By Elijah J. Magnier:
As the ground invasion of Gaza intensifies, Israel’s strategic objectives remain shrouded in ambiguity and uncertainty. Launched from multiple directions, the incursion underscores Israel’s commitment to a multifaceted approach. Yet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close-knit mini-war council, which includes Defence Minister Yoav Galant and Opposition Leader Benny Gantz, remain reluctant to announce the start of the operation formally.
Several factors contribute to this reluctance. First and foremost is the fear that the stated goals of the invasion will not be achieved. Netanyahu, already struggling with the strategic quagmire created by the Palestinian resistance on 7 October, is anxious to manage this crisis while minimising Israeli casualties and setbacks and whitewash himself from the failure of his government and its security services. The stakes are high, and the unfolding events in Gaza will undoubtedly shape the geopolitical landscape of the region for days to come.
The anatomy of war planning: From conception to execution
In the intricate world of military strategy, formulating war plans is a meticulous process steeped in layers of analysis and preparation. When staff commanders set the stage for an operation, they first define its conditions, underlying rationale and objectives. This initial phase sets the tone for what follows.
Following this foundational phase, the focus is on mobilising forces. This involves marshalling troops, ensuring a steady flow of logistical supplies, arranging fire support, stockpiling ammunition and organising personnel accommodation. The period leading up to the crucial ‘zero hour’ – the moment the operation begins – is one of anticipation and meticulous planning.
Strategists determine the direction of both primary and diversionary attacks. They weigh the merits of launching attacks on multiple fronts, always bearing in mind the potential need to adjust plans based on the success of the operation and the resilience of the enemy’s defences. Key considerations include determining the extent of the advance, securing the flanks and ensuring flank protection.
An integral part of this planning is the use of diversionary tactics. These can range from intensive pre-bombardment to attempted landings and penetration of areas distant from the principal axes of attack. Engaging the enemy, even in minor skirmishes, can provide invaluable insight into his readiness and potential weaknesses.
In essence, every stage, from initial planning to final execution, is a testament to the intricate choreography of warfare, where every move is calculated, every risk assessed and every outcome anticipated.
Behind the scenes: Israel’s quiet war manoeuvres and the political calculus
Over the past week, the Israeli military has been conducting covert war exercises that underscore the political leadership’s reluctance to declare the start of an offensive publicly. These discreet manoeuvres serve several purposes, the most important of which is to recalibrate and psychologically prepare the troops….
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