This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," July 21, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
JOHN GIBSON, HOST: The world is watching as Israel positions its troops and tanks on the Lebanon border, hinting at a ground invasion. Hezbollah vows it can defeat Israel. But is the terror group really that strong?
Here now is retired U.S. Marine Colonel Tim Geraghty.
So, Colonel, is Hezbollah strong enough to hold off an invading force of the Israelis?
RET. U.S. MARINE COL. TIM GERAGHTY: No. But the Israelis can get bogged down with guerrilla warfare there pretty much. I think they, the Israelis, are going in and have specific targets that they are going to hit.
How far they go in is anyone's guess. I remind you that in 1982, the original plan was to go to the Awali River, and they went right up to Beirut. So that's the great unknown.
GIBSON: Colonel, nonetheless, Hezbollah seems to be a tough guerrilla force. If they are a tough guerrilla force that can pick off special forces when they cross the border, as has happened the last few days, but wouldn't stand up against a big ground invasion, why wouldn't the Israelis conduct a big ground invasion?
GERAGHTY: Well, it's a question of what's in their interest. Right now, the Hezbollah does not want to, in my judgment, have a direct confrontation with the Israeli army because that's a losing game.
They are going to play guerrilla warfare and fire from selected spots that are to their advantage. And they have had six years to prepare for this kind of contingency. But the Israelis, I suspect, have done their homework before they go in. So it ought to be an interesting endeavor.
GIBSON: If the battlefield is a series of tunnels and hidden rooms underground in the first 20 miles after you get across the border into Lebanon, what's this going to look like?
GERAGHTY: Yes, I suspect some of the targets are the main storage area of the rockets that have been raining in on Israeli cities. They are in underground bunkers in there, but also the fact that they talk about the longer-range rockets is that some of those recently have just been said coming from Beirut area, so that's a pretty large extended range. And to find those are going to be a sizable effort on the Israelis. It's very tough to do.
GIBSON: If the Hezbollah had something on the order of 13,000 of these Katyusha rockets before this episode began, and the goal of the Israelis is to degrade that supply somehow, what would be a satisfactory number? What would you be happy with if you were running the Israeli invasion?
GERAGHTY: Get whatever you can. What numbers I can't give you, but the Israelis have specific targets, and I'm sure that they know what they want to get.
And the thing to keep in mind through all of this is when you are talking about the specific Hezbollah and so on, Iran and Syria are pulling the strings on this puppet. And until that issue is addressed, as Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state, just recently said, a cease-fire isn't going to stop it because this will continue. And if they have a cease-fire tomorrow, you can probably look at your watch rather than your calendar for the next crisis.
GIBSON: Colonel Tim Geraghty, thanks very much.
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