In a related inside look at the Chinese strategic viewpoint, Confidential Reporter posted on Sunday:
China Confidential has learned that Beijing remains confident that Hezbollah will prevail–politically, if not militarily–in the current conflict, strengthening Iran’s regional influence and prestige. People’s Liberation Army analysts contend that Hezbollah cannot be truly defeated and disarmed without World War II-style flattening of the 20 or more Lebanese villages in which Hezbollah hides and houses its Iranian-supplied missiles. An aerial bombardment of this magnitude would almost certainly result in massive civilian casualties–which increasingly isolated Israel can’t afford.
Therefore, PLA strategists are said to argue, Israel is restrained by sensitivity to world opinion from militarily crushing its enemy.
The analysis conforms with PLA theories of “unrestricted warfare,” including terrorism, information war, and “lawfare,” which in principle make it possible for smaller, technologically disadvantaged forces to fight–and defeat–great powers.
There is obviously a great deal of validity to the Chinese analysis.