Despite the much-touted declaration of the Israeli cabinet that, against the advice of the IDF General Staff: there is no plan to expand Israel's incursion into Lebanon, Israel has called up three reserve divisions, says the Jerusalem Post. AP counts 30,000 reservists being called, Haaretz counts the bayonets differently: saying that the three division call-up "could amount to around 15,000 soldiers, or 5,000 troops per division." Possibly the Haaretz figure does not take support slices into account, or possibly the call-ups represent partial elements of the said divisions.
Still, it is easy to forget how small Israel is: the population is (6,352, 157, according to the CIA World Factbook). Neither 15,000, or 30,000 reservists represents exactly an insignificant number . . .
The JPost quotes a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister's Office setting out the reason for this call-up: "The draft is to prepare the force for possible developments as they have been presented to the cabinet and also to freshen the forces as needed. Using the force will require another approval by the Cabinet."
So, the Israelis are further disrupting their already hemorrhaging national economy with a huge reserve call-up, for an operation their government says is not going to be expanded ?
Combined with the size of the force already engaged in Lebanon (I have some idea what forces are there, but I'm not going into details)...this sounds like the size force I expected to be committed there to begin with, but there are some other possibilities too.
"Possible developments as they have been presented to the cabinet." Tell me what that might mean ? Something's afoot...but I'm going to cogitate on it before saying anything, if I do say anything.