IN THE NEWS
As I noted in a post last week, the Israeli Defense Forces have been increasingly reliant on airpower as an instrument of its counterinsurgency and counterterrorism strategies. For example, in 2001, Israeli helicopters were the tool of choice for assassinating Massoud Ayyad, a commander in Force 17, the section of Fatah that protected Yassir Arafat. Later that year, a helicopter attack was also responsible for killing Jamil Jaddala, a Hamas leader. The list of air strikes designed to kill the leaders of Fatah, the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, Fatah, and Hezbollah is large. Therefore, in 2006, it's no surprise that the IDF turned to airpower again to fight its enemies.
Airstrikes have backfired before, but never as horribly as in Lebanon in the last few weeks. Israel seems to be making the same mistake that the United States did in Vietnam: "Better to send a bullet than a man." However, the bullet can only destroy. Defeating Hezbollah will require more than just property damage, a body count of guerrilla fighters, and a growing list of civilian casualties. Unfortunately, the Olmert government seems convinced that, having launched a failed strategy, their only choice is to see it to its conclusion.
[Thanks to Armchair Generalist for the link to the Haaretz article.]