For more than a decade now, Israel has clashed with Hamas in Gaza, in cycles of violence defined by periods of intense fighting followed by relative lulls. A new report (LINK) from the RAND Corporation covers a five-year period of this conflict — from the end of Operation Cast Lead in 2009 to the end of Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Drawing on primary and secondary sources and an extensive set of interviews, it analyzes how an advanced military fought a determined, adaptive, hybrid adversary. It describes how the Israel Defense Force (IDF) operationally, organizationally, and technologically evolved to meet asymmetric threats.
Note that one of the key findings and recommendations relates to tunnels: “The U.S. Army should expand its training and preparations for subterranean warfare.”
This is welcome but ask any miltiary geoscientist over perhaps the last 25 years (or more) and they would likely have listed tunnels and subterreanean operations as a threat (and opportunity). Outside of the Gaza environment we only have to look at the news flow from operations against Daesh in Syria and Iraq to see how tunnels have been used, or indeed to the US-Mexico border, or the Korean peninsula. The list in reality is actually extensive.
- Iraqi Army recovery of a TMB (tunnel boring machine) during operations to liberate Mosul (approx. Nov 2016) – LINK Youtube
Following this, you might be interested to read the following piece from Yiftah S. Shapir and Gal Perel – LINK