In the realm of military operations, minimizing civilian casualties stands as an arduous but crucial endeavor. Colonel Richard Kemp, the esteemed former commander of the British military forces in Afghanistan, recently commended the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for their remarkable success in averting civilian casualties during their operations against the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza.
Commending the IDF: A Noteworthy Achievement
In a compelling video shared on X (formerly Twitter), Colonel Kemp addressed the reported death tolls in Gaza. Israeli sources, albeit anonymously, asserted that approximately 5,000 Hamas terrorists had been neutralized out of a total death toll of around 15,000. This accounts for a striking ratio of one combatant casualty for every two civilians.
Colonel Kemp, with a wealth of military experience, acknowledged the inherent tragedy of civilian casualties in warfare. He emphasized, “Civilian casualties in combat are always devastating and tragic. Unfortunately, they’re a feature of almost every war.” Drawing from his extensive background, he highlighted the strenuous efforts undertaken by the British army and its allies to minimize such casualties.
A Comparative Analysis: IDF vs. Global Averages
The United Nations (UN) estimates that the civilian-to-combatant death ratio in conflicts since the Second World War averages a staggering nine to one. Colonel Kemp shed light on this alarming statistic, noting that it includes armies that exhibit little regard for civilian lives, such as the Syrian army, the Russian army, and other dictatorships.
In contrast, he pointed out that, akin to the British forces, the Americans exhibit considerable care to minimize civilian deaths. In Iraq, it’s estimated that US forces caused the death of three civilians for every combatant, and in Afghanistan, the ratio ranged between three and five to one.
Unveiling IDF’s Remarkable Ratio
Delving into historical data, Colonel Kemp underscored the IDF’s achievement of significantly more favorable casualty ratios in previous conflicts in Gaza. Typically ranging between 0.6 to one and two to one, these ratios, while still distressing, surpass those of most, if not all, other armies engaged in combat.
A notable aspect highlighted by Colonel Kemp is the IDF’s ability to maintain these historically low combat ratios despite the challenging circumstances. Hamas, he emphasized, strategically deploys its forces within the civilian population, employing human shields and deliberately attempting to compel the IDF to cause civilian casualties. This sinister tactic aims to manipulate global perceptions, turning public opinion against Israel and falsely accusing it of war crimes.
The Media, UN, and Human Rights Groups: A Complex Dynamic
Colonel Kemp acknowledged the complicity of much of the media, the UN, and so-called human rights groups in perpetuating this dynamic. He stated, “With help from much of the media, the UN, and so-called human rights groups, it works every time, encouraging Hamas to do it again and again.”
In conclusion, the IDF’s ability to navigate through these challenges and maintain a comparatively lower civilian-to-combatant casualty ratio underscores their commitment to minimizing collateral damage. As conflicts persist, understanding and acknowledging these nuanced dynamics become imperative for fostering a more informed and nuanced global discourse.