Friday, February 15, 2008

US Is Also Learning From The Israel-Hizbollah War

It's not just Israel who is learning lessons from its war with Hizbollah.

According to USA today:
That means focusing on heavy armor, such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles; more body armor; and unmanned aircraft that can monitor enemy activity and fire missiles at enemy fighters.

Such an approach conflicts with the current emphasis on counterinsurgency operations, which are being waged in Iraq and Afghanistan. Counterinsurgency tactics could leave U.S. forces vulnerable to the kind of coordinated attacks that stymied Israel.
Among the specific innovations in combat that the US has adopted:

•Train soldiers to use a full range of combat skills, not just how to conduct counterinsurgency operations against an enemy with limited weapons.

•Equip soldiers with vehicles that can take blasts and shoot down rockets; sensors that can detect enemy tunnels; and unmanned planes that provide video of enemy activity. In President Bush's 2009 budget, the Army asked for $3.6 billion to develop Future Combat Systems, a suite of vehicles, weapons, sensors and communication equipment.

•Conduct a media campaign during such conflicts to get out the U.S. message to local and international audiences. Soldiers skilled in communication need to be on the front line not for propaganda, but to explain U.S. actions.
That last one is a particular weakness of Israel--both in times of relative peace as well as in times of war, and probably the one hardest to remedy.

See also: The Lesson Israel Can Learn From Petraeus--But Cannot Implement

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