Air strikes, rocket barrage continue

After a day marked by more than 200 rocket attacks on Israel by Hezbollah, Hezbollah has responded to continued Israeli airstrikes by renewing their barrage:

BOURJ AL-MULOUK, Lebanon – Israel renewed airstrikes on Beirut’s southern suburbs Thursday, and Hezbollah retaliated by firing at least 132 rockets at northern Israel — 100 within several minutes — killing at least seven people in Acre and Maalot. It was the bloodiest day since eight people were killed July 16 near a train maintenance depot.

Three weeks into the conflict, six Israeli brigades — roughly 10,000 troops — were locked in fighting with hundreds of Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon, and the battle looked likely to be long and bitter.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said more than 900 people had been killed and 3,000 wounded, but he did not say whether the new figure — up from 520 confirmed dead — included people missing.

More than 1 million people, a quarter of Lebanon’s population, have been displaced, he said, adding that the fighting “is taking an enormous toll on human life and infrastructure, and has totally ravaged our country and shattered our economy.”

Several explanations for the increase in rocket attacks by Hezbollah have been advanced.  Some have suggested that Hezbollah is in a “use it or lose it” mode; they need to use whatever ordnance they have on hand since it will otherwise be quickly destroyed by Israel.

I wonder if this isn’t Hezbollah’s way of saying “we’re still here”, an effective refutation to claims of degrading Hezbollah’s capability for attack.  I don’t see how you can launch 100 rockets in seven minutes without a good number of intact launchers.

I continue to think that this is a wicked problem:   lots of bad decisions have been made over lots of years by everybody involved and there probably is no really appealing solution left.  I further doubt that there’s a solely military solution to the problem at least not for Israel and especially not primarily by aerial bombardment.

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