Hamas, all of organizations, with Israeli help, recently foiled an assassination attempt on former president Jimmy Carter.
Question, had the effort succeeded, would that mean war? I think so. But how to proceed? Might it simply be a matter of outsourcing the job to our Israeli friends, who no doubt would love to eradicate Hamas once and for all? Or would national honor require US Marine landing on Gaza Beach. Americans, of course have been killed by Hamas and Hezbollah.
Had the attempt succeeded, Hamas one suspects, could be crushed relatively easily, with Gaza pinned up against Israel.
Hezbollah, ensconced as it is in southern Lebanon, would be a far tough nut to crack, requiring a Marine Expeditionary Unit, in this case the II out of Camp Lejune, supported by elements of the Army and the 6th fleet.
The 22nd MEU would land north of the Litani River and drive for the Bekka Valley. The 26th MEU would make up the follow on wave and push north to the Bekka . To cut off Syrian help from the north, would below Beirut and take up blocking positions. Sealing up the Bekka would be critical. To that end, the 173rd Airborne Brigade could be dropped into the valley, with one battalion keeping a watch on Syria while the other guards the southern approach.
The key would be to pin Hezbollah south of the Litania River and destroying their paramilitary forces, amounting to several thousand well armed and organized militia boasting a large arsenal of anti tank rockets. Hezbollah could certainly slow an American advance, and inflict casualties, as they did upon the IDF in 2006.
Of course, all this begs the question, what would the 12 infantry brigades and special operations brigades of Lebanese army do. They could not stop the Marines, they could barely fight them, but the sight of Lebanese Army troops being slaughtered by American forces would be bad publicity to say the least.
Are Hamas and Hezbollah stupid enough to give the United States a reason to go to war with them?