Anyone want to take bets on how long the ceasefire lasts in Southern Lebanon. I reckon on less than a week and I may be optimistic but I'll hedge my bets slightly and say that it will occur on or by August 22. The problem is that Hezbollah seems to have already denied that it would disarm and remove itself from Southern Lebanon and, therefore, the question is not whether they begin shooting thangs at IDF soldiers or Israel but when. According to the Jerusalem Post, it seems that the Israeli giovernment shares my scepticism about Hezbollah being able to keep the ceasefire:
Israel intends to abide by the cease-fire when it takes effect on Monday morning, even though senior Israeli officials assume that Hizbullah will not honor it, officials close to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Sunday night.
The officials said the working assumption at the Prime Minister's Office was that Hizbullah would not honor the agreement and that the world would then comprehend Israel's predicament more than ever. At press time, the Lebanese cabinet had not given final approval to the cease-fire.
"When Hizbullah violates the cease-fire, the world will see who the aggressor is and will understand us," a source close to Olmert said.
I do believe that Hezbollah's breaking the ceasefire is going to be a big miscalculation on their behalf because, despite the BBC and other Hezbollah fans in the MSM, it is going to be clear that they will be the party that is in violation and which is striking first. It could well be that what happens is that they try to resupply some of their bunkers and the resupply convoy from Syria is caught by the IDF, or it could just be that some hot heads don't get the message properly. Or, just possibly, they decide that just the presence of the IDF in Lebanon is sufficient provocation when they are still there in a couple of days.
This breaking of the ceasefire will not just be a miscalculation of greater strategy but also a tactical miscalculation. This is because while the IDF remains in Lebanon it will be updating its maps and intelligence and detecting more and more of Hezbollah's infrastructure for destruction once the ceasefire is broken and Hezbollah attempts to reuse them. I would guess that a number of Hezollah bunkers are still occupied by fighters who are now rather hungry, the cease fire is going to look like a good time to leave them to get supplies and I'd be surprised if the IDF drones don't detect some of these departures. If I were an IDF general I'd also be booby-trapping or otherwise making unusable the bunkers and other infrastructure that has already been found and leaving nice notes informing the world of this fact. I don't know how successful this would be but I would imagine that it could be very useful as a way to hinder a Hezbollah return and to provoke Hezbollah to reopen hostilities.