"A ground operation is looking more likely. This assessment is strengthened by the impression that Hamas has rejected various mediation efforts so far, and has relayed the message to whoever they speak to that currenty there is nothing to be discussed. The question of how deep Israel's ground maneuver will go is still open, however. The numbers are interesting: In Operation Pillar of Defense, which didn't see a ground operation in the end, some 75,000 IDF reservists were called up. This time the cabinet approved calling up 40,000 reservists, but the army has still not called up more than half that number. Those who were called up don't belong to the reserve divisions that will be deployed in the Strip. They are mainly soldiers in different roles in the 'Gaza envelope' (logistics, intelligence and other non-combat roles) from regular divisions, the Home Front Command, and in infantry battalions that replaced regular battalions that were sent from the West Bank and the northern border to the south." Haaretz
I will be surprised if there is not a ground invasion and I would think that it is likely to begin when Shabat ends today. Hamas actually seems to be inviting an Israeli ground operation. That indicates to me that either Hamas will accept heavy civilian casualties as a political warfare burden for Israel or that they have prepared the ground for a close encounter with the IDF or maybe both things. pl
"The overall impact is the opposite of what the United States has long sought in the Middle East — a strengthened hand for Abbas and marginalization for Hamas and other militant groups.
Bitter Abbas aides acknowledge that the president is fast losing relevance, but they say this is what Israel intended all along: hopeless negotiations followed by a fight that would elevate militant Palestinian elements at the expense of relative moderates. The timing, they say, is aimed at derailing a fragile Palestinian reconciliation deal that brought together the various factions, including Hamas, under Abbas’s leadership." washpost
IMO the underlined text is correct. This is all about disassembling the PA coalition in order to prevent effective peace negotiations. pl
"Ammar and his comrades said they never had any illusions about the virtue of their officer corps. Iraqi soldiers could often avoid showing up for duty by giving half their salaries to their commanders, who in turn paid off the generals. Even before Mosul fell, this cycle of bribery and absenteeism had deprived the military of almost one-third of the 1 million troops receiving paychecks, according to Knights.
Still, Ammar said what happened after the June 23 battle shocked him. At sunset, a minibus was ushered through a refinery gate. His commanding officers — including a brigadier general, a colonel, and a lieutenant, he said — quickly began boarding." washpost
An army is a social institution that lives by tradition and discipline. mostly self discipline. We Americans destroyed an Iraqi army that had learned to fight well by the end of the Iran-Iraq War and then had been largely destroyed by Saddam, sanctions and us in the First Gulf War. The neocon CPA finished the job by abolishing the army altogether and outlawing most of its officers.
It takes a long time to grow a real army, a long time. The American generals including the Great Captain, David Petraeus, not only failed in creating an army but certainly faked the data in reports about the mess they were creating. They must have done this to make themselves look good. I have seen this kind of thing many times. pl