Leadership: Israel Deals With "Garbage In, Garbage Out"


December 5, 2007: Big debate going on in Israeli military circles, over exactly what happened in the 2006 war in Lebanon. The Israeli military claimed they were conducting "effects-based operations" (EBO, which is "planning, executing and assessing operations to attain the effects required to achieve desired national security objectives".) But many Israeli generals and politicians believe the military were just doing business as usual in 2006. That is, using firepower to crush the enemy. The enemy, Hizbollah, was expecting that, and was deployed to survive the firepower, and inflict casualties on the Isaelis. Hizbollah knew it could declare a victory (at least to its Arab supporters) if they avoided being destroyed. But Hizbollah leaders believed they could do more than just survive. They didn't. but just surviving a direct confrontation with the Israeli military was a big deal.

Many Israelis question whether EBO actually has any validity at all. That misses the point. With EBO, it's "garbage in, garbage out." If you don't ask the right questions, EBO won't help you. Most Israelis understand that they certainly didn't think out the PR aspects of their 2006 operations very carefully. Usually, the Israelis are able to get inside the heads of their Arab opponents. But not in 2006 with Hizbollah. The results of this debate will be generally classified, only to be revealed the next time there is a war with Hizbollah.


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