Some pundits contend that in the absence of a direct threat from state armies, and in a situation where terror, guerrilla and rocket threats predominate, Israel no longer needs heavy maneuvering formations. This study argues the contrary.
Unlike many previous chiefs-of-staff for Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF), whose appointments were shadowed by controversies, the nomination this past week of Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot as the 21st commander of the IDF has been widely welcomed.
Dramatic cuts to the IDF budget have forced the army to reduce its ground forces capabilities. This is a mistake, as the IDF still must rely on its ground forces to deal with its threats, specifically Hamas and Hizballah.
“Mowing the Grass” is Israel’s strategy for a protracted intractable conflict. Only after showing restraint in its military responses does Israel act to destroy enemy capabilities, hoping that occasional large-scale operations also have a temporary deterrent effect to create quiet along its borders.
The operation also proved Israel’s determination to act forcefully in the post “Arab Spring” environment. However, the lack of a ground offensive allowed Hamas to craft a victory narrative and gave it the potential to re-arm.