• The Next Israel-Hezbollah War Could Be a Far Greater Catastrophe Than Gaza - Newsweek

    Morceaux choisis...

    Israeli forces have a lengthy history of fighting Hezbollah, long considered the mightiest and most well-armed of Iran’s allies in the Middle East. But former Israeli officials warn the current march toward war, fueled by intensifying cross-border clashes and fiery rhetoric, could steer the region into entirely uncharted territory.

    “It’s very hard to see how this war can be won quickly, or at all,” Eran Etzion, who served as deputy head of Israel’s National Security Council during the last major Israel-Lebanon War in 2006 and later as head of policy planning at the Israeli Foreign Ministry under Netanyahu, told Newsweek.

    “From my perspective, I think it’s going to be a war that Israel will lose within the first 24 hours,” he added, “simply because of the pictures we will see of mass destruction in very sensitive areas within Israel on a scale we’ve never seen before.”

    Meir called it “a war that neither side can win because of the balance of mutual massive destruction of population centers.”

    “An extensive IDF attack and invasion into Lebanon, as demanded by some politicians, would result in a Hezbollah retaliation of massive missile attacks on Haifa and Tel Aviv,” he said.

    (...) But Etzion, the former deputy head of the Israeli National Security Council, spoke to how events have a way of rapidly escalating. He used the example of an infamous PowerPoint slide drawn up by the Pentagon in 2010 to outline the countless interconnected factors that would necessitate a successful U.S. strategy in Afghanistan—from which the U.S. later withdrew, leaving the Taliban to return to power.

    “You can imagine a similar slide in the Israeli cabinet that starts with the ongoing conflict in Gaza, leaps to a full-fledged war with Hezbollah, and then turns to direct Iranian involvement and extended involvement by other pro-Iranian militias in Syria and Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen,” Etzion said. “But the two big leaps in this very complicated slide will be Hezbollah and Iran.”

    “The probability of further and further escalation rises with the entry of each phase,” he added. “Once Hezbollah enters, the probability of Iran entering as well grows exponentially, and the degree of involvement of those other militias grows exponentially as well.”
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