Pentagon Aims to Copy Israel Tactics on Civilian Deaths in War

Dempsey Cheers Israel, Despite Massive Gaza Toll

Not 48 hours after Amnesty International issued a report blasting Israel for its “callous indifference” to civilian deaths in the Gaza War, the Pentagon is openly talking about using the conflict as a model for their own wars.

According to UN figures, Israel killed 2,189 Gazans during the war, including 1,486 civilians. 513 of the slain were children. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey cheered this result.

It’s not just a rhetorical lauding of Israel, as Dempsey announced he is sending a “lessons learned team” to learn how Israel managed to limit civilian deaths to this extent (some 70% of overall deaths in the conflict), so that the US might follow their example.

Dempsey was particularly fond of Israel’s tactic of dropping leaflets to warn citizens away from potential targets, even though in practice Israel was ordering civilians out of every single part of the Gaza Strip at once, and with no place for them to go.

The massive civilian toll of the Gaza War appalled much of the world, and even if Israel managed to avoid any worse international scorn than they already did, it’s hard to imagine the Pentagon is really content that mimicking Israel is the best they can do.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of