The Hizballah Night Shift
In the event that readers were wondering precisely how Iran and Syria could have doubled Hizballah's pre-war rocket and missile capacity (yes, that's pre -war...before the hundreds per day fired during the 34-day Hizballah war with Israel), Dr. Steve Carol offers an explanation that is as stunning as it is militarily surreal.
If ever there were a paper tiger, UNIFIL is it. Fully 6,000 international troops 'strong' and still projecting to be fully equipped and manned with expected levels of 12,000 men, UNIFIL has a gaping hole that will surely make your jaw drop. So how did the mighty UNIFIL allow Hizballah to double its missile stores and re-take every position along the Israeli border and elsewhere? It's simple.
UNIFIL does not conduct night operations.
Just as the earlier UNOGIL [UN Observation Group In Lebanon, 1958] did not patrol at night, so too has the current UNIFIL force conducted no patrols at night. Quoting Spanish UNIFIL official Richard Ortax, as reported in the German publication Der Spiegel, this is "because of the danger involved." UNIFIL commanders said their function is to “observe changes in the behavior of the local population.”
What happened to the mandate to UNIFIL in UN Security Council Resolution 1701 (UNSC 1701)? It states: "The establishment between the [international border] and the Litani River of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL." Thus, the resolution calls for the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, a reference to Hizbullah, but it does not specify how this should be done. In addition, UNSC 1701, by focusing only on southern Lebanon, indicates its recognition of Hizbullah’s right to continue to deploy missiles north of the Litani River, thus continuing to threaten Israel's citizenry at any time with longer-ranged missiles. Lebanese leaders have stated openly that the Lebanese army would not attempt to take away the terrorists' weapons. Additionally, they would not even confiscate weapons caches it stumbled upon. So again, as was the case in 1958, weapons smuggling from Syria has continued unabated.
It's simply too dangerous for 'blue helmets' to conduct operations at night.
There was but one force willing, ready and able to reduce the Hizballah terrorist organization and the threat it poses to stature of simple thugs, and that was Israel. The world simply needed to Lead, Follow or Get Out of The Way.
The UNIFIL incompetence illustrates that, under the guise of 'multi-national leadership,' the UN and the rest of the world could do none of the above. UNIFIL has proven itself to be the manifestation of the Coalition of the Unwilling, and the return of war between Hizballah and Israel will thus become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Somewhere in this space, I once asked of the then-proposed UNIFIL force enhancements, "Who among the UNIFIL commanders is going to issue orders to actually use force against Hizballah terrorists?"
Perhaps I was a bit ahead of myself, as today the question is even more biting. "Who among the UNIFIL commanders is going to issue orders to actually conduct operations is the spooky dark of night?"
Imagine the New York Police Department retreated for the various precinct headquarters buildings at sunset because it's just too dangerous at night.
Military professionals worldwide are surely laughing at the brave leadership offered by UNIFIL commanders. I assure you, neither the Lebanese nor the Israelis are laughing, save of course for the busy bees of Hizballah. They're laughing all the way to the central Iranian bank.