Tuesday, August 22, 2006

High-tech Only Goes So Far

I've been optimistic about the results of the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, but here's something to be concerned about and it applies to our own military as well. The Wall Street Journal has an article today about Israeli reservists' anger at the conditions under which they had to fight.

Apologies in advance to those who cannot reach that article - it is most likely for subscribers only. Here are some of the key paragraphs.

Reservists' gripes filtered out even before the fighting ended. They complained of inadequate training and a shortage of basic equipment, and said on some days they were forced to fight without food and water. Troops were kept idle for weeks and then sent into Lebanon only two days before the United Nations-brokered cease-fire went into effect. Intelligence, especially on Hezbollah's elaborate system of tunnels and bunkers, was inadequate or out of date. Some soldiers complained they were exposed to unnecessary danger by being sent on daytime missions that should only have been carried out under cover of darkness.
Sounds like a very sloppy campaign. Here's the more worrisome part for me.

...the focus of military strategy began to shift away from traditional ground forces toward fighting high-tech wars...

In southern Lebanon, the new approach was exposed as flawed. Instead of launching a ground offensive at the start, Israel waged a high-tech air war that failed to destroy Hezbollah's short-range rockets. Meanwhile, its infantry came under fierce attack on the ground from Hezbollah fighters armed with state-of-the-art antitank guided missiles.

Lt. Adam Kima, a reservist who fought this month in Lebanon, blames the technological advances reshaping the army for some of the failures of the war. "The generals sit in a room surrounded by plasma screens and move troops around on a map," he said. "That's why the orders were often so unclear."
Technology only goes so far. In the end, your orders are still carried out by soldiers at the front. It's not a video game.

1 comment:

WomanHonorThyself said...

good read KT!..the situation is a mess..sigh..but I have a feeling the IDF will emerge even stronger!