Tuesday, February 03, 2009

# Posted 10:41 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

WHO WON THE WAR IN GAZA? Max Boot provides a first-rate after-action report. Boot calls the conflict a
highly limited and attenuated victory, to be sure, but one that nevertheless restored Israelis' self-confidence and Arabs' fear of provoking Israel, both of which had been badly damaged by the inconclusive 2006 conflict with Hezbollah.

Although we tend to think of war as a lose-lose proposition, Hamas also won:
There is little doubt that Hamas, like Hezbollah, will rise from the rubble to emerge as strong as ever--and probably stronger...Hamas used the war to reassert its control in Gaza by killing, wounding, or torturing at least 100 Fatah officials who were accused of "collaboration" with Israel. All indications are that the Palestinian Authority's close association with Israel has only further damaged its already eroded standing among residents of both Gaza and the West Bank, while Hamas has claimed even more firmly for itself the mantle of "resistance movement" against the hated "Zionist entity."

Hamas may wear the mantle of resistance, but I wonder how Palestinians will respond to Hamas' incompetent, sometimes cowardly performance on the battlefield. After being routed in the Six-Day War, Arab nationalist governments suffered a major blow to their popularity, even though they were the vanguard of the anti-Zionist resistance.

Regardless, read the whole thing. Boot provides the kind of serious, substantive military analysis you won't find in the NYT or WaPo. Also, be sure to check out his frontline report from the quiet US counterinsurgency effort in the Philippines.
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