June 01, 2010

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

As is being reported everywhere, a boarding operation by the Israeli Navy went south yesterday.

This was a no win situation for the Israelis and a win-win for the Palestinians.

The operational realities seem to have been as follows.

The ships were carrying supplies of an uncertain nature on behalf of an NGO vehemently hostile to Israels existence to an entity (Gaza) that has been shooting rockets into Israeli schools.

This shipment had to be stopped.

Space on the ship was at a real premium.

There were 3 options to achieve this goal, sanity amongst the crew of the blockade runners, sink the vessels or board them.

Given that #1 was not going to happen, The more humane was #3. #2 is, of course, pretty much unthinkable, especially given the presence of children.

Grapnels were untenable, so the IDF chose to rappell. I've seen it suggested in various comments on this matter that water-cannons and CS gas be used to clear the deck.
Those options are NOT safe (you might end up washing people off the vessel and drown them or start a aresol fire ala' Waco. ) Again this is especially true given the fact that the NGOs had children aboard as part of their PR strategy.

Attacked by civilians with knives, rebar and guns the boarding team returned fire.  Just as I would have were I put in their situation.  Lethal force was justified by any use of force policy or Rules Of Engagement that I'm aware of.

Note that the other ships SEEM (at this time) to have been boarded without loss of life. Note too that video released seems to indicate that prior to the operation at least some of the "activists" were boasting of their willingness to achieve martyrdom if the ships did not make landfall.


What transpired seems to be the least awful option available to the IDF forces.

But it was pretty damned awful.

CDR Salamander
has thoughts, and links to this piece which gives the IDF side. Meyryl Yourish actually has some good things to say about the Obama administrations response here.

There are two long posts over at Information Dissemination here and here. I don't agree with Galrhan's premise in the later post that Israels actions were "stupid" as I see precious few other options. However, the larger points regards the need to prepare for this sort of thing are spot on.
More here, and the BBCs take is here .

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 02:13 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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