Robert H. Scales and Douglas Ollivant have observed that 'Terrorist armies fight smarter and deadlier than ever
'. This frightening new age is emerging due to several factors that neither the United States nor Israeli forces fully anticipated and I would recommend reading the article for the four reasons they gave. Beyond the four reasons, at a broad level, the traditional comparative advantage of a professional army, like the IDF, has diminished, relative to terrorist groups like Hamas. These terrorist groups are increasingly able to turn their para-military organisations into effective fighting forces, often pairing their fanatical dedication with newly acquired small unit tactical skills. Over the years, Hamas has evolved in its tactical proficiency, and in:-
I know it's an old post but it's an interesting point I want to respond to.
OPSSG I respect your dedication to writing long and detailed comments.
Unfortunately the article is not available to me (behind a paywall), but nonetheless I disagree that the IDF's advantage diminishes in light of these changes. To the contrary.
Since the early 2000's until today, what changed in terrorist organizations that made them more effective and more terrorizing? They have adopted new technologies. And these technologies are not incremental upgrades that evolve their capability, but enabling technologies.
So the past IED specialists evolved into saboteurs more trained in combat, who receive explosive devices from some sort of industry, and can later contribute to an ensuing engagement before proceeding to the next operation.
The RPG slingers have become operators of advanced ATGMs, and in great enough numbers to turn this once exclusively AT weapon into a precision strike weapon against any target within LoS.
They have utilized massed artillery, civilian drones, advanced comms, and so on.
Combine this with the inherent traits of a terrorist organization in what is today called hybrid warfare, and you get countless small attack cells, which in itself creates countless opportunities.
But that's not only what terrorists are doing today. There's a big downside here in that it creates a very heterogenous military.
To acquire enabling tech and new capabilities faster, in a more streamlined fashion and to everyone, the whole process must be industrialized and organized. There has to be some organizational structure. And suddenly they want capabilities that a single cell cannot hold so they start forming companies, then battalions, then brigades, and hopefully divisions too.
And when you do that, you're creating centers of balance for the organization. And something with a center of balance can be tipped over.
So the raw capabilities that Hizbullah builds, for example, are worrying the IDF. But it's restructuring itself more like an army following the Syrian experience, and that's something that the IDF is whole heartedly welcoming, and hoping Hizbullah will continue into the future.
Of course, Hizbullah are aware of this, but it is in my assumption that they're giving a lot of weight to 2 factors:
1. Hizbullah must present itself as the legitimate army of Lebanon and strive to replace the LAF. For that it needs such structure.
2. It may be subordinated to Iran, but its chief goal is domination of Lebanon for its leadership. So it will avoid conflict with Israel if it may result in them being toppled, plus the deterrence equation between Israel and Iran may convince them a forced conflict is not on the horizon.
In the meantime, to deal with threats that are not trying to restructure as armies, the IDF is in the process of quite a massive structural reform of its own. It is going full speed ahead (at least as much as possible given the IDF does not really have a budget due to the political crisis) into all-domain ops, specialized strike cells in regional units, and battalion level operational independence in maneuvering units, as well as streamlined data and strike capabilities for the platoon level, and expanded target generation capabilities on all levels.
The goal is to create many small strike cells of its own and turn enemy small strike cells into an easy prey, without the main inherent flaws of a massive organized army that are felt strongly today.