HOW ISRAEL SHOULD DEAL WITH HEZBOLLAH
If I were the Prime Minister of Israel, here is how my government would address the continuing threat posed by Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon:
1. I would allow about 30 days, perhaps 60 days at the most, from the passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution No. 1701 for Hezbollah to surrender its arms to the Lebanese Army and the UNIFIL force. If present trends continue, at the end of that time period, Hezbollah would remain in possession of its arsenal of rockets, missiles and other weapons, with the Lebanese Army and the UNIFIL troops (if they actually arrive) standing idly by.
2. I would then, with the cooperation of the United States, convene an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, and demand that the Security Counsel take concrete steps to enforce Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701, both of which require the disarming of Hezbollah. I would inform the Security Council that if the Security Council fails to act, Israel would exercise her right to self-defense under the U.N. Charter and disarm Hezbollah herself.
3. Concurrently with the appeal to the Security Council, I would send a demand to the government of Lebanon, demanding that the Lebanese Army disarm Hezbollah. I would inform the Lebanese government that the State of Israel holds Lebanon fully responsible for all armed militias acting within its borders, and for the continuing threat posed to Israel by Hezbollah.
4. During this 30 to 60 day period, the IDF would present me with a well-developed plan for a large-scale infantry incursion into Southern Lebanon, the objective of which would be to search out and destroy all Hezbollah arsenals, tunnels, and bunkers south of the Litani River. That plan, augmented by plans from my Interior Minister, would include adequate provision for the following matters, all of which were sadly ignored in the recent combat:(a) logisitical supply of the troops, including food and water (an obvious requirement of any military plan, but sadly lacking in the recent combat); and (b) provision for evacuation of the population of Northern Israel and sustenance of the remaining civilians there who cannot evacuate, in the event of resumption of Hezbollah rocketing.
5. Although I would leave tactics up to the IDF, I would anticipate that its plan would include an amphibious invasion just south of the Litani, moving quickly east to cut off the retreat of Hezbollah to the north; and then moving south toward the Israel-Lebanon border. A second column would move north across the border between Israel and Lebanon, to catch Hezbollah in a pincer. A third column would move into the Bekaa Valley, capturing Baalbek, and cutting off Hezbollah from the Syrian border. Reserves would be stationed to respond in the event of a Syrian attack. The troops to be used would be sufficient in number to occupy and hold conquered villages, instead of withdrawing and allowing Hezbollah to reoccupy strongholds, as happened repeatedly in the recent conflict.
6. Israel would mobilize sufficient reserves to support the military plan, and have all of its troops mobilized and prepared to move upon authorization.
7. When Lebanon and the Security Council fail to react to the demands from Israel, the IDF would be authorized to proceed with its mission. My government would insist that the operation continue until its mission was accomplished.