JERUSALEM (JTA) – The U.S. Defense Department is studying the 2006 Lebanon War to prepare itself for future conflicts.
The month-long war is garnering attention because it bears on a debate between military leaders in the United States, some of whom want to change the military so it is better prepared for unconventional conflicts like Iraq and Afghanistan, and others who believe that kind of preparation would be at the expense of more conventional warfare, the Washington Post reported Monday.
Hezbollah fought a reasonably conventional war against Israel, destroying many Israeli armor columns using sophisticated anti-tank guided missiles, and fought ground battles with Israeli troops lasting up to 12 hours. Hezbollah also eavesdropped on Israeli communications and used a cruise missile to strike an Israeli ship.
The Defense Department has sent about a dozen teams to interview Israeli officers who fought against Hezbollah, according to the Post. In addition, the Army and Marine Corps have run several multimillion-dollar war games to test how U.S. forces would perform in a similar situation.
The debate on conventional versus unconventional warfare could come to the fore Monday when U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates releases the 2010 defense budget, which is expected to cut or drastically reduce spending on conventional weapons systems.