casualties among civilians who nevertheless choose to stay, IDF fighters and commanders must use the most accurate weapons at their disposal and choose munitions of relatively low impact.
Read the whole thing.
I'm okay with this so long as the result isn't more IDF casualties and more fighting with one hand tied behind the army's back. No more Jenin's, where nearly as many IDF soldiers as Hamas terrorists died so that the IDF could spare the 'civilians' who were serving as human shields. At some point, the effectiveness of the IDF's military actions and the safety of its troops and Israel's civilians has to take precedent over the safety of those who deliberately place their lives in danger.
But I fear that the results will be more IDF casualties and more Israeli civilian casualties, God forbid.
Labels: civilian casualties, human shields, Palestinian terrorism, smart warfare
posted by Carl in Jerusalem @ 1:22 PM