Jack, ole buddy, you have an appealing unconventional mind, and I urge you to write another contrarian essay, but I have to clear up our disagreement over Israel's military capability. Before we get there I want to say a couple of things about the dumb NATO experiment with the ex Soviet Republic of Georgia. Remember that Russian war over the territory of northern Ossetia, which was in dispute between Russia and Georgia. Yes, Russia prevailed, but only after bringing to bear a lot of its conventional capabilities, and this war was right on its border. Russia has great difficulty in projecting power, its military forces are run down and corrupt, and the Russians themselves admitted as much afterwards, realizing that a lot of upgrading has to take place to maintain Russia's less than super power status.
Now to Israel. The summer 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon. Yes, this war showed some unpreparedness in the Israeli forces. Some troops didn't even have enough water. A couple Israeli tanks were destroyed by anti-tank munitions. But the Israeli war casualties were far smaller than the dead in Lebanon, as a result of Israeli artillery and air strikes. Israel's destruction of much of Lebanon's vital infrastructure, such as the Beirut power plant, and water treatment plant, etc. was the strategy they pursued, to impose unacceptable levels of pain on the Lebabanese government and people, who would then react by politically pressuring Hezbollah to cease and desist. The end of the war was inconclusive, but like all advanced militaries, the IDF has learned from its mistakes and will conduct the next war against Hezbollah with greater efficacy. For example, if such another war breaks out soon because of Israel's likely strike on Iran, then it's possible that in such circumstances, under the exigencies of fighting a two front war, that Israel will establish a 'cordon sanitaire' in southern Lebanon with a carpet of nerve gas to kill every human being there, including the Hezbollah rocket forces. If such 'in extremis' action is not taken then the prevalence of UAVs, and other precision targeting means, will impact Hezbollah with greater success than in 2006.
As for Iran, you know my position. The probability is increasing that Israel will feel it must strike sometime in the next couple of months, since the Iranian uranium enrichment program will probably not be reversed. One of the benefits of the Western economic sanctions regime against Iran that has been in place for months now is its effect on Iranian military readiness and effectiveness. Iran's military capability continues to degrade weekly, especially since the Iranian regime is dedicating its few scarce remaining economic resources in continuing the uranium enrichment and constructing underground nuclear facilities. The Iranian Air Force, and all auxilliary support services, such as those for its missile forces, are gradually degrading. Iran is being starved and beggared. Another couple of months of this process will make Israel's strike easier, and we will see what retalliatory capability Iran will have. As I said, I'm going on the record with my predictions. We will all know soon enough.