Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Home Front

In the "good old days" of the early 20th century and before most wars were proxy affairs as far as the civilian population was concerned, fought by regular armies on battlefields usually conveniently far from population centres. In the Second World War both sides learnt the "value" of inflicting casualties and damage on the civilian population. And so was born the concept of the Home Front. The Americans learnt to their cost in Iraq since 2003 that it was a lot easier to win a war against a convential army and much, much harder to win the peace once the battleground moved to the markets and the mosques, the towns and the cities.

Israel's first wars (after the War of Independence) were conventional affairs between conventional armies and it is only in recent years that the civilian population in Israel has been under attack. In the misguided, unplanned and mismanaged War against the Hezbollah in 2006 - see the Israeli home front found itself quite unprepared for the onslaught of Katyusha rockets fired into Israel from Lebanon.

The Winograd Commission which was appointed after the 2nd Lebanon war to investigate the may foul-ups reported extensively on the lacunae of the home front management and it seem that the Israeli Army has learned a thing or two. They now have an exhaustive website complete with video. YouTube and Facebook next? War as a way of life.

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