A task force of former senior U.S. military leaders has released a report finding, “[f]uture, and perhaps even ongoing, conflicts will match the U.S. military against adversaries employing Hamas’s unlawful tactics that increase civilian casualties so as to undermine the legitimacy of U.S. military operations, encourage international actors to condemn and pressure the United States and sap its will to continue such campaigns.”
The report, 2014 Gaza War Assessment: The New Face of Conflict, is a culmination of an in-depth study by the JINSA-commissioned Gaza Conflict Task Force on the evolution of Hamas’s strategy and Israel’s response. It is based on primary source research and discussions with senior Israeli, Palestinian and U.N. officials. The report is available at www.JINSA.org/gaza-assessment.
Task Force members include General Charles Wald, USAF (ret.), Former Deputy Commander of United States European Command; Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell IV, USA (ret.), Former Commander, U.S. Army North; Lieutenant General Richard Natonski, USMC (ret.), Former Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command; Major General Rick Devereaux, USAF (ret.), Former Director of Operational Planning, Policy, and Strategy - Headquarters Air Force; Major General Mike Jones, USA (ret.), Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command.
The new report is a broad examination of the strategy and tactics of the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas during the summer 2014 campaign in Gaza (Operation Protective Edge). Based on their experience the five former senior U.S. commanders made observations and recommendations for U.S. policy and military leaders, including:
These and other conclusions provide the foundation for a series of recommendations offered by the Task Force to inform U.S. operations in urban environments against “hybrid adversaries,” or non-state actors using concepts and capabilities traditionally associated with states.