Tag: military strategy

ISRAEL’S SUBS, ANTI-TUNNEL & SPACE TECH IMPROVE DEFENSE, WHILE US & CANADA SEEK COHERENT MILITARY STRATEGY

For Deterrence and the Second Nuclear Strike: Yossi Melman, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 13, 2016 — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, obsessed with his Holocaust fears and motivated by his political agenda, could not resist Tuesday hinting what has been so clear to the rest of the world for two decades…

Israel Developing ‘Underground’ Iron Dome: John Reed, FT, Feb. 3, 2016— The Iron Dome missile defence system is widely credited with helping protect Israel from aerial missile attack.

'Israel's Space Program Lagging Behind, as Iran's Surges Forward': Yaakov Lappin, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 2, 2016— Inadequate investment and research in Israel’s civilian space program will have a harmful knock-on impact on military space industries, experts warned during a conference in Herzliya on Tuesday.

Peacekeeping is Fine, but Peace-Building is Essential — and it Works: Michael Den Tandt, National Post, Feb. 2, 2016 — Are Canadian soldiers, following a decade of militaristic tub-thumping by the former Conservative government, inordinately prepared for war, at the expense of peacekeeping and diplomacy?

The U.S. Has No Global Strategy: Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., Wall Street Journal, Jan. 29, 2016— Many Americans probably had misgivings when U.S. troops were withdrawn from Iraq in 2011, but even the most pessimistic must be surprised at how quickly things went south.

 

On Topic Links

 

The IDF’s Misplaced Trust in the PA: Caroline Glick, Breaking Israel News, Feb. 3, 2016

If the US Can Decrypt Vital Israeli Transmissions, Who Else Can?: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Jan. 29, 2016

IDF Moves Steel Formation as Part of Multi-Arena Force: Yaakov Lappin, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 28, 2016

Dr. Eitan Shamir’s New Book on Military Command: BESA, Jan. 10, 2016

                  

               FOR DETERRENCE AND THE SECOND NUCLEAR STRIKE

  Yossi Melman                                           

                                             Jerusalem Post, Jan. 13, 2016

 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, obsessed with his Holocaust fears and motivated by his political agenda, could not resist Tuesday hinting what has been so clear to the rest of the world for two decades – the fact that the Israeli submarine fleet was mainly established for the purpose of deterrence and, according to foreign reports, to grant Israel the capability of a second nuclear strike.

 

On Tuesday, the Israel Navy’s fifth submarine anchored at Haifa Port after a 3,000 kilometer voyage from the German shipyards in Kiel where it was built. “Above all, our submarines serve to deter enemies that aspire to destroy us,” Netanyahu stated at the ceremony. The decision to build a significant submarine fleet was a result of strategic thinking and advantage of the circumstances.

 

In the 80s, Israel feared, as it does today, that the Middle East was going nuclear with Iraq’s efforts to build a nuclear bomb. At the same time, Israel was attacked by Iraqi Scud missiles during the first Gulf War in 1991. It turned out that German companies had supplied Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, with technology and materials for a suspected chemical weapons program. To cleanse its conscience, Germany agreed to finance the manufacturing of the first new Israeli submarines. According to foreign reports, this led to further German consent to subsidize more submarines for Israel as long as they were built in the Kiel shipyards, thus also helping the German economy. Thus, fat Germany financed half the cost of the Israeli submarine fleet.

 

According to foreign reports, Israel has upgraded the submarines to conform to its own unique needs, turning them into platforms to launch nuclear-tipped missiles. Navy experts, led by the late admiral Avraham Botzer, estimated that it would require at least nine subs to make the Israeli navy strategically effective. They argue that at any given moment three subs will be on routine missions, three at docks for maintenance and three always available to carry out strategic assignments.

 

Indeed, until recently, the Israel Navy was on its way to accomplish its strategic vision and mission as Germany agreed to subsidize the manufacturing of the sixth sub, according to foreign reports. But then a new reality emerged. IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, under budgetary pressure, decided to postpone the purchase of the sixth sub – a decision that was only natural since it coincided with recent developments regarding Iran since the naval build up was primarily aimed to be a deterrence against Iranian efforts to achieve nuclear capabilities.

 

Once Iran’s aspirations were suppressed by the nuclear agreement reached last summer with the world powers, Israel had more leeway and breathing space, so it was decided that the purchase of sixth sub would be delayed to take place by 2020. In the meantime, the submarine fleet will continue to perform its other capabilities in long-range intelligence and clandestine missions in the Mediterranean, and according to foreign reports, in the Red Sea and even the Indian Ocean leading to the Persian Gulf.

 

 

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ISRAEL DEVELOPING ‘UNDERGROUND’ IRON DOME                                          

                               John Reed

     FT, Feb. 3, 2016

 

The Iron Dome missile defence system is widely credited with helping protect Israel from aerial missile attack. Now the country’s military establishment and defence companies are developing technology to shield them on a new front: underground. The country’s ministry of defence this week confirmed that the US had earmarked $120m over three years to help it develop and produce a system to detect tunnels built by its enemies.

 

Israelis are describing the system as an underground equivalent of Iron Dome, the US-funded missile defence system that allowed Israel to destroy many of the rockets and mortars fired at it by Hamas and other militant groups from the Gaza Strip during Israeli military operations there in 2012 and 2014. In addition to uncovering the concrete-reinforced tunnels Hamas burrows in the sandy earth along Israel’s 60km-long border with Gaza, Israeli military planners say they need the system to detect tunnels built by the south Lebanon-based guerrilla group Hizbollah in the north. The US wants the technology to find tunnels used by criminal gangs to smuggle illegal immigrants or drugs across the Mexican border.

 

The Israeli companies Elbit Systems and Rafael Advanced Defence Systems — which developed Iron Dome — are among those developing the technology, both companies confirmed. However, they declined to discuss the project because of its sensitivity. Between 50 and 100 smaller companies are also involved in developing the technology needed to find tunnels, according to an Israeli engineer briefed on the details.

 

“We do whatever we can to find a technological solution,” Maj Gen Nitsan Alon, head of the Israel Defense Forces’ operations directorate, said at a briefing on Wednesday. He declined to give details of the technologies being tested, saying it would “help Hamas”.

 

News of the US-Israeli co-operation on anti-tunnel technology comes amid signs that Hamas is rebuilding its underground network, which Israel’s military targeted during Operation Protective Edge, its 2014 war against the militant group in Gaza. The Qassam Brigades, the Islamist group’s military wing, said two of its members were killed on Tuesday while working in a tunnel in the al-Nuseirat area of the central Gaza Strip. Last week, seven Hamas members were killed when a tunnel they were working on in eastern Gaza collapsed.

 

The IDF says it found and destroyed 32 tunnels during the 2014 war, and accused the militant group of using the tunnels to ambush soldiers, fire rockets or mortars, and carry out operations inside Israel. The war killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, 66 Israeli soldiers, and six civilians in Israel. The discovery of tunnels during the first days of the war brought angry accusations by Israelis against Benjamin Netanyahu, the rightwing prime minister, of having underestimated or missed the threat. In recent days, the government has been embarrassed again by reports from residents of southern border communities who said they heard sounds of underground digging.

 

On Monday, Mr Netanyahu said Israel was “working systematically and level-headedly against all threats”, including from Hamas. “If we are attacked from tunnels from the Gaza Strip, we will take very strong action against Hamas, much stronger than we took in Operation Protective Edge,” he said. However, Major General Alon said he thought Hamas “is not ready for another fight against Israel”. Notwithstanding the country’s technological prowess in many areas, finding the Hamas-built tunnel systems burrowed between 15 and 50 metres underground is proving elusive. Israel has been working on technology needed to detect tunnels for at least two decades.

 

While details of the systems now being tested along the Gaza border are not public, analysts said they would likely gather information from sensors planted in the ground, then use algorithms to interpret the data. They said detecting tunnels while they were being built — when vibrations and sounds might be detected — was less difficult than finding tunnels that had already been built. “The biggest problem is detecting a tunnel when it is already ready, and it is just a hole in the ground,” said Yiftah Shapir, an analyst at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies. Mr Shapir said such tunnels might be detected using geophones, sensors used in the oil industry — along with controlled explosions — to detect geological features.

 

 

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  'ISRAEL'S SPACE PROGRAM LAGGING BEHIND,

  AS IRAN'S SURGES FORWARD'

             Yaakov Lappin                                                           

   Jerusalem Post, Feb. 2, 2016

 

Inadequate investment and research in Israel’s civilian space program will have a harmful knock-on impact on military space industries, experts warned during a conference in Herzliya on Tuesday. Speaking at the 11th Ilan Ramon International Space Conference, held by the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, Brig.- Gen. (res.) Abraham Assael, CEO of the institute, also described how the lifting of sanctions on Iran will speed up Tehran’s space program and missile development.

 

“After over a decade in which the Fisher Institute watched and examined the Israeli space industry, we can today say that without an innovative and dynamic civilian space industry, and without significant investment in research and development on the national and academic, as well as industrial levels, there is no future for sustainable space industry in the State of Israel,” said Assael, a former air force base and squadron commander.

 

Driven by need, Israel has in the past led space technology advances, particularly in the areas of small satellites and their launchers, he noted. “Today, we are moving forward in very measured steps while other space industries, like the Iranian space industry, are developing at a spedup rate,” Assael said. “The lifting of sanctions following the Iran nuclear agreement will cause its space program development to speed up. This will act as a legitimate engine driving Iranian technology in a range of fields and serving as a fertile ground for the development of matching military capabilities like the research and development of long-range missiles,” he cautioned.

 

Ofer Doron, head of Israel Aerospace Industries’ MBT Space Division, issued his own stark warning, saying Israel’s civilian satellite program is shrouded in uncertainty. “Israel has no space policy, and we are moving backwards,” Doron told the conference. He warned of inadequate educational and academic research to support Israel’s space agency, which could harm future technology and satellite development. “In most of these areas, there is no significant activity occurring in the State of Israel, and I can only be jealous of foreign space agencies around the world. A multi-year budget is required with a significant scope.

 

We need mechanisms that allow us to take advantage of the budget,” Doron said. “Even the low budget of the Israel Space Agency cannot be implemented. We need to leverage the great achievements of military space programs toward civilian applications so that budgets can have double uses. Without civilian licenses, which are the norm in the world, this simply will not work.”

 

The Israel Space Agency’s current annual budget stands at $15 million, matching the size of the Mexican, Swiss and South African programs. “If we make it five times bigger, we will be like Pakistan. We are behind Iran, Spain and Argentina and significantly behind European space agencies,” Doron said.

 

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PEACEKEEPING IS FINE, BUT PEACE-BUILDING IS ESSENTIAL

— AND IT WORKS

Michael Den Tandt                                                             

    National Post, Feb. 2, 2016

 

Are Canadian soldiers, following a decade of militaristic tub-thumping by the former Conservative government, inordinately prepared for war, at the expense of peacekeeping and diplomacy? Judging from a new study done for a pair of left-leaning Ottawa think tanks, the Rideau Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, you might assume so. The paper, by Royal Military College professor and peacekeeping specialist Walter Dorn, bears the stamp of academic authority. It is also, in one of its central thrusts, wrong.

 

Here’s the paragraph that leaps out: “The 2006–11 combat mission in Kandahar, Afghanistan, certainly gave CAF personnel valuable experience in combat and counter-insurgency (COIN) operations. While there are similarities between these types of missions and international peace operations, there are also fundamental differences in the training, preparation and practice of peacekeeping deployments. “War-fighting and COIN are enemy-centric, usually non-consensual missions that primarily involve offensive tactics, whereas peacekeeping is based on a trinity of alternative principles: consent of main conflicting parties, impartiality and the defensive use of force.”

 

In other words, the Afghan mission was all about destroying the enemy — killing the “detestable murderers and scumbags” of the Taliban, as former chief of defence staff Rick Hillier once put it, rather than trying to help the Afghans rebuild their war-torn, barren, desperately impoverished country. It’s yet another restatement of the Liberal narrative that emerged suddenly and fully-formed in the spring of 2006, coinciding miraculously with the accession of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives to power.

Liberal Jean Chretien had first sent Canadian soldiers to Afghanistan in 2002; Liberal Paul Martin had sent them in greater numbers beginning in 2005 and continuing in early 2006. That mission was framed from its inception as a combination of humanitarian aid, diplomacy and force protection, along with so-called “kinetic operations,” the purpose of which was to destroy the enemy.

 

None of this changed when the new government took over. Indeed, when I went to Afghanistan in the fall of 2007 — my second trip to the country — I found the Canadian military even more focused on reconstruction than it had been the previous year. We visited de-mining and police training projects near Kabul and a Provincial Reconstruction Team outpost in Kandahar City, Camp Nathan Smith,that had grown substantially since my first trip. Canadian soldiers stationed at the PRT supported local schools and engineering projects, operated “presence patrols” into the surrounding countryside, arranged meetings and held teas with local elders.

 

All the Canadian military engagement I saw in Afghanistan was primarily defensive in nature. In other words, the soldiers and their armaments were there to protect and support Canadian whole-of-government efforts to help local people. There were certainly also pure combat operations, run by special forces and other units, that I didn’t see. But there was a great deal of diplomacy and “peace-building.” It just didn’t draw a lot of attention back home.

 

Indeed, by 2007, the CF seemed almost desperate to draw attention to their reconstruction efforts. Presumably, this had something to do with the fact that, back in Ottawa, the political debate was all about combat casualties and detainee torture. I had numerous conversations with front-line soldiers in those years who were deeply frustrated by the tenor of debate in Canada which they deemed, to a person, to be shallow and misleading. They weren’t wrong. Canadian soldiers — sergeants primarily, not the officers, who were more circumspect — also told me numerous times how deeply relieved they were that the horribly failed “peacekeeping” era of the 1990s — Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia — was a thing of the past.

 

In 2010, I travelled with Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team to Haiti in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake that destroyed much of the island’s infrastructure and killed several hundred thousand people. The D.A.R.T. was drawn from units across Canada, and many of its members had by then served in Afghanistan. Somehow, the demands of doing humanitarian relief in a chaotic and diplomatically fraught environment were not beyond them. Indeed they seemed to me to be exceptionally good at their jobs.

 

Would Canada’s military benefit from a re-start of some of the peacekeeping courses that fell by the wayside during the Harper years? Probably they would. Additional training, for whatever function, is worthwhile — and it was quite clear, in the aftermath of the Somalia debacle in 1993, that the Airborne Regiment’s spec-ops combat training had not prepared it adequately for the humanitarian complexities of that mission. 

 

But let’s not forget why we have armed forces to begin with. Following 9/11 and especially because of the Afghan war, the Canadian military was transformed from a chronically bureaucratized, under-gunned, under-resourced organization into a force capable of fighting a so-called three-block war – defence, diplomacy and development in the space of three city blocks, within a failed state. That transformation was hard-won and long overdue. It should not be set aside now simply because we have a new government intent on playing up its swords-into-ploughshares credentials.

 

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                                   THE U.S. HAS NO GLOBAL STRATEGY                                                                                 

                                              Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.                                                                                               

                                      Wall Street Journal, Jan. 29, 2016

 

Many Americans probably had misgivings when U.S. troops were withdrawn from Iraq in 2011, but even the most pessimistic must be surprised at how quickly things went south. Turn on the TV news: Western Iraq, including the Sunni triangle that the U.S. once worked so hard to pacify, is in the hands of a terrorist group, Islamic State, radiating attacks as far as Paris, Jakarta and San Bernardino, Calif.

 

The battlefield where the U.S. spent most of its blood has become swept up into the chaos of next-door Syria. Refugees from the region are destabilizing Europe. Proxy forces, shadowy groups and national armies representing half a dozen countries are fighting on the ground and in the air. The world seems one incident away from World War III in the vacuum U.S. troops left behind—as when NATO member Turkey recently shot down a Russian jet.

 

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates occasionally meets veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars in his travels. What their effort bought seldom comes up. “We don’t really talk about where we are today,” he says. “You have to assume it’s very painful for a Marine who lost a buddy in Fallujah to see an outfit like ISIS in charge of Fallujah again. Was the sacrifice worth it?”

 

Mr. Gates, along with President George W. Bush and Gen. David Petraeus, was a prosecutor of the troop surge, a decision unpopular even in the Pentagon to double down on the Iraq war in 2006. His 2014 memoir, “Duty,” which a  New York Times  reviewer called “one of the best Washington memoirs ever,” makes clear that the suffering of U.S. troops weighed more and more heavily on him as he served under President Bush and then re-upped under President  Obama. Today, if the mess in Iraq comes up, he tells those who served there, “You accomplished your mission. It was the Iraqis that squandered our victory.”

 

But Mr. Gates also believes the outcome could have been different if the U.S. had kept troops in place. Islamic State wouldn’t have spread its influence across the border from Syria. More important than firepower, he says, was having a four-star representative of the U.S. military present who could “bring Sunni and Kurdish and Shia leaders together, make them talk to each other. When that process disappeared, all the external brakes on Maliki”—Iraq’s then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whom Mr. Gates blames for the unraveling—“disappeared.”

 

In 2008 the Bush administration gritted its teeth and reached a Status of Forces Agreement with Mr. Maliki, keeping U.S. troops in place through 2011. Whether a second agreement was in the cards we may never know. “It was clear from the Bush experience that it was going to take the deep involvement of the president, really working the phones and twisting arms. And my impression is that that didn’t happen.”

 

Mr. Gates, 72, is making the rounds on behalf of his new book, “A Passion for Leadership,” drawing on his experience reforming large institutions, including the CIA under the first President Bush, the Pentagon and, his favorite job, as president of Texas A&M University from 2002-06. As we settle at a table at the bar in midtown Manhattan’s London hotel, Mr. Gates, the freshly minted author of a management book, appears less than impressed with the greatest management book of all time (by its author’s own estimate), “The Art of the Deal.”  Donald Trump “brings the same skill set to leadership in the public sector that I would bring to the New York real-estate market,” he says. “The skills don’t transfer. When he talks about making other countries do things, it’s just completely unrealistic.”…

[To Read the Full Briefing Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

On Topic

 

The IDF’s Misplaced Trust in the PA: Caroline Glick, Breaking Israel News, Feb. 3, 2016 —Amjad Sakari made no effort to hide his feelings and intentions towards Israel. The soldier in the Palestinian security forces filled his Facebook page with paeans to Saddam Hussein. Last weekend he published two posts indicating his imminent plan to carry out a terrorist attack.

If the US Can Decrypt Vital Israeli Transmissions, Who Else Can?: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Jan. 29, 2016—News that the United States and the United Kingdom have for years been tapping into the encrypted communications of Israel Air Force drones and fighter jets sent shock waves through Israel on Friday, with the story dominating the front pages of the country’s newspapers.

IDF Moves Steel Formation as Part of Multi-Arena Force: Yaakov Lappin, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 28, 2016—This week the IDF’s Armored Division 162, also known as the Steel Formation, officially moved from the Central Command, where it has been based for nearly 40 years, to the Southern Command, marking a significant step in realizing plans by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot to prepare the military for future challenges on Israel’s borders.

Dr. Eitan Shamir’s New Book on Military Command: BESA, Jan. 10, 2016—The Israel Ministry of Defense has published an updated and revised Hebrew edition of Dr. Eitan Shamir’s landmark book, Transforming Command (Stanford UP, 2011; Pikud Mesima, Modan, 2015). The book has been endorsed by General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and has become required reading in many military academies including the US army, navy and marines, the UK military colleges, and in the IDF.

 

 

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

ISRAEL’S MILITARY POST-“ARAB FALL”: BEYOND ARROW AND IRON DOME, OFFENSIVE CAPACITY STRENGTHENED — IRAN A CONTINUING CONCERN, AND NAVY NOW FOCUSES ON GAS-FIELD DEFENCE

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Ber Lazarus, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail:  ber@isranet.org

 

 

 Download an abbreviated version of today's Daily Briefing.

 

Israel Plans Military 'Revolution' to Face New Regional Threat: Jonathan Marcus, BBC, 12 July 2013—Israel's armed forces – the most powerful and best equipped in the Middle East – are changing. Older tanks and aircraft will be retired. Some 4,000 – maybe even more – professional career officers will be dismissed. A range of other changes over the next five years are intended to make the Israeli military leaner but more effective.

 

Threats to Israeli Aircraft over Iran: James Dunnigan, Strategy Page, July 27, 2013—Iranian military leaders were relieved at the recent election of the “moderate” Hassan Rowhani to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president. Rowhani is known to be a superb negotiator and someone you can reason with. Ahmadinejad was neither of those things and his constant and hysterical threats to Israel made war with Israel an ever increasing possibility.

 

IDF’s Druze Battalion Tests New Techniques for Fighting Hezbollah: IDF Blog, July 4, 2013—The battalion developed techniques for fighting Hezbollah, based on years of experience operating in Israel’s northern border region; the new methods were tested in a battalion-wide exercise last week.

 

Israeli Technology Turns Air Into Drinking Water for Troops: NoCamels, Feb. 28, 2012—Military troops around the world, no matter where they are instated, know that even with the best training, personnel and arms, they cannot survive battle if they are lacking one vital thing: water. Among the concerns of military heads is  to ensure water sources are always available, even in the most arid of places.

 

On Topic Links

 

The Evolution of Israeli Military Strategy: Asymmetry, Vulnerability, Pre-emption and Deterrence: Gerald M. Steinberg, Jewish Virtual Library, October 2011

IAF's Flying Camel Squadron: Drones not Always Best: Linda Gradstein, Jerusalem Post, July 19, 2013

IDF Ground Forces Launch Groundbreaking Battle Lab: Yael Zahavi, IDF, Jan 17, 2013

Israel’s Military-Entrepreneurial Complex Owns Big Data: Matthew Kalman, MIT Technology Review, July 11, 2013

Gaza Crossing Weekly Report: COGAT/Israel Ministry of Defence, July 20, 2013

Israel’s Skylark Spy Plane: Ultimate Weapons-Robotics. Discovery Channel. Video

Inside an Israeli Defense Lab: Popular Mechanics.

 

 

ISRAEL PLANS MILITARY 'REVOLUTION'
TO FACE NEW REGIONAL THREAT

Jonathan Marcus

BBC, 12 July 2013

 

Israel's armed forces – the most powerful and best equipped in the Middle East – are changing. Older tanks and aircraft will be retired. Some 4,000 – maybe even more – professional career officers will be dismissed. A range of other changes over the next five years are intended to make the Israeli military leaner but more effective. Elements of the plans were set out by the Israel Defense Forces' Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, earlier this week. Once implemented, they promise what some analysts have described as "a revolution" in Israel's military affairs.

 

In part, of course, this is all about money. The defence budget in Israel is under growing pressure – social protest has erupted on Israel's streets too. Significant cuts have to be made. This is one reason why units equipped with older tanks like derivatives of the US M60 will be disbanded, as well as some Air Force units with older aircraft that are much more expensive to maintain. Streamlining the career military may also save funds in the long run.

 

But what is really going on here owes less to budgetary pressures and more to the dramatic changes that are under way in the strategic geography of the region around Israel.

 

The Arab world is living through an upheaval that shows no sign of ending. The big military players like Egypt, Syria and Iraq are either facing political uncertainty, full-scale civil war, or have been exhausted by invasion and more than a decade of bitter internal violence.

 

The Israeli military's five-year plan has been postponed over recent years – partly due to the budgetary uncertainty and partly due to the dramatic changes sweeping across the region. As retired Brig Gen Michael Herzog, a former head of IDF Strategic Planning, told me: "The prospect of a conventional war breaking out between the IDF and a traditionally organised Arab army is now much less than in the past. However, the risk from non-state actors, of asymmetric warfare, and greater unrest along Israel's borders (with the exception perhaps of Jordan) is increasing and it is these threats that the Israeli military has to plan for."

 

So what will change ? Gen Herzog says there will probably be fewer tanks, but this goes much further than simply changing the IDF's order of battle. There will be a much greater emphasis upon intelligence and cyber-warfare. Given the instability in Syria, there will be a new territorial division covering the Golan front. There will be significant investment in the capacity to strike deep into enemy territory and to improve the co-ordination between air and ground forces.

 

There will be an even greater emphasis upon speed and the deployment of weapons that can strike targets rapidly and with great accuracy. The use of the Tamuz system, a highly accurate guided missile, during recent months against sporadic fire coming from Syrian positions is a pointer to the types of weaponry that will be more important in the future. Tamuz is actually a relatively old system, recently declassified, but its successors will play an important part in Israel's new order of battle.

 

"The Israeli military concept has always been to shorten the duration of any conflict, but this has become more important than ever before because of the growing missile arsenals of groups like the Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah, which means the Israeli home-front is under threat like never before," Gen Herzog told me.

 

Israel already deploys a variety of defensive measures like the Arrow and Iron Dome anti-missile systems, but improving its offensive capability is seen as the key to managing the tempo and duration of any future conflict. By and large, Gen Herzog welcomes the new military plan. However, he says that "there are of course risks during any period of transition".

 

Budget constraints mean that in the short-term training is being cut back. This, he notes, "is the easiest way to save money in the short term". He points to the IDF's problems in Lebanon in 2006 as an example of an army that had spent too little time training for large-scale manoeuvre warfare. "Training is definitely down this year, but is set to rise in future years," he says, adding: "This is a risk albeit a calculated one."  Nonetheless, the assessment among the Israeli High Command is that this risk is bearable, given the disarray afflicting its Arab neighbours.

 

In Egypt, the peace treaty with Israel may not be popular but the Egyptian army is wedded to it, not least as the ticket that opens the way to large-scale US military aid.

Israeli soldier during military drill Budgetary constraints mean that military training will be cut back in the short-term Iraq is no longer a serious military player. Syria is in crisis and the regime's future remains in doubt. Instability and uncertainty characterise Israel's strategic environment with the risk of rapid escalation that could see conflicts on a number of fronts.

 

Many military analysts accept that reform is justified. Perhaps the greatest risk is that the government will not make good on future defence spending pledges and this ambitious programme could just look like retrenchment. Of course the Iranian nuclear challenge remains a potential threat, against which Israeli Air Force planners in particular are building up their capabilities.

 

New missions, too, are fast emerging, not least for the Israeli Navy which must now protect gas field installations off-shore which promise to make the country self-reliant in energy terms for a considerable period.

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THREATS TO ISRAELI AIRCRAFT OVER IRAN

James Dunnigan

Strategy Page, July 27, 2013

 

Iranian military leaders were relieved at the recent election of the “moderate” Hassan Rowhani to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president. Rowhani is known to be a superb negotiator and someone you can reason with. Ahmadinejad was neither of those things and his constant and hysterical threats to Israel made war with Israel an ever increasing possibility. This was made worse by the growing threat of Iran developing nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad also liked to boast of how well prepared Iran was to kick Israeli ass if it ever came to a fight. Iranian military leaders cringed at this because they knew that the military power Ahmadinejad was boasting of was largely an illusion.

 

The constant stream of boastful press releases put out by the Iranian military were for building domestic morale, not to describe any real improvements in Iranian military capabilities. The Israeli’s knew this, as did Ahmadinejad (well, he was told) but the numerous threats against Israel caused the Israelis to threaten right back. The problem was that Israel was much more capable to attacking Iran than Iran was in defending itself.

While Israel has a huge stockpile of fuel, ammo, and other supplies for wartime (about 30 days’ worth), Iran has very little. While Iran pumps a lot of oil, it doesn’t have the refineries to produce much aircraft grade fuel. Iran has few smart bombs, missiles, and, well, not much of anything compared to Israel.

 

Israel can put over 500 aircraft (mostly F-15s and F-16s) a day (as in sorties) over Iran. That’s in addition to more than twice as many for any short range threat. Israel has over 25,000 smart bombs and missiles (not counting smaller missiles like Hellfire). Within a few days this Israeli air power could destroy what little Iran has in the way of major weapons systems (armoured vehicles, aircraft, warships, and weapons research and manufacturing facilities). Worse, the earlier claims of Iranian military strength would not only be exposed as false but greatly diminished from what they actually were before the Israelis came by. Iranian military leaders did not want this to happen, although the senior clerics of the religious dictatorship that rules Iran saw a positive angle to an Israeli attack; it would rally all Iranians behind the generally disliked government.

 

The Iranian problem is that three decades of sanctions has made it impossible to replace obsolete and worn out gear or even maintain the elderly systems they have to rely on. Thus, the best defences (anti-aircraft missiles and jet fighters) against an Israeli attack are largely absent. What is available is ancient and probably ineffective against Israeli SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defences) capabilities.

 

For example, Iran has been having increasing problems keeping its 1970s era F-5s flying. The ones that are still flying tend to crash a lot, or not be available for use because of maintenance problems (including spare parts shortages). Spare parts for all U.S. aircraft Iran still uses have been hard to come by. Iran has managed, sort of. Nevertheless, the Iranian Air Force is largely a fraud. It has lots of aircraft that, for the most part, sit there but can't fly because of age and lack of replacement parts. Those that can fly would likely provide target practice for Israeli fighters.

 

The Iranian Air Force is still recovering from the effects of the 1979 revolution (which led to an embargo on spare parts and new aircraft). Despite that, many Iranian warplanes remain flyable but only for short periods. The main reason for even that is an extensive smuggling operation that obtains spare parts. Two of their aircraft, the U.S. F-4D and F-5E Tiger, were widely used around the world. Somewhere, someone had parts for these planes that Iran could buy. There are still about 40 of each in service, with less than half of them flyable at any time.

 

This was less the case with Iran's most expensive warplane, the U.S. F-14 Tomcat. Iran was the only export customer of this aircraft. Some F-14s have been kept flyable, despite the rumored sabotage of Iran's AIM-54 Phoenix missiles by U.S. technicians, as they were leaving. To demonstrate this, they sent 25 F-14s on a fly-over of Tehran in 1985. Today, Iran has about 20 F-14s, with less than half of them flyable.

 

Iran has sought to buy new foreign aircraft. In the 1990s, with the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, they sought to buy from Russia. Despite the low prices, a combination of Western pressure (to not sell) and the lack of Iranian money for high-ticket items, not that many aircraft were obtained. One unforeseen opportunity was the 1991 Gulf War. Many Iraqi aircraft (most of them Russian-built) fled to Iran to avoid American attack. The Iranians never returned them. Iran ended up with up to 60 MiG-29s. There were also 18 Su-24s, a force that was expanded by more purchases from Russia. Black market spare parts have been available, but the MiG-29 is a notoriously difficult aircraft to maintain, even when you have all the parts you need.

 

Iran currently has about two hundred fighters and fighter bombers, but only about half can be put into action and then usually for only one sortie a day. The chronic shortage of spare parts limits the number of hours the aircraft can be flown. This means pilots lack good flying skills. The poor maintenance and untrained pilots leads to more accidents.

 

Iran is similarly ill-prepared when it comes to ground based anti-aircraft defence. Iran has managed to keep operational some of the American Hawk anti-aircraft missile systems it bought in the 1970s. But these are not very capable these days and the Israelis know all about the Hawk system. Iran has had limited success in buying new systems from Russia and China and, in general, is as ill-prepared as it is in the air to oppose an Israeli attack.

 

Contents

 

IDF’S DRUZE BATTALION TESTS
NEW TECHNIQUES FOR FIGHTING HEZBOLLAH

IDF Blog, July 4, 2013

 

The IDF’s Herev Battalion, made up of members of Israel’s Druze community, has gained many years of experience performing unique missions near the Israel-Lebanon border. In the 2006 Second Lebanon War, for instance, Herev was the first force to cross the border and the last to return – exhausted from completing a range of complex missions that earned the unit a citation.

 

The Herev Battalion, referred to as the IDF’s “spearhead on the Lebanon border”, used its wealth of operational experience in the region to develop new combat techniques for fighting against Hezbollah. These new techniques were tested last week for the first time in an intensive battalion-wide exercise. “Combat in Lebanon demands the use of heavy armor and the slow advancement of troops,” explained Lt. Col. Shadi Abu Fares, commander of the Herev Battalion. He went on to explain that fighting Hezbollah requires a specific method of combat, which includes the intensive use of firepower.

 

 “In order to fight against the enemy in Lebanon in the most correct manner, we took the techniques that exist today in the IDF for fighting in open areas, and we made the necessary adjustments. With the help of the battalion’s experience, and combined with an understanding of what to expect next time, we managed to develop a better and more efficient method,” he said.

 

As part of the conclusions drawn from the exercise, a special document was drafted to present the techniques, which will be sent to officers throughout the IDF in order to assist in building a new combat doctrine for fighting against terror organizations. “The Herev Battalion must teach the entire IDF how to fight effectively against Hezbollah,” said Col. Zion Ratzon, commander of the regional brigade to which the Herev Battalion is subordinate.

 

“There are additional adjustments to be made, but the technique proved itself during the exercise. We can already see how the fighters are now speaking a new language and that there is confidence in the methods that we tested,” Lt. Col. Abu Fares said.

 

The new combat techniques were put to the test in the Herev Battalion’s most recent exercise, which took place last week and consisted of three days of non-stop fighting in the Upper Galilee and Golan Heights. The exercise simulated the battalion’s role during combat while functioning as part of a full brigade, in order to train the commanders to cooperate with other forces.

 

The troops were accompanied by a tank platoon on their journey through the hilly terrain, while combat engineering teams cleared paths through the thick scrub and artillery forces provided suppressive fire that shook the northern Golan Heights. The goal of the method: provide so much fire that “the enemy cannot lift its head.”

 

The exercise simulated as closely as possible full-fledged combat in Lebanon, requiring the troops to deal with enemy rocket fire falling on their staging areas, sudden changes in mission plans and evacuating casualties in armored personnel carriers (APCs). “It was a drill against Hezbollah in every respect,” Lt. Col. Abu Faris said. “Following [the exercise], I can say with certainty that the Herev Battalion is ready for anything.”

 

A senior officer in the sector explained last week that Hezbollah’s actions in southern Lebanon are becoming more and more aggressive. Israeli forces stationed on the border observe well how Hezbollah agents work around the clock in the villages of southern Lebanon to gather intelligence on the IDF. The Herev Battalion, whose soldiers’ families live in northern Israel and are likely to be the first to suffer from a Hezbollah attack, continues to prepare for the “day after” on the sensitive Lebanese border.

 

“Changes in the region obligate us to be ready for war,” the regional brigade commander said at the end of the exercise. “For every eventuality that will be needed, with the Herev Battalion I feel more confident than any other battalion.”

 

Contents

 

 

ISRAELI TECHNOLOGY TURNS
AIR INTO DRINKING WATER FOR TROOPS

NoCamels, Feb. 28, 2012

 

Military troops around the world, no matter where they are instated, know that even with the best training, personnel and arms, they cannot survive battle if they are lacking one vital thing: water.

Among the concerns of military heads is  to ensure water sources are always available, even in the most arid of places.

 

One Israeli company took up the challenge to ensure water can be readily available, anywhere and at any time, by extracting it from the most common of things: air. Water-Gen, based in Rishon LeZion, Israel, specializes in water generation and water treatment technologies integrated with tactical military vehicles and ground units. Their technology extracts water from the ambient air humidity, and turns it into drinking water.

 

Initially, the system filters the air so that water can be extracted and accommodated in containers. Then, it is cooled and purified into drinking water. This water can be served from a tap within the system or inside the cabin. Chairmen and co-CEO, Arye Kohavi, says that “water transportation is one of the most common reasons for the departure of convoys across Afghanistan. These convoys are attacked and have casualties.” He adds that “if we can produce the water at the exact point where it is consumed, we spare the need to transport water and reduce the risk and expenses.”

 

According to the Water-Gen, the device, which can be fitted onto vehicles, produces 10-20 gallons (40-80 liters) of pure drinking water a day, even in harsh weather and field conditions. The system, which is operated by solar or electric energy, is designed to meet military needs and standards, the company adds.

 

The company has wide-scale pending patents for the systems and technology. In 2011, it completed a three-week experiment with US Army ground units (Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment), in which its systems provided the soldiers drinking water throughout the drills.

 

Eventually, Water-Gen hopes the technology can be implemented not just in the military, but in water-scarce regions around the world too. The United States, India, The UK, Spain and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have already shown interest in the company’s products.

 

Contents
 

The Evolution of Israeli Military Strategy: Asymmetry, Vulnerability, Pre-emption and Deterrence: Gerald M. Steinberg, Jewish Virtual Library, October 2011—When the nascent Israeli leadership met on May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv to declare independence, the country was already being attacked by neighboring Arab armies. Israel overcame these hurdles in 1948 and in subsequent military confrontations, yet despite the development of formidable military capabilities, the inherent asymmetries and existential threats to the Jewish nation-state remain.

 

IAF's Flying Camel Squadron: Drones not Always Best: Linda Gradstein, Jerusalem Post, July 19, 2013—While more and more armies around the world are using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, for intelligence gathering, Israel, itself a leader in drone technology and a leading source of UAVs to other countries, continues to use manned aircraft for many of its missions.

 

IDF Ground Forces Launch Groundbreaking Battle Lab: Yael Zahavi, IDF, Jan 17, 2013—The IDF Ground Forces Command has unveiled a state-of-the-art battle laboratory integrating the latest simulation technology to create life-like operational scenarios. By accurately representing enemy figures, weapons and territory, the new system – which was unveiled last month – allows for the simulation of company-sized operations without the danger of a live-fire exercise.

 

Israel’s Military-Entrepreneurial Complex Owns Big Data: Matthew Kalman, MIT Technology Review, July 11, 2013—Two years ago, a half-dozen programmers and entrepreneurs started working together in a Tel Aviv basement to create one of Israel’s 5,000 high-tech companies. It was a stealth company, but these 20-somethings were used to secrecy. Most had served together in the same military intelligence unit of the Israel Defense Forces.

 

Gaza Crossing Weekly Report: COGAT/Israel Ministry of Defence, July 20, 2013. pdf—The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and the Ministry of Defence are responsible for traffic through the two Israeli crossings into Gaza. In a weekly report they itemize what has been let in or out of Gaza. Some interesting numbers.

 

Israel’s Skylark Spy Plane: Ultimate Weapons-Robotics. Discovery Channel. (Video)—A series of short videos documenting a few of Israel’s military innovations now in use.

 

Inside an Israeli Defense Lab: Rachel Nuwer, Popular Mechanics, Mar. 2013—A series of slides showing new developments in Israel’s defence labs. 

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Ber Lazarus, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

Israel’s Military, A Story of 
Successful Innovation Under Fire

Download Today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

 

Contents:                          

 

 

(Please Note: some articles may have been shortened in the interest of space. Please click on the article  link for the complete text – Ed.)

 

Israel’s Defence Tech Industry: Israel Strategist, May 31 2012—The success of Israel’s defence sector is no surprise, considering the country’s history of having to confront violent conflict on its borders and consistent existential threats. What is remarkable is the extent to which Israeli innovation in the defence arena has integrated into other sectors of the economy.

 

Israel Redefines Victory in the New Middle East: Yaakov Lappin, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 28, 2012—Senior Israeli officials have indicated this month that any round of future fighting with Hezbollah will make last month's Gaza conflict seem minor by comparison. Offense, not defence, is still preferred.  Israel is redefining its concept of military victory in a Middle East dominated by terrorist organizations turned quasi-state actors.

 

Volatility in the Middle East Drives Israeli Defence Industry Innovation: Rupert Pengelley

Janes Intelligence, June 10, 2008—The past decade has seen considerable restructuring and an expansion of overseas involvements as Israeli concerns have sought to acquire a bigger share of global defence markets. Their success in achieving this is, as ever, not unconnected with their nation's security circumstances.

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Trapped Under the Iron Dome: Ariel Harkham, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 1, 2012

Bankrupting terrorism – one interception at a time: Akiva Hamilton, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 24, 2012

How Israel's Defense Industry Can Help Save America: Arthur Herman , Commentary, Dec. 2011

Israeli Technology Turns Air Into Drinking Water, Jerusalem Post, March 17, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

IN DEPTH–ISRAEL’S DEFENCE TECH INDUSTRY

Israel Strategist, May 31 2012

 

The success of Israel’s defence sector is no surprise, considering the country’s history of having to confront violent conflict on its borders and consistent existential threats. Israel’s innovative defence technologies were born of these conflicts. What is remarkable is the extent to which Israeli innovation in the defence arena has integrated into other sectors of the economy. Israeli defence companies rank as some of the largest in the world, contributing significantly to Israeli industry and economy….. All over the world, and from high-tech to green-tech, we are seeing the fruits of Israeli innovation in the defence-technology arena.

 

Israel’s success at technological innovation stems in part from a cultural emphasis on education and science, and from high government spending in the defence sector. Israel’s population has the highest percentage of engineers in the world and, according to 2010 OECD data on government expenditure, Israel contributes a higher percentage of GDP to education than the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Sweden, at 7.2%….Though natural resources are scarce, human capital has become Israel’s most abundant and valuable resource….

 

Israel’s defence companies are some of the largest in the world, with five companies ranked in the international top one hundred. According to the Samuel Neaman Institute, the defence industry in Israel accounts for 25% of industrial output and 20% of employment in the industrial sector, contributing significantly to the country’s domestic economy. Between 1963 and 2010 Israel was granted over 20,000 patents by the USPTO, only 3,000 fewer than Australia, a country with three times its population.

 

Israeli innovation in the defence industry ranges from weapons technology to transportation vehicles, medical supplies, and unmanned drones. Defence exports reached a record high in 2010 at $7.2 billion, making Israel one of the top four arms exporters in the world. Israel leads the market in development and production of unmanned aerial vehicles, mini satellites, and the refurbishment of various types of commercial and military aircraft. It has established joint ventures and partnerships in North and South America, Asia, and India.

 

Israel’s most groundbreaking defence-related products include:

 

Uzi Submachine Gun – Designed in 1949 by an Israeli lieutenant, this gun has been adopted by over 90 countries around the world for military use and law enforcement. The design is simple and inexpensive to produce, and with few moving parts it is easy to repair, even on the field.

 

Galil Assault Rifle – Developed 30 years ago, this short, lightweight assault rifle is highly reliable under adverse and extreme conditions. Air-cooled, gas operated, magazine fed, no tools required to strip the weapon on the field. Used by 27 countries world wide including India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Portugal and South Africa.

 

The Corner Shot Gun – A gun which allows the user to shoot around corners with its flexible front section, allowing a solider to shoot without being exposed. The gun is equipped with a camera suitable for low light and the ability to also function as a normal handgun. Used by the Beijing SWAT team in China, the Indian National Security Guard, and South Korean Special Forces.

 

Multi-Purpose Modular Armored Vehicle – A 4×4 tactical vehicle with the strength to “absorb the deformations generated by mines and IED blasts” protecting the soldiers inside.

 

Emergency Field Bandage – Used widely in the United States and abroad to stop blood loss on the field before soldiers can reach the nearest hospital. These bandages have played a major role in disaster relief, emergency surgery and field medicine.

 

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) – Non-rocket propelled aircraft which do not require humans on board and thus prevent loss of life. Used in counter terrorism and missile defence. Technology sold abroad to Chile, Singapore, India and the Unites States.

 

Reactive Armor Tiles – Tiles fastened to the outside of tanks allowing them to withstand direct hits from munitions. The tiles use a high-energy explosive causing them to explode outward, protecting the soldiers inside. Tile sets are made specifically for the US Bradley Tank, among others. A congressionally mandated study of these tiles was done in 1999, and in 2010 a $33 million order was placed by the US government.

 

Iron Dome Missile Defence System – Mobile defence for countering short range rockets. Project given $205 million in funding by the US government this year….

 

Israel’s defence companies straddle the line between public and private, applying national security solutions to the private market. Though in many cases founded originally as part of Israel’s government agencies, they have become commercial and facilitated the production of revolutionary products for civilian use:

 

Israel Aerospace Industries, IAI, is Israel’s largest aerospace and defence company, as well as the largest industrial exporter in Israel. The company takes on projects ranging from aeronautics and nano-materials and processes to space, ecology and security. Its most popular exports include business jets integrated into the Gulfstream family and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for civil and military use. IAI also considers renewable energy and green-tech in its designs and developments, particularly in the areas of wind and solar technologies, industrial waste-water cleaning systems, and environment-friendly coatings. In January of 2012, IAI signed its largest ever defence deal with India: over $1.1billion worth of missiles, anti missiles systems, UAV’s, intelligence and other systems. According to estimates, defence trade between India and Israel amounts to almost $9 billion….

 

As a result of Israel’s unique economy and national security situation, equipment designed for government military use has not only been commercialized, but also adapted for civilian use. Perhaps the best example of this adaptation is Better Place, an Israeli company that uses technology developed for the Israeli Air Force and applies it to a system of battery powered cars. Better Place uses technology developed to load and unload missiles from F-16 fighter jets, and applies it to the efficient and effective installation and replacement of lithium-ion batteries into electric vehicles…. Better Place currently operates in Israel, Denmark, Australia, North America, Japan and China.

 

Internationally recognized for its aviation security, Israel exports techniques for airline screening to countries all over the world including to the U.S…. Also looked to as global leaders in emergency management, Israeli Defence companies and the Israeli government are consulted by FEMA and the US National Guard for hi-tech solutions in emergency management…. Israel is at the forefront of disaster relief and field medicine. It was one of the first countries to respond and send forces after the earthquakes in both Haiti and Japan and was the first to set up fully functional field surgical tents complete with scanners….

 

The face of global warfare is changing rapidly. Direct conflict is becoming less common as armies fight elusive terrorists, and strikes are often carried out by unmanned drones and through technological means. Israel is already ahead of the curve on these fronts, and other nations are beginning to turn to Israelis for their expertise and innovations…..

 

 

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ISRAEL REDEFINES VICTORY IN THE NEW MIDDLE EAST

Yaakov Lappin

Gatestone Institute, Dec. 28, 2012

 

Senior Israeli officials have indicated this month that any round of future fighting with Hezbollah will make last month's Gaza conflict seem minor by comparison. Offense, not defence, is still preferred.  Israel is redefining its concept of military victory in a Middle East dominated by terrorist organizations turned quasi-state actors.

 

Once, decisive, unmistakable victories, accompanied by conquests of territory that had been used to stage attacks against Israel, provided all parties concerned with a "knockout" image. Victory was seen by the Israel Defence Forces as a clear-cut event, which ended when the enemy raised a white flag. Today, however, the IDF considers this thinking out of date in the 21st century battle arenas of the region, where a terror organization such as Hamas will continue firing rockets into Israel right up until the last day of a conflict, and claim victory despite absorbing the majority of damages and casualties.

 

Today, the goal of seizing control of the enemy's turf is seen as a short-term initiative, and assuming long-term control and responsibility for hostile populations is a highly unpopular development among strategic planners, who now argue that this should be avoided wherever possible. For decades, the IDF has been facing irregular asymmetric terrorist organizations which can change form, melt away and reform according to their needs.

 

The last time Israel fought direct battles with organized, hierarchical military foes was during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Today, as the main goal of most conflicts, victory has been replaced by deterrence. Deterrence, rather than clear-cut conquest or triumph over the enemy, has formed the goal of Israel's last three conflicts: the Second Lebanon War of 2006; Operation Cast Lead against Hamas and Islamic Jihad in 2009 and Operation Pillar of Defence against the same entities in Gaza in November.

 

Although the Second Lebanon War was claimed by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah as a "divine victory," six and a half years later, at the end of 2012, Hezbollah has still not repaired all of the damage it suffered in that conflict, and the Lebanese-Israeli border has never been quieter. Despite several glaring tactical and operational shortcomings, as a deterrent the Second Lebanon War was an Israeli victory.

 

Nevertheless, deterrence-based military achievements are temporary by nature. At some point, deterrence erodes away, and must be re-established all over again. This is what happened in Gaza last month. And the IDF has been preparing for a fresh confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon, which today is armed with at least 50,000 rockets and missiles, many of them with a range of 200 kilometres, that can strike deep inside Israel.

 

Quietly, the Israel Air Force has been upgrading its weapons systems to allow it to face down Hezbollah with enhanced firepower. The new systems currently installed in IAF jets mean that a very large number of targets can be struck in Lebanon from the air within a very short period of time. The 1500 targets struck in Gaza, for example, during November's operation over the course of eight days, could have been struck in 24 hours had the IAF elected to do so.

 

Israeli intelligence has been mapping out the weapons storehouses in southern Lebanese villages and towns, and building up a long list of targets, for the day that Israel's deterrence runs out. The IDF's evolving new doctrine involves short spells of fighting, in which the IDF hits the other side hard – hard enough to ensure that the Israeli home front will enjoy prolonged calm after the fighting ends. As opposed to the mission of utterly destroying Hamas or Hezbollah, such limited goals can be obtained quickly. Hezbollah is fully aware, meanwhile, that should it begin another conflict, it will reap major destruction on Lebanon.

 

The Israeli doctrine is flexible. It allows the IDF to choose the severity of the blows it lands on the enemy, depending on the circumstances of each fight, and the adversary involved. Senior Israeli defence sources have indicated this month that any future round of fighting with Hezbollah will make last month's Gaza conflict seem minor by comparison. Even if the goal will not be to destroy Hezbollah, the organization is still susceptible to enormous damage; it is well aware of its exposure to overwhelming Israeli firepower.

 

The day after a future conflict ends, one defence source said this month, Hezbollah will have to "get up in the morning and explain to their people" why they invited yet more destruction on Lebanon. The fact that Islamist terror organizations Hamas and Hezbollah have formed political entities, and are responsible for managing the affairs of their people, means that they are more vulnerable than ever.

 

Unfortunately, the rocket and missile capabilities possessed by both means that Israeli civilians are also in the firing line; and the IDF is not counting on rocket defence systems such as Iron Dome to prevent wide-scale damage and secure future victories. Even in the service of the limited goal of deterrence, offense, not defence, is still preferred.

 

Finally, the new doctrine is not fixed in stone; should Israel ever find that it cannot deter the enemies on its borders, it may choose to revert to its older method of defending its citizens: fully vanquishing hostile forces, despite the price it may have to pay.

 

 

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VOLATILITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST DRIVES
ISRAELI DEFENCE INDUSTRY INNOVATION

Rupert Pengelley

Janes Intelligence, June 10, 2008

 

The past decade has seen considerable restructuring and an expansion of overseas involvements as Israeli concerns have sought to acquire a bigger share of global defence markets. Their success in achieving this is, as ever, not unconnected with their nation's security circumstances. Despite the Middle East peace process, events have continued to prompt development of a new generation of innovative 'combat proven' military equipment, this time forged in the heat of contemporary asymmetric conflict. These are finding wide acceptance within the armed forces of other nations, most of whom are similarly being required to modify their earlier exclusive focus on preparation for conventional inter-state conflict.

 

To take but one example, 20 years ago the Israel Defence Force (IDF) pioneered the tactical use of full-motion video (FMV) systems, and Israel now appears to have a superabundance of companies engaged in this particular field. Suffice it to say, FMV has since proved to be one of the crucial factors in the correct application of the (non-kinetic as well as kinetic) effects being used by coalition organisations in the prosecution of stability operations and 'wars among the people', not least in Afghanistan and Iraq.

 

One of Israel's smaller defence companies is Azimuth Technologies, employing 140 personnel and having a turnover of USD29 million. It has an established tradition of addressing the needs of special forces, and today has four main areas of activity, including manportable target acquisition systems, navigation and orientation systems for armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs), the networking of sensors and weapons, and homeland security.

 

Among the company's better-known products is the Comet GPS-based north finding and positioning system, or 'smart compass', which has now been adopted by 10 different armies. Comet is particularly suited to attitude measurement in armoured vehicles, where normal magnetic compasses are degraded. According to Azimuth representatives, its uptake has been driven by its low cost and by contemporary rules of engagement that require every firing platform to be able to provide accurate target position information, particularly in urban settings.

 

In its standard form Comet embodies three GPS receivers and an integral processor unit in a unitary, plank-like configuration, and is used to calculate azimuth, elevation, pitch and roll. The latter is determined by an internal tilt sensor, while a calculation based on the phase difference of the received GPS signal is used to determine azimuth and elevation…..

 

 

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How Israel's Defense Industry Can Help Save America: Arthur Herman, Commentary, Dec. 2011—Israelis are realizing that a strong and independent high-tech defense sector may be more crucial to Israel’s future than relying on U.S. help. The Israeli way of doing defense business is changing the shape of the military-industrial complex. Smaller, nimbler, and entrepreneurial, Israel’s defense industry offers a salutary contrast to the Pentagon’s way of doing things.

 

Bankrupting terrorism – one interception at a time: Akiva Hamilton, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 24, 2012—The strategic implications are that the current rocket-based terror strategy of Hamas and Hezbollah has been rendered both ineffective and economically unsustainable. I estimate it is currently costing Hamas (and thus its patron Iran) around $5m. (500 rockets at $10,000 each) to murder a single Israeli. When Iron Dome reaches 95% interception rate these figures will double and at 97.5% they will double again.

 

Trapped Under the Iron Dome: Ariel Harkham, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 1, 2012—This month, all of Israel was subjected to an unrelenting eight-day missile blitz, disabusing middle Israel of the notion that there is any distinction between the periphery and the center of Israel in its ongoing war with Hamas. Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, which featured prominently in the conflict, is being hailed as a great success. In reality, however, it represents a total failure of strategic vision and erodes the concept of deterrence for the State of Israel.

 

Israeli Technology Turns Air Into Drinking Water: Jerusalem Post, March 17, 2012—Military troops around the world, no matter where they are instated, know that even with the best training, personnel and arms, they cannot survive battle if they are lacking one vital thing: water. Among the concerns of military heads is  to ensure water sources are always available, even in the most arid of places. Rishon Lezion-based company Water-Gen takes up challenge to ensure troops have access to water at all times.

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org