The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Things Are Going Much Worse For Israel In Gaza Than The Official Reports

I always thought that the official casualty numbers from Israel, both for their own soldiers and for how many Hamas they’ve killed were dubious. But now we’re getting confirmation. Likewise against Hezbollah.

Sure they have:

Against Hezbollah:

And (actually only one battalion.)



None of this is definitive, of course. But I just as am not seeing evidence suggesting Israel is winning the military fight. Yes, they’ve grabbed some territory, leveled a lot of buildings and killed a ton of civilians, but a guerilla resistance doesn’t fight hard for territory, and reports are that they don’t have solid control of areas they’ve taken.

Israel’s army is just crap, and Hamas is far more motivated and seems more skilled. Videos of Hamas ambushing tanks which didn’t have infantry screens are numerous, for example. What’s holding Hamas back is that, in fact, they don’t have a lot of Iranian equipment: their equipment is basic and a lot of it seems to be home made.

Truly embarrassing.

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Half Of Gaza’s Population Is Now Starving


Open Thread


  1. You should post some hasbara hate mail in a digestive format like you do your quick takes; it would be a funny reprieve from time to time

    As you say, we are now in collapse so it’d be cool to break up depressing stuff

  2. bruce wilder

    I would not know how to have confidence in any opinion I might form about the military performance per se of the IDF in Gaza on the basis of impressions informed by the propaganda. What I do have confidence in is my opinion that the IDF has been handed a despicable set of missions.

    Usually, in a fight against “guerilla insurgents”, we are told that the real contest is for “hearts and minds”. That silly cliche is not even a pretense here. The Israeli “military” strategy is a siege operation against an already long besieged population with the apparent objectives of obliterating any political entity capable of surrendering and destroying the infrastructure that would allow any surviving population to continue to survive in the territory.

    In that “strategic frame”, what could ever qualify as good military performance?

    Even the propaganda meant to show the Israelis in a “good light” must of necessity appear pathetically false at best, given the strategic context created by Israel’s ill-chosen objectives of collective punishment and annihilation or displacement. Maybe some Israeli generals think they are engaged in a surgical excision of Hamas fighters, but they are not using the military equivalent of scalpels to accomplish that putative objective. They do not appear to have any scalpels to hand, lacking perhaps both the intelligence information as well as sufficient special forces for operations in a fiercely hostile, mostly extremely dense urban environment. This is just speculation on my part to rationalize why Israel behaves as it reportedly does: targeting hospitals and journalists.

  3. Carborundum

    In my view, if HAMAS was that great, they would be inflicting far higher casualties than they have. The scale of the action is that there are tens of thousands of IDF forces in their reach, they have SATCOM, media is clearly a huge part of their strategy, but the scale of actions depicted is in the low dozens, not the high hundreds it should be 8 weeks into ground operations. My view, these are directed illustrative operations to sell a perception, not representative depictions of what’s happening at scale.

    It looks to me like the IDF is able to move anywhere in the territory they want to and stay for fairly long periods of time while the Sayaret and engineers carry out clearance and anti-infrastructure operations. That doesn’t speak to huge combat power on the part of HAMAS, particularly given that their strategy hyped their preparation for this type of conflict and they chose the timing. If the reporting on the fraction of IDF wounded with hands and feet injuries is accurate, this sounds a lot more dominated by boobytraps than hit and run engagements or stand-up fights.

    As a technical note, relative lack of screening infantry is actually be be expected from the IDF – I don’t read Hebrew, but I’ve been told it’s part of their doctrine, based on their experiences from 2006 and Cast Lead. They’ll definitely still dismount, but they are apparently less reflexive about putting out their dismounts than many other forces. Like everything else in warfare, it’s a set of tradeoffs – and those tradeoffs have a way of being very different on the ground than they appear to distant observers commenting on social media.

  4. different clue

    Here is a link to a twitterX-thread which shows a running Gazans’-eye-view and interpretation of ongoing events. I hope the link works. I guess we will see.

    I do not offer this link in a spirit of either cheerleading or booleading. I offer it in my best effort to show that I learned what Colonel Lang tried to teach us readers of his blog . . . that information or data-bits from whatever source should be dispassionately analyzed as information without regard to the source. ( Though I as a mere layman and member of the Great Uncleared would suggest that the source of any information is itself a piece of information)

  5. Curt Kastens

    It is really not at all relevent that things are going much worse for the Israelis is Gaza than is being reported, even if it is true. If Half of Palestinians are starving now, and the other half soon will be, the Palestinians will run out of people much sooner than the Israelis.
    And if hundreds if not thosuands of Palestinian children and women are being killed by Israeli bombs each day even if Hamas fighters save their tunnels they will have lost their families.
    The Islamic and Arab world have abandon the Palestinians. The suffering of the Palestinians was a test for these countries that these countries did not want to deal with.
    Test Test Test Test Test Test Test the test is being failed.

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