‘Israeli’ Military Preparing ‘Ghost Unit’ for the Next War with Hezbollah
Story Code : 895056
“You’ll be lucky if you’re not stoned there,” the police mocked the army.
As in previous exercises in recent years, the simulation presented a scenario involving the eruption of a military confrontation with the Lebanese resistance group, Hezbollah, in southern Lebanon. The ridge of the hills near Kabul represented a Zionist territory while the Hilazon creek represented the Lebanese border. In the simulation, the villages to its north were the front, where Hezbollah deployed its elite Radwan units. According to the script, the war results from a series of discrete events that rapidly escalate from a limited round of fighting into an all-out confrontation, with implications for Syria and the Gaza Strip as well.
Hezbollah dispatches commando forces to the ‘Israeli’ communities near the border while raining missiles and rockets into the interior. The Zionist army has the task of halting the offensive while at the same time launching attacks throughout Lebanon and sending ground forces north into Lebanese territory.
The battle turns on initiative and time: which side takes the reins and how fast they act. Some of the air attacks simulate air raids on ‘Israeli’ territory in close proximity to ‘Israeli’ army units, aimed at forcing the Radwan fighters out of the footholds that they seized.
But the principal measure of the ‘Israeli’ military’s effectiveness in the exercise is gauged by its offensive capabilities. On that score, the aim of the Zionist forces is to uncover Hezbollah infrastructure and personnel scattered around a dense urban setting, striking at them and putting them out of action.
The name of the exercise, Lethal Arrow, was a poor choice, according to Haaretz. But the ideas guiding it are more advanced. In a video produced in August for commanders, ‘Israeli’ army Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi spoke about a war that might erupt. “It almost always comes as a surprise,” he warned. “Prepare as if it were to happen tomorrow. The biggest illusion is that it would be a long way off.”
Casualty estimates in the exercise this time around appeared to be more realistic than in the past. They included hundreds of dead and thousands wounded in rocket attacks in civilian areas, in addition to a considerable price paid by the army in the ground operation.
In the predawn hours Tuesday in Kabul, the multidimensional Refaim unit – ghost unit in English – the apple of Kochavi’s eye, went into action. It’s an experimental project which, if it’s successful in integrating diverse technologies and resources in support of the ground maneuver, is planned to be replicated in other ‘Israeli’ army units. At this point, rapid progress is reported, but it’s not yet clear how quickly these capabilities can also be rolled out among rank-and-file battalions.
Meanwhile, the next military confrontation will not be decided solely by the confrontation on the ground, but also by what is said in telephone conversations between Tel Aviv and Washington, Haaretz added.
Along with the operational results, Lethal Arrow is likely to be gauged by the number of participants who get sick in the course of the exercise due to the Coronavirus outbreak, particularly when it comes to reservists, who face greater health and economic risks than 20-year-old draftees.
A brigade commander who took part in the exercise told Haaretz that the rate of infection in his unit in recent months was about 20 new cases a week. “The main problem relates to those in quarantine, because every soldier who is identified as a carrier puts other soldiers in his platoon out of action,” he said. “Everyone who has gotten sick has been in very mild condition. When the reservists joined the exercise, they were very apprehensive, and we made adjustments to reduce the risk.”