Reflecting On US Involvement In Israel-Lebanon War

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Yusuf Dhia-Allah

Dhu al-Hijjah 24, 1445 2024-07-01

News & Analysis

by Yusuf Dhia-Allah (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 54, No. 5, Dhu al-Hijjah, 1445)

Image Source - Pixabay Free Content.

Apartheid Israel and the US are in a geopolitical Catch-22 situation in Lebanon. Even the Israelis admit that a war on Lebanon will wreak havoc on Israel.

If Israel does not attack Lebanon, its paper-tiger status will be sealed and US geopolitical leverage will be diminished. Without political and military deterrence, apartheid Israel will be exhausted politically, economically and militarily in coming years.

If the Lebanese front escalates to a full-scale war, it is clear that the Israelis will expect the US to get involved fully and do the bulk of the fighting. This is not a secret and has been identified as Israel’s regional “grand” card by multiple experts.

If Israel starts a full-scale war with Lebanon, the US will be “obligated” to step in, as the political caste in Washington is deeply indebted to the Israeli lobby.

It is, therefore, necessary to assess the steps the US is likely to take if the Lebanese front against Israeli-led genocide in Palestine turns into an escalated war. On the military front, the US would aim to avoid deployment of large numbers of ground troops (aka boots on the ground) in occupied Palestine or Lebanon.

The presence of large numbers of American troops in a geographically limited space will turn the US military into an easy target. However, the US Airforce, Navy and special forces will certainly be deployed to assist Israel in Lebanon. The Americans had to step in and assist Israel in Gaza.

Considering that Hizbullah’s capabilities are much greater than Hamas’s—this is widely known and recognized—Israel is incapable of facing Hizbullah on its own. Zionist chest-thumping and loud rhetoric are meant to reassure a jittery public that the regime will defend them.

If the US gets directly involved in Israel’s war on Lebanon, it will likely keep its on the ground involvement as discreet as possible to give itself room for political maneuverability and plausible deniability. American logistical support to Israel will be overt, as it has always been.

It is Hizbullah’s response to the Israeli invasion that will be crucial. It is likely to be on a scale never experienced by Tel Aviv or the wider region. And it will quickly redraw the tactical, on-the-ground dynamics of the war.

It should be remembered that in war, adversaries do not behave in the way one expects. There is a plethora of academic research on this subject.

Considering that the region is united as never before and western regimes are plagued by economic and geopolitical crises and compounded by intellectual confusion, forces resisting western imperialism are in a much stronger position than they have ever been in decades.

As the events of October 2023 showed, the region’s indigenous forces will act on terms they deem necessary. This means that the assumption that regional resistance forces will play soft with the US is just that, an assumption.

In 2002, the Pentagon conducted an expensive wargame called the ‘Millennium Challenge’ designed to simulate what war with Iran would be like: the US lost badly. The theoretical loss happened because in the exercise, Iran adopted methods and ferociousness the American side did not expect.

American involvement in Israel’s war on Lebanon will quickly gain significance on another front. It will almost certainly trigger involvement of another regional power itching to create a military quagmire for the US: namely Russia.

On June 5, President Vladimir Putin warned that Russia will provide weapons to forces attacking western interests as those regimes continue to arm Ukraine. This means that a full-scale war on Lebanon will be very different from previous conflicts.

Lebanese resistance forces will have access to the arsenal of some air-defense and naval assault Russian weaponry which it previously did not have. This has nothing to do with Moscow’s affinity to Hizbullah. It is due to the Russian-NATO proxy war in Ukraine.

This means that the traditional American-Israeli superiority in the skies and the sea will be considerably diminished, even if not neutralized completely.

The occupation of Palestine and struggle against zionism are the central political causes of the Muslim Ummah. Thus, there will be no shortage of people willing to join the fight against Israel and the US to support the Palestinian cause.

To provide an “indigenous” veneer to its involvement in the war on the side of Israel, Washington is likely to pressure the Jordanian and Egyptian dictatorial regimes to join the fight “against Iran” on their side. This will either trigger a civil war in both Egypt and Jordan or lead to the overthrow of the western-backed puppet regimes.

In either scenario, Egypt and Jordan will be destabilized. It will render Amman and Cairo’s participation on the Israeli-US side useless. The people of those countries will not allow their sons and daughters to be killed to serve US and Israeli interests.

While the above analysis examines a likely maximalist evolution of on-the-ground events if the Lebanese front opens fully, the US will aim for a minimalist scenario. What this means is that Washington will attempt to retain its active participation via airstrikes, logistics, intelligence and special forces.

The US minimalist option will try to contain the regional war from spreading. The Axis of Resistance “containment” strategy of the regional war will likely aim at distracting American focus from the Lebanese front.

Strikes against US forces in Iraq, Syria and Jordan are expected to increase and will likely inflict considerable damage. This will force the US to either escalate significantly or seek a political way out of the conflict. An escape will not be provided; it will be too late. Escalation, on the other hand, will result in significant pain for the US installed regional dictators and the global economy.

Whatever characteristic the ground fighting acquires, if the Lebanese front flares up in a major way, with or without American participation, Israel will suffer destruction on a scale very few can imagine.

Regardless of the war’s ultimate outcome, one thing is certain. As in all previous military engagements between Hizbullah and the Zionist entity, Israel will come out greatly weakened and Hizbullah will increase its capabilities and regional influence.

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