The IDF Faces an Enormous Challenge in Gaza | Opinion
Combat leaders live by a mantra: Mission, troops, equipment. This priority of effort—first, accomplish the mission; second, protect your troops; third, protect your equipment—may be simplistic, but it will frame what the world observes if and when the Israel Defense Forces initiate ground operations in Gaza.
IDF leaders at every level are preparing to engage in close-combat operations to destroy Hamas. What is more subtle is that the mission is not only to “close with and destroy the enemy,” but to do so consistent with the values reflected in the laws of armed conflict, or laws of war. This means that these leaders are taught and expected to achieve decisive effects against the enemy, but to also take constant care to mitigate civilian risk. This obligation to reduce civilian suffering is a constant of any professional military, even when confronting enemies like Hamas that has no respect for the law and seeks to exacerbate that risk to gain human fodder for their international misinformation campaign.
Originally Published in Newsweek.