Sunday, November 05, 2006

A second Lebanon War in 2006?

A few days ago John Keegan wrote an interesting article in the Daily Telegraph (where he is defense correspondent) in which he argues as follows:
There will soon be another war in the Middle East, this time a renewal of the conflict between the Israel Defence Force (IDF) and Hizbollah. The conflict is inevitable and unavoidable. It will come about because Israel cannot tolerate the rebuilding of Hizbollah's fortified zone in south Lebanon, from which last year it launched its missile bombardment of northern Israel.
Hizbollah has now reconstructed the fortified zone and is replenishing its stocks of missiles there. Hamas is also creating a fortified zone in the Gaza Strip and building up its stocks of missiles. Israel, therefore, faces missile attack on two fronts. When the Israel general staff decides the threat has become intolerable, it will strike.
Do read the whole thing, which seems quite reasonable to me. What struck me as most surprising in his analysis, however, was this (emphasis mine):
What is certain is that – probably before the year is out – Israel will have struck at Hizbollah in south Lebanon. And the strike will come even sooner if Hizbollah reopens its missile bombardment of northern Israel from its underground systems.
If the time frame of this prediction turns out to be correct we are looking at a reopening of the hostilities in the next few weeks (the year ends in less than two months). Remarkable.

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