Major General Elyezer Shkedy head of IAF tells Global audience how aerial forces are now involved in half Israeli anti terrorist ops - Guernica Redux
Major General Elyezer Shkedy, Commander, Israeli Air Force (IAF) since April 2004, one of Israel's first "Top Gun" F -16 pilots, made a presentation yesterday "Asymmetric Warfare in Urban Populations is The Real Test of Air Power" @ the Global Air Power conference which is part of the glittering and huge Singapore Air Show.
Selected recorded video images from actions recorded over the Gaza Strip and Lebanon demonstrated that "if air power isn’t precise, backed by real-time intelligence which can warn of potentially calamitous results (civilian casualties), and the action time between sensor and shooter brought down to minutes, then a significant part of that power can be restricted". Ho.Ho.Ho.
Rocket launchers were shown firing then racing for shelter into private buildings, rocket launchers placed near mosques, mortars close to schools. All this said the Commander has the potential for terrible collateral damage and civilian casualties if the intelligence does not pin-point in real time the location of the targets and the suitability of those targets for retaliatory action claimed the warfighter with special responsibilites for the war in Iran.
Commander Shkedy ran through a list of long range, medium range and short range systems that the IAF had been targeting.
Shkedy pointed out that in 2002, out of all terrorists engagements by the Isrtaeli military forces , the IAF was only responsible for around 5% of actions. However, after 2004 that percentage began to climb dramatically and that by 2007 46% of engagements were from the air.
Of course , so enthused by "precise air power, backed by real-time intelligence " was the Commander he failed to mention the indiscriminate use in Lebanon of cluster bombs on civilians. A period of relentless bombing made longer by the deliberate refusal to even attempt to stop the ceaseless aerial bombardment of towns and villages by Western political leaders.
Meanwhile, yesterday at 120-nation, 4 day conference commenced in New Zealand's capital, Wellington, on a proposed convention to ban cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians .
Human Rights Watch report "Flooding South Lebanon: Israel's Use of Cluster Munitions in Lebanon in July and August 2006, "was launched which detailed how nearly 200 civilians have been killed by cluster bombs since the conflict ended. Haartez reported at the time , ""What we did was insane and monstrous, we covered entire towns in cluster bombs," the head of an IDF rocket unit in Lebanon said regarding the use of cluster bombs and phosphorous shells during the war. Quoting his battalion commander, the rocket unit head stated that the IDF fired around 1,800 cluster bombs, containing over 1.2 million cluster bomblets. " They also had a report "IDF admits targeting civilian areas in Lebanon with cluster bombs ".
The United Nations said perhaps 1 million submunitions were still left behind in Lebanon
Arye Mekel, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman is quoted in the San Diego Times ;
“The use of cluster munitions is not prohibited under international law. Like other weapons, its use is subject to the laws of war,” he said. No mention of "precise air power, backed by real-time intelligence " there then.
In Israel Prime minister Ehud Olmert was left in little doubt that Israel’s highest military officers are fed up with straining at the leash and being held back from effective ground action to stamp out the Palestinian missiles and terror at source in Gaza.
Chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi : “The army stands ready to deepen and expand its operations (in Gaza) as needed in accordance with the decisions reached.”
Shkedi (No doubt anxious to utilise "precise air power, backed by real-time intelligence ") said at a separate venue: “For us, terrorists on the fence and missile fire are unacceptable.”
How long before the precisely aimed cluster bombs rain down on Gaza? Would Shkedi regard a lot of dead Palestinians....er .... "potentially calamitous results " ?