• The proxy and hybrid war unleased by the US and the collective west on Russia, it seems to your editor, has become an inspiration for Hamas and its allies (read: Hezbollah and Iran) to adopt it in confronting both the sole superpower of the unipolar world (the US) and the superpower of the region (Israel) in the current conflagration in the Middle East between the state of Israel and the non-state Hamas.
  • The proxy war in Ukraine is not just between Russia and the US – it’s actually between Russia and the whole collective west as represented by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) and the European Union (EU).
  • The collective west participating in the Ukraine war is a gigantic entity representing more than 40 countries with the most developed economies, and possessing sophisticated weaponries including nuclear weapons.
  • With such a fearsome combination, logically speaking, Russia should have been defeated a long time ago, without even resorting to nuclear weapons which the US is the one and only country in the world to have used them against its present ally, Japan, in the past.
  • But instead it is the US and the collective west that are now struggling to prop up Ukraine to continue its role as a battering ram to attack Russia on their behalf in this proxy war.
  • As for their hybrid war against Russia (read: the sanctions war), Russia has already won the war, with deindustrialisation hitting the US and EU, and the threat of severe recession facing them becoming a reality as time passes.
  • Many military analysts and strategists look with wonder at the strategy of an attrition war adopted by Russia which has contributed to the country’s supremacy in the battlefield, despite facing terrible odds.
  • Nowhere is this being illustrated than at the battle of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine when Russia captured it in May this year.
  • Your editor is no military expert but from reading and listening to the account of the battle from both the Russian and Ukrainian sides, in simple term, the tactics and strategy in the war of attrition revolve around encircling Bakhmut, leaving no exit point for the Ukrainian army to retreat.
  • The besieged Ukrainian army is then pounded with a fearsome combination of Russian artilleries, and guided bombs and missiles from its air force, including drones.
  • The seamless coordination among the Russian air force, its artillery and infantry units along with its electronic warfare team to neutralise Ukrainian drones was a big factor in ensuring a Russian victory in Bakhmut.
  • The damages inflicted on the Ukrainian army in term of the loss of troops and the wounded, and the loss of military hardware such as tanks, howitzers and combat military vehicles like armoured personnel carriers supplied to Ukraine by the collective west were horrendous.
  • As these artillery and aerial operations did not involve Russian ground operation, the number of Russian soldiers killed or wounded were almost zero, with their military equipment remaining intact.
  • In fact the ground operation is just limited to small reconnaissance units of the infantry giving the artillery and aerial units the precise locations of the besieged Ukrainian army so that maximum damage was inflicted.
  • Another salient feature of this war of attrition is that instead of consolidating its gain and moving on to the next territory of the battlefield, the Russian military tightened further its encirclement but allowed one point in the encirclement to break free, thereby making it possible for the small remnants of the Ukrainian army that had survived the moments of terror to retreat.
  • Then a mopping-up operation to totally eliminate or force the retreat of the remnants of the Ukrainian army in the area began.
  • On the surface of it, this looks like a lousy strategy but the wisdom behind this Russian tactics and strategy is the assumption that in a matter of few days or weeks, the Ukrainian army will conduct a counter-offensive in the area again with more men and equipment using the only exit route (which has now become the only entry route for the counter offensive) that the Russians had earlier opened up for the retreating Ukrainian soldiers.
  • When enough of the freshly equipped Ukrainian soldiers have entered the area with their shining new weaponries supplied by the collective west, the Russian military will tighten its encirclement of this Ukrainian army and closed the exit point.  
  • Then the process of pounding the freshly-arrived Ukrainian army with artillery shells and air to surface missiles, bombs and drones were repeated again.
  • When the Russian military deemed enough of the Ukrainian army and its military hardware had been eliminated or destroyed, it will then open up more than one exit points at different locations of the encirclement loop from the previous one for the remnants of the Ukrainian army to retreat.
  • The Ukrainian army, fooled by the opening of the new exit points, will again retreat and then stubbornly sent in new reinforcements via these exit points a few days/weeks later in another fruitless counter offensive, and the whole process is repeated.
  • That’s why this operation is unofficially codenamed as “the meat grinder” by the Russian because of the many Ukrainian soldiers killed or wounded in this attrition war, in addition to their military hardware including those supplied by the collective west being destroyed or captured, which culminated in the Ukrainian loss of Bakhmut in May.
  • But the downside of this strategy is that this will involve methodical PATIENCE and incremental progress at a snail’s pace, as it will be an arduous, long drawn-out war with no quick territorial gains.
  • In the medium term, however, say after one to two years of fighting, the party (Russia) that used the strategy of a war of attrition will be supreme or rather in the upper hand on the battlefield.
  • The first thing that Ukraine suffered under this strategy was the loss of many experienced and well trained soldiers specifically in its elite units, and the general loss of soldiers in their prime ages of 18 to 30 in other units.
  • That is the reason why in its mobilisation drive in recruiting more soldiers after this colossal loss in troops in Bakhmut, the average age of the newly recruited soldiers was 40 years old.
  • By September, when its much vaunted spring/summer major counter offensive which began on June 4 became an abject failure, Ukraine was reported to have a plan to mobilise between 300,000 to 500,000 men to prepare it for the next major counter-offensive allegedly to take place either by the end of this year or early next year.
  • But the mobilisation plan did not go well because there were just relatively fewer number of youths aged 18 to 30 to be enlisted, as the bulk of them were either already dead or incapacitated in previous battles, while others had fled to other EU countries to escape the draft.
  • Thus, the majority of those recruited were above 40 with some draftees aged 50 and 60, and even youths below the age of 16.
  • Recent reports have it that even women were mobilised as active combatants, and plan was afoot to enlist even university students.
  • But this is not the only BIG problem that Ukraine faces. Its military-industrial complex (MIC) which existed at the beginning of the war has long gone kaput because of the collapse of its economy.
  • Of course, Russian bombings of the sites of Ukraine’s MIC such as factories producing ammunitions, warehouses storing ammunition spare parts, etc during the early days of the war also played a considerable part in destroying the latter’s MIC.
  • Ukraine’s collapsed economy in turn owes its present existence due to the colossal financial assistances and loans on steroid from the collective west including from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
  • This led to a third BIG problem where Ukraine cannot produce its own weaponries especially ammunition shells, and become totally dependent on ammunition shells and weaponries from the collective west.
  • Moreover, the Ukrainian army’s rate of usage of its ammunition shells were very high, prompting some analysts to say they seemed to be wasting a lot of ammunition shells by their very trigger happy and overzealous shootings of their Russian targets.
  • This means for each Russian combatant that they killed or wounded, they dispensed more ammunitions than necessary compared to the US or European armies.
  • This in turn led to a fourth BIG problem when the US and its western allies discovered that they are experiencing a dire shortage of surplus ammunitions and weaponries to be given to Ukraine and have enough of these only for their own needs.
  • For the US, this is a dicey situation because as a superpower it must not only have more than enough ammunitions and weaponries for itself, but also an excess surplus for it to dispense them to its allies fighting a proxy war on its behalf.
  • The main reason it finds itself in this kind of situation is because of its past experiences of winning quick and short wars (the opposite of long and arduous war of attritions) such that its MIC has a very good idea of the optimum amount of ammunitions and weaponries per year that the Pentagon needs.
  • The production process that its MIC has chosen is the just-in-time production with higher productivity and greater flexibility to ramp up production in extraordinary situation.
  • But the neo-cons in the Biden administration did not consider the proxy war in Ukraine to be extraordinary.
  • Delivery of ammunitions and weapons have already been done since the onset of the Minsk agreement in 2014 – a head-start of eight years – and the imposition of a shock and awe sanctions on Russia was already on the table.
  • What remains was just to mobilise the whole of Europe to agree and be ready for an information war (hybrid war) that has Russophobia as its overarching strategy.
  • Although imitation is the best form of flattery, it would be suicidal for Hamas to imitate in toto the Russian experience of attrition war in Ukraine without due regard to the specific circumstances that Gaza and the resistance movement is in.
  • Unlike Russia or the US or Israel for that matter, Hamas is a non-state actor with no ministry of defence, no air force, no air defence system, no navy and no professional standing army of its own.
  • Moreover Gaza is different from Bakhmut. Before even the Battle of Bakhmut had started, its residence numbering some 100,000 had already left their home so that the question of civilian deaths there is irrelevant.
  • In contrast, Gaza has some 2.3 million people living in the world’s most densely populated area, and leaving the place is difficult because Israel has turned Gaza into an open air prison.
  • So Hamas has to be very selective, innovative, adaptive and nimble in incorporating the Russian elements of an attrition war in its fight against the Zionist state of Israel which is bent on a genocidal vision and mission to drive the Palestinians out of Gaza and the West Bank.
  • The senseless and insane killings of Palestinian civilians are something exogenous to whatever strategy Hamas may develop because it is not within their control to prevent civilian deaths during their conflict with Israel.
  • This absolutely lies in the hands of the Israeli military, and so the Palestinian civilians are at the mercy of the Israeli monster, each time there was a conflict.
  • Your editor has often wondered why Hamas especially its political wing which some European countries do not label as a terrorist entity did not build many underground bomb shelters in Gaza during peace time so that the number of civilian casualties could be reduced drastically during the conflict with Israel.
  • Apparently even before the Siege Wall was built by Israel that dots Gaza’s border with the country – thus making Gaza a huge open air prison – Israel has imposed import controls and restrictions on some construction and building materials to Gaza.
  • So there is nothing Hamas can do about protecting civilians apart from giving up on its resistance struggle.
  • But there is no guarantee by giving up on its struggle to free Palestinian lands from the Israeli occupation, Israel will spare the lives of Palestinian civilians.
  • This is because way back in 1948 when Israel was created through the bloods of Palestinian civilians via massacres and forced evictions from their homeland – the Nakbah – Israel already has had a plan for a Greatest Israel which stretched to some parts of present day Egypt, Jordan and Syria.
  • Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu himself has shown this map – not of a Greatest Israel but Greater Israel to the UN just before the Gaza war began on Oct 7.
  • The difference between Greater Israel and Greatest Israel is that the former consists of Israel with Gaza and the West Bank as part of its territory, while the latter which has never been shown to the world includes part of Egypt up to the Nile River, and parts of Jordan, Syria and Iraq up to the Euphrates River.
  • After the 1967 war, Israel annexed Gaza and the West Bank, bringing closer its goal of a Greater Israel. But it is frustrated that after more than five decades since then, the annexation was only in theory because the world has rejected it and instead called it as an occupation, hence Gaza and the West Bank are occupied territories.
  • Had the world agreed to the annexation, the Zionist state will not have hesitated to the massacre and forced exile of the Palestinians with impunity in a relatively shorter time than five decades.
  • So it changed its strategy by making life very difficult for the Palestinians in the occupied territories via creating illegal Jewish settlements there, the blatant forced eviction of Palestinians from their homes that in due course will be occupied by Jewish settlers, and the wanton desecration of their holy place, the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
  • The aim is that with the very difficult life Israel has created for the Palestinians, the latter will voluntarily force themselves to exile en masse to other places.
  • But Israel misjudges the natural, innate nature of humans’ longing and attachment to the place of their birth, a place they called home. Palestinians being human are no exception.
  • No more is this exemplified than in a Palestinian journalist’s account of a phone call she received from an Israeli military officer who warned her to leave her house and took her family to safety by going to southern Gaza because her apartment will be bombed soon, and assured her that she could return to her home (in ruins of course) once the war is over.
  • When the journalist enquired which safe route to take on the way to the south as there were reports that vehicles moving to the south were also targeted by Israeli planes, the officer said:
  • “I’m sorry I cannot talk about such matter,” and then suggested that she took a certain route because in his opinion there wasn’t any instruction to bomb that route as he himself is based in the area and would be told to evacuate if the area is going to be bombed, and urged her to move fast before her apartment will be bombed which would be in a matter of few hours.
  • The journalist reckoned that she and her family would be dead if they did not move out of their house but then there is no guarantee that they would be alive if they moved out.
  • In the end she decided to stay because no place is safer than the place you called home, and she was right about this for about some eight hours before she and her family perished in an Israeli bombing of her apartment.
  • This serves to highlight that with or without Hamas, or for that matter any Palestinian resistance group, Palestinians civilians would be liquidated BIG time, and there’s nothing much the resistance movement can do.
  • According to Israel’s leaked intelligence report, dated 13 October 2023, Israel proposes to forcibly transfer Gaza’s 2.3 million residents to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula (known as Option C in the report).
  • The ten-page report rejects two additional alternatives as insufficient to protect Israel’s security interests: allowing the Palestinian Authority to rule Gaza (Option A), and allowing a new local government to develop there (Option B).
  • Option C favoured by the report was widely described as tantamount to ethnic cleansing.
  • The paper also states many residents in Gaza have asked to leave Gaza and suggests a campaign promoting the plan to the residents with slogans such as “Allah made sure that you lost this land because of the leadership of Hamas – there is no choice but to move to another place with the help of your Muslim brothers.”
  • The paper also suggests Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, or the UAE could support the plan financially, or by taking in Palestinian refugees as citizens. Canada is also identified as a possible resettlement location for refugees due to its “lenient” immigration practices.
  • The paper also states that Egypt would be obligated by international law to allow the population transfer and suggests the US should pressure Egypt and other countries into accepting refugees.
  • Option C is the preferred alternative because it is best for Israel’s security and “will yield positive and long-term strategic results”.
  • The paper acknowledges that this proposal “is liable to be complicated in terms of international legitimacy,” adding that “in our assessment, fighting after the population is evacuated would lead to fewer civilian casualties compared to what could be expected if the population were to remain.”
  • Prime Minister Netanyahu downplayed the report, calling it a hypothetical “concept paper.”
  • The paper worsened Israeli-Egyptian tensions and drew condemnation from Palestinians, for whom it revived memories of the Nakba.
  • And this time around, Israel seems to be in a big hurry to flush out all Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to the Sinai Desert in Egypt because there is the economic dimension of the Greater Israel project.
  • This has to do with Israel setting itself up to become a major exporter of gas and oil, if “all goes according to plan”, as outlined by Felicity Arbuthnot with foresight 10 years ago.
  • Adding the current context of the leaked intelligence paper and what’s happening on the ground now, Israel’s “all goes according to plan” must have meant the option of bypassing Palestine and “wiping Gaza off the map,” as well as confiscating all of Gaza’s maritime offshore gas reserves worth billions of dollars. 
  • Felicity Arbuthnot is a freelance British journalist who has visited Iraq dozens of times since the1991 Gulf War. She worked as senior researcher on John Pilger’s film “Paying the Price – Killing the Children of Iraq”, which investigated the devastating effect of the UN sanctions on the people of Iraq.
  • Her 2013 analysis focusses on the giant Leviathan natural gas field in the eastern Mediterranean discovered in December 2010, widely described as “off the coast of Israel.”
  • These Levant reserves must be distinguished from those discovered in Gaza in 1999 by British Gas (BG), which belong to Palestine. 
  • Felicity Arbuthnot’s analysis nonetheless confirms that “part of the Leviathan Gas fields lie in Gazan territorial waters”. 
  • Whilst Israel claims them as its very own treasure trove, only a fraction of the sea’s wealth lies in Israel’s bailiwick as maps. Much is still unexplored, but currently Palestine’s Gaza and the West Bank between them show the greatest discoveries.
  • Hence, the ultimate objective is then not only to exclude Palestinians from their homeland, but also confiscating the multi-billion dollar Gaza offshore natural gas reserves, namely those pertaining to the BG Group in 1999, as well the Levant discoveries of 2010.
  • A UN report in 2019 entitled “The Economic Costs of the Israeli Occupation for the Palestinian People: The Unrealized Oil and Natural Gas Potential” in retrospect confirms Felicity Arbuthnot’s analysis of the issue in 2013.
  • The UN report said oil and natural gas deposits can be stored at zero cost for decades, centuries and even millenniums. Typically, their economically optimal exploitation depends, in part, on whether the interest rate exceeds the expected price increase.
  • So a pertinent question to be asked is why is the current war in Gaza seems to be an opportune time to flush out the Palestinians when the gas and oil deposits can be stored at zero cost and extracted at later dates?
  • This is where your editor thinks the Ukraine war with its concomitant shock and awe sanctions against Russia come into the picture.
  • At the beginning of the conflict, the Biden administration seems to think it has covered all angles of the Ukraine war thoroughly in order to seek the strategic defeat of Russia.
  • The sanctions war for instance has at its core the plan to make Europe free from dependence on Russian oil and gas.
  • The US actually realised early on that the imposition of sanctions on Russian oil and gas will have a detrimental effect on the EU nation especially Germany.
  • But knowing about the existence of the giant Leviathan natural gas field in the eastern Mediterranean discovered in December 2010 and the multi-billion dollar Gaza offshore natural gas reserves in 1999, the US and the UK pressured Israel to be the alternative supplier of natural gas to the EU in light of the objective to cut its dependence on Russia.
  • In May 2022, three months into the Ukraine war, Israel began the process of launching a fourth exploration for natural gas in its territorial waters.
  • The Jerusalem Post had then reported that Israel’s Energy Minister Karin Elharrar said the decision was in response to a growing energy crisis in Europe.
  • And this is despite earlier plans to halt all searches for natural gas in Israel during 2022, in order to focus on renewable energies, as announced by Elharrar in December 2021.
  • “The State of Israel is pitching in and helping Europe diversify its energy sources,” the minister said at a press conference, as quoted by the Post.
  • “The global energy crisis provides an opportunity for the State of Israel to export natural gas, along with the honest and real concern for what is going on in Europe.”
  • Elharrar explained that the ministry aims “to ensure Israel’s energy security, the diversity of our energy sources and investment in renewable energies, and the Israeli economy’s gas reserves for the coming decades.”
  • But as the war progressed, out of concern that Germany could be lukewarm on its commitment to the Ukraine war, the US is alleged to have bombed the Nord Stream pipeline.
  • According to veteran US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, US Navy divers, acting under the direct orders of President Joe Biden, planted C4 explosives on the pipelines during routine Nato exercises in June last year, before remotely activating the bombs three months later.
  • Hersh who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for the role he played in breaking the story of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam – an incident in which US soldiers killed between three and five hundred unarmed civilians – also said the navy of Norway was complicit in the bombing of the pipeline.
  • The destruction of the pipeline and the boomerang effect of the sanctions have left a devastating effect via the deindustrialisation of the German economy, the biggest economy in Europe, but this was only fully grasped by the US early this year.
  • In this regard the US has miscalculated BIG time by destroying the Nord Stream pipeline because it’s cheap Russian oil and gas that have powered the economic growth of Germany and the EU economies all this while.
  • Meanwhile there was a hitch in the plan to make Israel supplanted Russia as EU’s supplier of natural gas.
  • A battle over Mediterranean waters rich in natural gas deposits bubbled up on June 5 last year with the scheduled arrival of a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel of Energean on the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon (See Will Lebanon be in Israel’s crosshairs: And all because the latter’s greed to supply energy to the west).
  • The London-based upstream firm Energean plans to start pumping gas from the Karish field under contract with the Israeli government in late 2022.
  • Karish is located about 90km west of Haifa, holding reserves estimated at more than 300 million barrels of oil equivalent.
  • Energean signed a contract in March to sell output from Karish to Israel Electric Co., the largest Israeli gas buyer.
  • However, the arrival of the vessel was met with anger in Lebanon, with both Lebanese politicians and citizens denouncing the move and threatening any activity in the area would be considered a “provocation” and an “act of aggression.”
  • Lebanese President Michel Aoun warned Israel that trying to tap the offshore riches without first resolving a territorial dispute would be seen as a “provocation.”
  • Lebanon’s Hezbollah has threatened to take action if Israel extracts fossil fuels in the disputed area without resolving the territorial impasse.
  • Israel media reported the military is readying for a possible attack by Hezbollah on the Energean gas rig. Israeli navy vessels will help secure the drilling platform.
  • However, Israel denied the allegation it is encroaching on a disputed Mediterranean natural gas field, and played down any prospect of conflict over the dispute.
  • It says the field in question is within its exclusive economic zone, not in disputed waters.
  • A naval version of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence systems, along with submarines, will reportedly protect the rig.
  • Despite playing down the prospect of a conflict, then Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, Aviv Kochavi was on an aggressive mode when he warned overwhelming force would be used in Lebanon during the next potential war with Hezbollah.
  • “We will deal very big strikes in the war, but we will warn the residents and allow them to leave the areas. I say to the residents of Lebanon: I advise you to leave, not only at the beginning of the war, but from the beginning of tension and before the first shot is fired. I advise you to leave those areas because the attack force will be unimaginable like nothing you have witnessed before,” Kochavi said.
  • He said the military would target rocket launchers inside homes and buildings, and would target buildings used as enemy headquarters. “Every target associated with missiles and rockets will be targeted in the next war,” the military leader said.
  • “A house in which a missile is located or located near a missile, an activist who deals with a missile, a command headquarters that deals with a missile, or electricity connected to a group of missiles – all of this network will be hit on the day of the war.”
  • He also said the IDF has pinpointed thousands of targets in Lebanon to destroy in the event of a war, including Hezbollah headquarters, rocket-propelled grenades, and launchers.
  • But in the end this was just empty words because not only the imminent war between Israel and Hezbollah didn’t occur but the plan to make Israel supplanting Russia as Europe’s supplier of oil and gas was dropped.
  • And then in Dec 2022, Netanyahu came along becoming the prime minister of Israel for the sixth time. And he offered the US and the UK a revival of the plan to make Israel the supplier of oil and gas to Europe, this time complete with the timeline of early 2024 to achieve that objective.
  • Analysing the war of attrition in the Ukraine war, the essence of it seems to be a “meat grinder” operation against enemy combatants and not civilians.
  • While Israel is focussed on its “meat-grinding” operations on Palestinian civilians, Hamas is truly focussed on its “meat-grinding” operations on the Israeli military personnel.
  • Hamas and Hezbollah started the war with plenty of caches of modern and sophisticated weapons, thanks to the US and the collective west sending Ukraine plenty of weapons.
  • Due to the massive corruption in Ukraine, most of these weapons have landed in Hamas and Hezbollah’s hands via the black market.
  • Also, the US’ withdrawal in a hurry in Afghanistan, leaving behind many stocks of good modern and sophisticated weaponries is also another factor that made Hamas and Hezbollah flushed with weapons.
  • In contrast, the high rate of usage of bombs and other ammunitions used by Israel on Palestinian civilians may just deplete tremendously its stock of bombs.
  • This is if one takes into account that the bombs dropped on Gaza since Oct 7 are equivalent to two nuclear bombs in term of tonnage, according to Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitors.
  • Despite having a good military-industrial complex, Israel is very much dependent on the US for its weaponries. The latter in turn is experiencing a dire shortage of excess ammunitions and weaponries due to its involvement in the proxy war with Russia in Ukraine.
  • Hence, things in the Israel-Hamas war seems to eerily develop somewhat similarly to the Ukraine war.
  • Based on the Russian experience, the main objectives of an attrition war are to kill as many enemy combatants as possible and depleting their war machines as much as possible via a slow and grinding methodical process of patience and precision, while absorbing the ferocious enemy’s attack with the minimum casualties possible.
  • Hence, the war of attrition is an arduous, long drawn out war and is very effective as a strategy in facing an adversary that has a very good track record of winning quick and fast wars.
  • It is not suitable for countries that have no stomach for patience and just wanting to see a quick victory or a quick territorial gains, or in the case of Israel, a quick genocide for the Greater Israel project.
  • But how long is long for a war to be qualified as a war of attrition?
  • There is no hard and fast rule on this. But in general if a war lasts for a few days to a few weeks, then it is not a war of attrition but rather a quick and fast war.
  • Quick and fast wars are the favourite strategy of the US and Israel. One reason for this is it is relatively cheaper to wage a quick and fast war.
  • To get a better feel of this quick war: the US started the invasion of Iraq on 19 March 2003 (air) and 20 March 2003 (ground). Twenty-two days after the first day of the invasion, Baghdad was captured by coalition forces on April 9 after the six-day-long Battle of Baghdad, and there was euphoria in the collective west thinking that it was the final victory.
  • But what actually happened was there were mopping-up operations which continued for about one month before the war formally ended on May 1 when president Bush declared the “end of major combat operations” in his Mission Accomplished speech after which the Coalition Provisional Authority was established.
  • But less than a year later in March 2004, the US launched the first Battle of Fallujah, codenamed Vigilant Resolve. This raises the question of has the war really ended a year earlier.
  • The war actually ended on 18 August 2010 – seven years since the first day of invasion – when American combat operations in Iraq ended, with its last combat brigade departed for Kuwait.
  • So the quick and fast wars since 1991 when the US by default became the sole superpower of the unipolar world are merely a PR stunt of the collective west’s information war department to show off the might of the US.
  • The fact is with the exception of Afghanistan, all these allegedly short wars are still on-going. In Iraq, for instance, after leaving its last combat unit, the US retained some military bases there, and despite the repeated requests of the legitimate government of Iraq for the US to leave, it adamantly refused.
  • These bases are now under attack by Iraqi militants because of the US’ show of power in sending huge armada of wars in the Mediterranean and the Red Seas to support Israel in the latter’s war with Hamas. 
  • So all these American short wars are actually long wars but not a war of attrition. But if we want to call them attrition war, it is only attrition war not in the “meat grinder” sense, but in the sense of “money grinder” inflicted on the US.
  • The most recent major report on the cost of the 2003-2010 Iraq War comes from Brown University which totalled just over US$1.1 trillion.
  • The US Department of Defence’s direct spending on Iraq totalled at least US$757.8 billion, but also highlighting the complementary costs at home, such as interest paid on the funds borrowed to finance the wars.
  • Those figures are dramatically higher than typical estimates published just prior to the start of the war, many of which were based on a shorter term of involvement.
  • For example, on March 16, 2003 Vice President Dick Cheney reported “every analysis said this war itself would cost about $80 billion, recovery of Baghdad, perhaps of Iraq, about $10 billion per year. We should expect as American citizens that this would cost at least $100 billion for a two-year involvement.”
  • The 20-year war in Afghanistan, in turn, costs US taxpayers over US$2 trillion or US$300 million a day, according to Brown University.
  • And what does the US have to show for all this to its taxpayers? Returning home with tails between their legs with the withdrawal of US troops there without any fight!
  • So this is like saying it takes the US some US$2 trillion to drive out the Taliban enemy, and occupied their country for 20 years, and then welcome the Taliban back home after 20 years – what a moronic economic transaction!!!
  • By its long and arduous nature, war of attrition is costly. But Russia seems to turn this factual observation on its head when after about one and half years of the Ukraine war, its economy is booming.
  • This is reflected in its robust GDP growth in 2022 and a forecast of the same robust growth for 2023 and 2024 by none other than the Russian-unfriendly International Monetary Fund.
  • Based on the above, Russia would have definitely spent much less than US$2 trillion in its attrition war in Ukraine. Do your own maths if you want to know exactly how much Russia spends on its attrition war.
  • In 1983, during a discussion on planning for a regional war of the Arabs against Israel, President Saddam Hussein reportedly told his general staff: “The Israelis cannot withstand one year of fighting in a war.”
  • Since then, the evolution of military technology and tactics has expanded the power of small national liberation armies like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis, of proxy principals like Iran, and of the strategic balancing role of Russia and China.
  • Their combination now has shortened the Zionist state’s endurance in a long war, and that of its proxy principal, the US.
  • The Israelis and the Jewish diaspora comprehend this reluctantly. For them, the short war must be correspondingly shorter – this means the genocide of at least a million Palestinians in lives and displacement in an instant!
  • On its own, Israel cannot achieve this quick genocide. To do this, the war that Israel unleashed on Hamas after Oct 7 has to be an international war with the arrival of US fleets in the region.
  • But for the US, this is a war it cannot sustain.
  • As pointed out by a Pentagon insider, retired Lt Col Anthony Shaffer who’s a senior fellow with both the London Centre for Policy Research and the Centre for Advanced Defence Studies, “as there are so many draws on the logistics and support infrastructure of the Pentagon, we’re not prepared to go in, in a concerted way.
  • “What we are seeing right now is death by a thousand cuts. Our adversaries know we are stretched so they are going to make us stretch even more, so we can respond even less.”  
  • The Israeli and US-led media censorship and propaganda are concealing the breadth of impact of the Palestine warfighting plan, and the deepening military and economic weaknesses of the Israeli state.  
  • The operatives of this information war in the global mainstream media are somewhat suffocated as if suffering from a massive teargas attack in the newsroom because of their handicap to distort events on the battlefield due to Israel’s cutting off internet access with its ground invasion on Oct 28.
  • Before these media operatives can distort news events, they must know first the real event in order to distort it convincingly but Israeli action of cutting Internet access in Gaza has prevented them from presenting distorted news on the battlefield with cunning conviction.
  • So each time you hear such news from the collective west media organisation, let it be known that it is Israel which feeds them the news.
  • There are many independent Telegram channels and Substack blogs of veteran and award winning journalists such as John Helmer’s Dances with Bear, Seymour Hersh and Chris Hedges’ Substack and Christopher Cook’s Gorilla Radio podcast which give an objective views and analysis of events on the battlefield.
  • Hamas and Hezbollah have also started to give news on the battlefield from their perspective using these platforms.
  • But if you must listen to the global mainstream media, Al-Jazeera, AP and AFP would be good sources. Why? Because their objective reporting are targeted by Israel and their offices in Gaza were bombed in previous conflicts by Israel.
  • A few days ago AFP office in Gaza was bombed by Israel and France demanded an explanation from Israel the reason for the bombing.
  • Perhaps because Israel can’t explain it as it is not convincing enough to say Hamas terrorists were hiding inside the building of AFP, France has now sent a warship which can be turned into a hospital to Gaza.
  • Of course your editor still watch and read stories on the Gaza war from the global mainstream media but he does all these, not with a pinch, but kilogrammes of healthy salts, and believe in some of these stories only after confirmation by the independent news channels.
  • Another advice from your editor – because the creation of Israel in 1948 by the Zionists are done with the overt participation of the Anglo Saxon governments (read: US and UK), and the Greater and Greatest Israel projects of Zionism are covertly blessed by the Anglo-Saxon, you have to be more circumspect when you read or watch the news of the Anglo-Saxon media.
  • Since the last conflict with Israel in 2021, Hamas has been planning for an attrition war that takes into account all these developments.
  • It meticulously studied all the Israeli wars against Arab armies since 1948 and comes out with the following strategies, the main thrust of which is aimed at destroying Israel’s capacity to survive in its present state in a long war.
  • This means attacking the invincibility of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and their so-called Iron Dome defence, which began with the cross-border offensive on October 7, and continues with daily drone and artillery attacks on targets inside Israel, as well as resistance to IDF incursions in Gaza.
  • On Oct 8, Hezbollah joined the fray in the north which caused one third of the Israeli army meant for the battle in Gaza to be diverted to the north.
  • The Hamas plan also means exposing the weakness of the state’s infrastructure and economy, extending the battlefield across all of Israel’s territory – the ports, power plants and electricity grid, communications, and financial markets – making the cost of occupation of the Arab territories unendurable.
  • According to veteran journalist John Helmer, in this long war, two of Israel’s leading exports earning more than 40% of the state’s trade – diamonds and tourism – face ruin.
  • Although tracking the electric war and infrastructure strikes by Hamas and Hezbollah is difficult, there were reports that cyber-attacks on Israel’s electricity generation plants and power grids had already commenced during the first week of the war.
  • These have been followed by missile and drone strikes. “The ground has been laid for attacks on the Israeli grid,” a US military source claims. “I believe drones will come first, then missiles. We may even see commando raids.”
  • Israel’s seaports are also under constant attack. Ashkelon, which is closest in range to Gaza, has been closed. Eilat may have been the target of the Houthi missile strike which was engaged last week by the USS Carney. Ashdod, which accounts for about 40% of incoming and outgoing Israeli seaborne trade, and Tel Aviv port have been targeted.    
  • The result is a tenfold surge in war risk insurance for vessels and cargoes, and the curtailment of international vessel movement in and out of the Israeli ports.
  • There are reports that shipping is down 30% in Ashdod compared to the pre-war volume. Evergreen, the Taiwanese container shipping company, declared force majeure for Ashdod on October 17, diverted one vessel to Haifa, and halted future shipping into both ports.   
  • “We advise evaluating each port visit in Israel on a case by case basis and implementing appropriate precautions in ship contingency plans,” recommends a maritime industry alert bulletin.   
  • Chevron’s offshore Tamar gas field has been shut down. It produces 70% of the gas required to fuel Israel’s electricity generation needs.
  • Not a single Anglo-Saxon media source has noticed that Israel is at risk of losing its principal energy source to drone or missile attack.  
  • “After what the Americans and Germans did to blow up the Nord Stream pipelines,” commented a Moscow industry source, “what is holding Hamas back from hitting Tamar, or Hezbollah from the other Israeli gas fields?”
  • Helmer’s Moscow source also commented that “in Israel, the US and the UK will be able to bring in supplies without a very big risk of US ships being attacked. The risk is to the ports and bases, not to supplies from the Mediterranean.
  • “The Greek and Cyprus bases will come in very useful. Israel will not face severe logistical issues as long as it is on the offensive. If its settlements start getting cut off, encircled or penetrated then it is a different matter.”
  • All these were happening before even Israel started its ground invasion. In fact, the ground invasion could have been delayed due to all these factors that Israel must take into account.
  • Meanwhile Hebrew newspaper Maariv, well known for its objective reporting, said on Nov 2 that the Israeli army is facing a difficult and complex situation the more it deepens its ground assault on the Gaza Strip.
  • “The fighting in the coming days is expected to be much more difficult … The officers describe how it is evident that Hamas prepared itself to fight against IDF forces,” Maariv reports.  
  • At the current stage, Hamas “is very far from a breaking point or crisis,” it says, adding that it has managed to maintain an organized method of fighting that relies mainly on tunnel warfare,” in which the fighters regularly ascend from out of tunnels and ambush Israeli soldiers with anti-tank weaponry.
  • The Panther APC armored vehicle, which Hamas ambushed on 28 October, proved to be the “most difficult event for the IDF so far,” Maariv wrote. 
  • Fighters emerged out of a tunnel and struck the armored vehicle with anti-tank missiles, killing at least 11 soldiers and wounding several more. Israel has announced an investigation to determine the military failures that led to the incident. 
  • The Qassam Brigades announced on Nov 2 that its forces destroyed an Israeli tank and an armored personnel carrier with Al-Yassin 105 rockets.
  • Israel’s army also announced the killing of dozens of Hamas militants and breaching the group’s first defensive line.
  • The military has also allegedly begun an operation to destroy Hamas’ tunnels, Walla news outlet reported.
  • “Under no circumstances” should Israeli forces attempt to enter the tunnels, an ex-military chief was quoted as saying.
  • According to an Israeli officer cited by Walla, the Israeli army aims “to collapse the entrances and the tunnels” on Hamas and turn the underground network into a “death zone.”
  • However, as Maariv notes, Hamas has continued to use tunnels that the army had claimed to have destroyed in previous wars.
  • After Operation Guardian of the Walls in 2021, the army “greatly exaggerated and arrogantly overestimated the intensity of the damage to the tunnels” and the “psychological effect” that was meant to scare Hamas into fighting above ground out of fear that the tunnels would become “death traps.”
  • This assessment was “disconnected from reality on the ground,” Maariv said, adding that Hamas “will fight hard … and will not surrender easily.” 
  • The indirect economic impacts of the war have also not been calculated or discussed in the mainstream media or international business newspapers.
  • The leading export revenue earners are diamonds at above US$9 billion per annum, and tourism which had been peaking at US$8.5 billion in 2019. Counted together, diamonds and tourism amount to more than 40% of the state’s export earnings.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic and worldwide travel restrictions cut Israel’s tourism revenue fourfold, and this had been recovering over 2022 and the tourist season this year.
  • This has now stopped, although for the time being Hamas rocket launches on Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv have been intercepted.
  • Israel’s high-tech machine exports and pharmaceuticals may also be affected if electricity supply, internet networks, and transportation are damaged.
  • The cumulative effect will be the outcome which the international ratings agencies have been warning the international banks and financial markets to prepare for.
  • “In our view,” Fitch reported to clients on Oct 17, “the combination of Israel’s dynamic, high-value added economy, the record of resilience to regional conflict, [and] preparedness for military confrontations…make it unlikely a relatively short conflict largely confined to Gaza will affect Israel’s rating…. the risk that other actors hostile to Israel, such as Iran and Hezbollah, could join the conflict at scale has risen significantly…a major escalation could result in negative rating action.
  • “This could take the form of a wider and longer conflict, resulting in a sustained fiscal drain, both from higher spending and lower tax collection, as well as loss of human and material capital and severe economic disruption.”  
  • How short or long Israel’s warfighting plan will take depends on US and international acceptance, not only of the genocide intended for the Palestinians of Gaza, but of the Novichok-type chemical warfare planned by the IDF and the Pentagon for the Hamas tunnel system in Gaza City.
  • After several years in which the US and UK have fabricated claims that Syria and Russia were using prohibited gas warfare weapons, the Israelis have reportedly persuaded the US to participate in the tunnel attack operation. The Pentagon is denying the reports.
  • Russian and US military sources are already confirming the logistical supply problems facing Israeli and US forces at present, when the war is just three weeks long.
  • Greek sources are reporting the Souda Bay, Crete base has already reached its capacity for incoming US navy and air force supply and support operations; the spillover is facing growing Greek protest at the Elefsina air base near Athens.  
  • A Cyprus source says the movement of US and British aircraft into and out of the Dekhelia and Akrotiri airbases is accelerating, and there is an air and seaborne shuttle between the Cypriot ports of Larnaca and Limassol and the USS Gerald Ford carrier group at sea to the southwest of the island.
  • The lengthening of the supply lines required to support the USS Eisenhower carrier group in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf and the shore bases needed to support it are politically sensitive already; and the risks of Houthi and other attacks, along with domestic Arab crowd protests will intensify for these bases in the Arab sheikhdoms the longer the war against Israel reveals Arab and Iranian warfighting skill and resistance.
  • Converting these gains into a negotiating framework for Israeli-American retreat is the task Russian officials are attempting in silent coordination with the Chinese, and in semi-open negotiations in Moscow.

Read more on a the attrition war in Ukraine and a balanced picture of the on-going Israel-Hamas war:

Over 2,000 Ukrainian officials have attempted to flee this year – border service

Everyone in Ukraine must serve – security chief

‘Ukraine is losing’ – Russian defense minister

Ukraine’s top general admits Russia has the advantage

Ukrainians believe corruption country’s main problem – poll

Ukrainian border guards using drones to catch ‘fleeing’ citizens – UNIAN

Experts fear Ukraine will run out of ammo in 2024 – Le Monde

Scott Ritter: The US and Hezbollah want the same thing from Israel-Hamas war

‘Let Gaza Live!’: A Month Into Israeli War, Massive US Protests Demand Cease-Fire

Seymour Hersh Answers Questions on Explosive Allegation that US Blew Up Nord Stream Pipeline

Will Lebanon be in Israel’s crosshairs?

Israeli Intelligence Ministry Policy Paper On Gaza’s Civilian Population, October 2023

“Wiping Gaza Off the Map”: Big Money Agenda. Confiscating Palestine’s Maritime Natural Gas Reserves

The Economic Costs of the Israeli Occupation for the Palestinian People: The Unrealized Oil and Natural Gas Potential

Ape Goes to Victoria Gaza Solidarity Rally and March November 4, 2023

Hamas holds strong in Gaza despite army’s best efforts: Israeli media

Israel’s Dead: The Names of Those Killed in Hamas Attacks, Massacres and the Israel-Hamas War


Chris Hedges: Exterminate All the Brutes

Israel-Palestine war: Israel plans to flood Hamas tunnels with nerve gas, source says

Col. Tony Shaffer: Will Biden’s re-election plans bring the US to WWIII?

Drone attacks on American bases injured two dozen U.S. military personnel

Macgregor: U.S. And Israeli Special Forces Went On A Scouting Mission To Gaza And Were “Shot To Pieces”

Israeli soldiers killed, US base in Syria under fire as region heats

Israeli Power Plants Grapple with Third Major Cyber Attack: An In-depth Analysis

Palestinian forces attacked Israel’s second most important power plant, breaking through the missile defense system

Israel’s Ashdod port toils under shadow of rockets

Israel’s ports feel strain as shipping traffic slows after attacks

Evergreen line declares force majeure on Israel shipment -customer note

Israel-Hamas Violence Causes Concerns in Shipping and Maritime Sector

Shipping on alert as Israel’s war with Hamas enters fourth day

Israel halts production at offshore Tamar gas field

Fitch Places Israel’s ‘A+’ IDRs on Rating Watch Negative

Hamas representatives arrive on visit to Moscow, Russian diplomat confirms

Russian prosecutor refuses to designate Hamas as ‘terrorists’ – media

Israel’s Gaza operations not ‘self-defense’ – Moscow


Jamari Mohtar

Editor, Let’s Talk!

P.S: Read our op-eds published by several news portals about the on-going Israel-Hamas war, unprecedented Hamas attack on Israel, Nagorno-Karabakh, Brics-11, the sanctions war imposed on Russia and the Black Sea Grain Initiative:

The world on the brink of a major war? 

Diplomacy as a response to Israel-Gaza war 

Big war on the horizon?

Regional superpower caught with pants down by ‘ragtag’ fighters 

The crude sophistication of Hamas’ tactics

Blaming Russian ‘ineffective’ peacekeeping to start a war

Nagorno-Karabakh: War games on a chessboard turned real?

Implications of an expanded BRICS

Black Sea grain deal – another blow to the global economy?

Black Sea Grain Initiative hits a snag

The Global Whammy Of Rising Food Inflation

SURAT | Hebatnya pukulan kenaikan inflasi makanan sedunia

Russia has already won the sanctions war