Sunday, July 16, 2006

Bad Math

The "measured" response:

At least 110 Lebanese civilians, three soldiers and two Hezbollah fighters have been killed since the conflict began, Lebanese police said

Israel's military objective:
Brig. Gen. Ido Nehushtan: We aim to cripple Hezbollah, hurt it — create conditions for the Lebanese government to deploy its forces alongside the border line instead of Hezbollah, who is a great threat to us, and create a condition for the safe and sound return of our soldiers that were abducted a few days ago.

Estimates of Hezbollah's militia's strength vary, from 1000 to 10000 fighters. If the goal is too "cripple" Hezbollah, then we would expect large militia casualties to reduce the threat. Extrapolating the above death toll so far, Israel should only have to kill 55000 innocent civilians for every 1000 dead Hezbollah. No wonder we hear the term "collateral damage" in reference to those precision strikes. I'm no mathematican, but this strikes me as some bad odds for the civilians.

As an aside- anyone know how many times you need to bomb an airport before it ceases to be functional?


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