Tag: military

ISRAEL AND WEST “REVOLUTIONIZING” WAR WITH ADVANCED WEAPONS TECHNOLOGY, INCLUDING IRON DOME, F-35, & ROBOTICS

Threatened South to North, IDF Seeks Calm While Steeling for Worst: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Nov. 14, 2017— With tensions rising in the south amid fears that the Islamic Jihad terror group will attempt to avenge a tunnel demolition two weeks ago…

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft: What It Brings to the IAF: Yaakov Lappin, BESA, Oct. 29, 2017— The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet is poised to become a key tool to help Israel stop Iran and its proxies from creating a threatening military outpost in Syria.

How Technology Is Revolutionizing War: Jeremy Rabkin & John Yoo, National Review, Nov. 14, 2017— In his 2017 inaugural address, President Trump protested that for decades the American people “subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military…

Canadian Forces Pull off a Rare Feat: a Procurement Triumph: Editorial, National Post, Nov. 3, 2017— The Canadian Forces may have recently pulled off a rare feat: a military procurement triumph.

 

On Topic Links

 

‘Israel Not Prepared for Drone Threat’: Yona Schnitzer, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 16, 2017

Don't Return Bodies For Nothing: Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, Israel Hayom, Nov. 6, 2017

Canada’s Peacekeeping Incoherence: Richard Shimooka & Don Macnamara, Globe & Mail, Nov. 14, 2017

North Korea and the Threat of Chemical Warfare: Theo Emery, New York Times, Oct. 27, 2017

                                                           

 

 

THREATENED SOUTH TO NORTH,

IDF SEEKS CALM WHILE STEELING FOR WORST

                                                       Judah Ari Gross

Times of Israel, Nov. 14, 2017

 

With tensions rising in the south amid fears that the Islamic Jihad terror group will attempt to avenge a tunnel demolition two weeks ago, the Israeli military is finding that striking a delicate balance between keeping terror groups from preparing for a future war and keeping the region relatively calm is easier said than done. While neither side may be gunning for a fight, a miscalculation by the IDF runs the risk of triggering a bloody tit-for-tat fight that can lead to all-out war.

 

For the past two weeks, the military has been trying to prevent such an escalation as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group has vowed revenge for the army’s demolition of its attack tunnel that crossed into Israeli territory from Gaza. Israel Defense Forces troops in southern Israel have been on alert following last month’s tunnel razing. In the army’s most recent measure, on Monday it deployed its Iron Dome missile defense system in central Israel — including at least one battery in the greater Tel Aviv region — out of concerns the group may retaliate with a barrage of rockets.

 

In addition to preparing for attack, the Israeli military has also been trying to prevent one, repeatedly warning against a retaliation in direct addresses to both the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Strip’s rulers, Hamas. The army blew up the tunnel, which originated in the Gazan city of Khan Younis and crossed into Israeli territory, near Kibbutz Kissufim, on October 30. In total, 14 terrorists were killed, two of them from Hamas and the rest from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, including two senior commanders. The bodies of five of the Islamic Jihad terrorists, who were working on the tunnel inside Israeli territory, were recovered by the IDF a few days later.

 

But according to the army, this high body count was not intentional. The goal for the operation, per the IDF, was the destruction of the tunnel, not assassination. In comments after the blast, IDF officials also noted that many of the terrorists died not in the explosion, but in botched rescue attempts. But the military stressed it does not regret the deaths of terrorists, after facing backlash from politicians who interpreted the officers’ comments as apologetic. In light of the body count, the military determined that the group “will have a hard time holding back.”

 

Incidentally, Tuesday also marks five years since the IDF killed then-Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari in an airstrike, which sparked the week-long Operation Pillar of Defense campaign in Gaza. Palestinian terror groups have been known to carry out attacks to coincide with significant anniversaries. Former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin praised the military on Monday for preparing to counter the threats from Gaza, but warned it not to forget that “the northern front is Israel’s main focus — Assad, Hezbollah, and Iran will seek to challenge the IDF.”

 

On Saturday, Israel shot down a drone from Syria with a Patriot missile in the third such incident this year, which military officials say is an indication of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s increasing brazenness in light of his successes in the country’s civil war. The army’s top brass and Israeli government officials are also currently locked in intense discussion with their American and Russian counterparts concerning a ceasefire agreement for southern Syria, especially the distance from Israel’s borders that Iran-backed militias will be allowed to operate.  While Iranian entrenchment along the Golan border presents a far greater strategic threat to Israel’s security in the long term, the more pressing concern seems to be the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which could attack at any time.

 

When the IDF uncovered two Hamas attack tunnels that also crossed into Israeli territory last year, there was also concern of a potential retaliation, but this faded fairly rapidly. In those cases, however, there were no terrorist casualties, as in last month’s demolition. Late Saturday night, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians, published a video message in Arabic directed to the Islamic Jihad leaders in Damascus, telling them that the IDF is aware of the group’s terror plots and that they are “playing with fire.” “We are aware of the plot that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is planning against Israel,” Mordechai said. “Let it be clear: Any attack by the Islamic Jihad will be met with a powerful and determined Israeli response, not only against the Jihad, but also against Hamas,” warned the general.

 

The group responded a day later, saying the Israeli threats against its leaders constituted “an act of war,” and vowing to continue to try to carry out a revenge attack against Israel. “We reaffirm our right to respond to any aggression, including our right to respond to the crime of aggression on the resistance tunnel,” Islamic Jihad said.

 

In the eyes of the military, its strike on the tunnel was entirely justified, legally and morally, as it entered Israeli territory and threatened Israeli civilians. As such, the army feels, while it may smart, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad needs to just count its losses and move on. “They violated Israeli sovereignty. They were conducting an act of hostility against Israel. We were able to thwart that, and that is the end of the sentence,” said army spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus in an extended interview with the Israel Project’s podcast on Monday. “And if they will try to aggress again, that will be met with significant resolve and power,” Conricus added.

 

On Monday, Israeli forces arrested a top commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the West Bank, in what seems to be a non-verbal deterrent message to the terrorist group. The Shin Bet security service confirmed that Tariq Qa’adan, a senior officer in the Gaza-based terror group’s West Bank wing, was picked up by the IDF in Arrabeh, southwest of Jenin, in the northern West Bank. A Shin Bet official said Qa’adan was arrested “for being a member of a terrorist group.”

 

According to Yadlin, who now runs the esteemed Institute for National Security Studies think tank, the messages put out by Mordechai and the army’s spokesperson’s office are important tools to prevent escalation and also show a significant change in tack by the military since the 2014 Gaza war, known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge. “The messages and warnings that Israel has been sending to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) over the last couple of days are not incidental, but actually indicate concrete intel according to which PIJ plans to respond to the destruction of his terror tunnel into Israel,” Yadlin wrote on Twitter. “It seems Israel learned the lessons of Operation Protective Edge, and this time it will focus on hitting the heads of the organizations (with a particular focus on the chiefs of their military/terror branches) and their operational infrastructure,” he said.            

 

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THE F-35 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT: WHAT IT BRINGS TO THE IAF

Yaakov Lappin

BESA, Oct. 29, 2017

 

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet is poised to become a key tool to help Israel stop Iran and its proxies from creating a threatening military outpost in Syria. It will also play a leading role vis-à-vis Hezbollah’s heavily armed fortress in Lebanon. The Lockheed Martin-produced aircraft, which is due to become fully operational in December of this year, brings with it a number of new capabilities that ideally suit Israel’s requirements in terms of monitoring and, when necessary, striking Iranian-Hezbollah-Syrian military targets in Syria and Lebanon. The aircraft is well suited for the mission of selectively targeting the ongoing Iranian-Hezbollah weapons trafficking program.

 

The F-35 is an intelligence-gathering machine in a league of its own. It is able to deploy a range of sensors to gather detailed information on events on the ground. It can fuse unprecedented quantities of intelligence automatically, then share it with other aircraft and with the Israel Air Force’s (IAF) ground control stations.

 

This intelligence can then be sent to Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate for further analysis and for the creation of a large databank of targets. This will provide Israel with a significantly enhanced picture of the activities of Iran, Hezbollah, and the Assad regime throughout the northern arena. It will also give Israel a strong starting position in the event of an escalation of the security situation, since these targets can be struck in the future.

 

In mid-October, an Assad regime SA-5 surface-to-air missile battery detected and fired upon Israeli jets, which were reportedly on an intelligence-gathering mission over Lebanon. That incident is an indication of a growing Iranian-Assad-Hezbollah determination to harass Israel’s intelligence operations. But the F-35, with its stealth capabilities, should be able to evade enemy radar detection, making such crucial missions smoother. Israeli F-35s could be sent to gather intelligence in contested air space filled with hostile radar systems and avoid detection.

 

IAF officials say they are also working on getting the F-35 to communicate effectively with the older, fourth-generation F-16s and F-15s. In combat situations, the F-35s would be able to spearhead operations, moving first into contested battle zones, striking enemy targets before being detected, and sending back valuable data to the fourth-generation aircraft. Such capabilities will be critical going forward, as both Syria and Lebanon have become filled with a variety of surface-to-air missile systems. Several different types of missile batteries are in the possession of Hezbollah and the Assad regime. In recent years, Russia has also stationed its advanced S-300 and S-400 batteries in Syria.

 

The F-35’s value in this increasingly complex and challenging environment is clear. It becomes even more pronounced when examining Israel’s need to improve its long-range strike capabilities in the event of a conflict with Iran. The F-35 has unique long-range capabilities. By 2024, Israel will have two full squadrons of F-35 A jets – a total of 50 aircraft. The last 17 of these jets were purchased by Israel in August of this year. The Planning and Organization Department within the IAF is in the midst of intensive preparations aimed at integrating the F-35 into daily operations.

 

The IAF expects the new aircraft to affect the way the rest of the air force operates and to boost Israeli capabilities across the board. The IDF’s ground forces, too, could experience its benefits. The F-35’s data could be relayed quickly to units on the ground, improving their lethality and battle space awareness. For now, the IAF is continuing to gather vast quantities of intelligence and engage in low-profile action against the radical Shi’ite axis to the north – but it is also planning for the possibility of open conflict. If such conflict unfolds, the IAF will unleash waves of heavy firepower never before seen in the region’s military history. The F-35’s unique awareness of its combat environment will let it take a leading role in such operations.                                                         

 

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HOW TECHNOLOGY IS REVOLUTIONIZING WAR

          Jeremy Rabkin & John Yoo

National Review, Nov. 14, 2017

 

In his 2017 inaugural address, President Trump protested that for decades the American people “subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military . . . spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.” No longer would the United States waste its blood and treasure fighting abroad for the interests of others. “From this moment on,” Trump declared, “it’s going to be America first.” During the campaign, Trump had launched even sharper critiques of U.S. foreign policy. Paying attention to the interests of foreigners had led the United States into disastrous wars, most lamentably in Iraq. “We shouldn’t have been there, we shouldn’t have destroyed the country, and Saddam Hussein was a bad guy but he was good at one thing: killing terrorists,” Trump said during the campaign.

 

Despite such rhetoric, the administration did not pursue a foreign policy of isolationism or even non-interventionism. In the Middle East, the United States has not only continued fighting foes from its recent wars but gone beyond them. In April 2017, the Trump administration set aside the passivity of its predecessor and launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against a Syrian air base in response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. It expanded the American deployment of ground troops in the Syrian civil war, provided arms to Kurdish militias, and lent air and tactical support for Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State terrorist group. U.S. troops continued to fight in Afghanistan against a resurgent Taliban, even going so far as to use a massive ordnance bomb against insurgent tunnels. Promising to “bomb the hell out of ISIS” during the campaign, Trump has authorized a significant increase in drone strikes and special operations by both the CIA and the U.S. armed forces.

 

In Asia, the Trump administration did not send U.S. forces into direct combat, but it resorted to the threat of force to support its foreign policy. To pressure the North Korean regime to halt its nuclear-weapons program, Trump dispatched the USS Vinson aircraft-carrier strike group and a nuclear submarine to the area. “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea,” he said. “Absolutely.” His administration proposed a more aggressive response to China’s building of artificial islands in the South China Sea. “Building islands and then putting military assets on those islands is akin to Russia’s taking of Crimea. It’s taking of territory that others lay claim to,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in his confirmation hearing. “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops, and second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.” To enforce such demands would require more frequent freedom-of-navigation patrols and could even call for naval blockades.

 

For all that, President Trump shows little sign of reversing the Obama administration’s caution on risking American lives. He continues to criticize the U.S. interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan as “costly” — by which he seems to mean costly in American lives but also in budget allocations. The Trump administration faces a quandary. Restoring a muscular American foreign policy will demand a higher rate of operations and deployments, increasing costs and risking greater casualties. Though the administration has proposed increases in military spending, it remains cautious about costly foreign commitments.

 

Technology can help resolve this looming impasse. Robotics, the Internet, and space-based communications have increased productivity across the economy. These same advances may have a comparably transformative impact on military affairs. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) allow pilots to strike targets more precisely at reduced cost, with less harm to bystanders and less threat to themselves. Cyber weapons permit nations to impose disruptions on an adversary in more precisely targeted attacks and without physical destruction. Space-based networks enable militaries to locate their forces exactly, lead their troops more effectively, and target their enemies more precisely.

 

These new advances are turning military development away from the 20th century’s reliance on draft armies equipped with simple, yet lethal, mass-produced weapons. As nations use force that becomes more precise and discrete, they can consider changing rules developed in the era of mass armies and attrition warfare. The laws of war need not fuss over the line between targetable military and immune civilian assets when nations can rely on UAVs to deliver precision-guided munitions on particular targets.

 

As it is, reluctance to use force has led western nations to rely on economic sanctions, which punish entire populations. Drones and cyber attacks might achieve comparable results to economic sanctions by inflicting harm on the target state’s economy, but in a more precise manner. Such an approach may avoid unintended effects of sanctions and operate much more quickly and reliably, leaving adversaries less time to adapt to (or circumvent) sanctions. To make the most of those new capacities, we should rethink current legal formulas purporting to regulate when “military force” is lawful, and against what targets.

 

New weapons technologies could help the United States and its allies protect international stability. WMD proliferation, international terrorism, human-rights catastrophes, and rising regional powers are threatening the liberal international order constructed by the U.S. and its allies after World War II. Nations will be discouraged from confronting these problems with conventional force. But if new technology reduces the costs of war while improving its effectiveness, nations may turn to force more often to promote desirable ends. Promoting international stability remains a global public good, in that peace benefits all nations regardless of who pays for it. This gives nations a strong incentive to free-ride off the efforts of others to maintain international peace and security. If using force becomes less expensive and more effective, nations may turn to force more readily when the times require it. New weapons may be particularly helpful in situations where a large-scale military response would seem excessive but mere words seem insufficient.

 

In fact, new weapons technologies may produce the welcome benefit of reducing the harms of individual disputes. While the United States, among others, is rapidly developing new means of fighting, these innovations may limit war. Robotics can reduce harm to combatants and civilians by making attacks more precise and deadly. Cyber can more effectively target enemy military and civilian resources without risking direct injury to human beings or the destruction of physical structures. Space satellites will provide the sensors and communications that make possible the rapid, real-time marriage of intelligence and force, and future orbital weapons may create a viable defense to nuclear missiles.

                                                                       

 

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CANADIAN FORCES PULL OFF A RARE FEAT: A PROCUREMENT TRIUMPH

Editorial

National Post, Nov. 3, 2017

 

The Canadian Forces may have recently pulled off a rare feat: a military procurement triumph. We are reluctant to even write these words, lest the cosmos note this aberration from the natural order of things and immediately smite the project. Barring otherworldly intervention, though, the recent conversion of MV Asterix is the kind of smart, efficient military procurement we see so rarely. Asterix is a large ship, originally intended to serve as a commercial vessel, which was rapidly refitted by Quebec’s Davie Shipyard to serve as a logistical support ship for the Royal Canadian Navy. She is completing sea trials now and will be ready for active service imminently, perhaps as early as this month.

 

A modern navy is only as effective as its logistics ships, floating warehouses that sail with the warships and provide stores of food, fuel, ammunition, spare parts and advanced medical care facilities for fleets on the move. In recent years, Canada had lost both of its support ships to a combination of old age, bad luck and political mismanagement.  Old age: the ships were well into their fifth decade when retired, and well behind the technological curve. Bad luck: both ships were suddenly retired after unforeseen crises — an onboard fire and a collision at sea, respectively. Political mismanagement: even though the fire and collision were unforeseeable, the need to replace the ships wasn’t, but both Liberal and Conservative governments had failed to invest the funds necessary to replace the vessels.

 

Without them, the Navy is essentially limited to being a coastal patrol force. New ships have been ordered, at an estimated cost of billions, but aren’t due until the early 2020s. Enter the Asterix. She will return a vital capability to the Navy, and the total cost of the project is less than $700 million — a comparative bargain. So much so that we question the need to wait for the new ships at all. The government should at least explore the possibility of repeating the process with another vessel, so that we can put one on both the east and west coasts. But at least the Navy can begin functioning as a proper fighting force again. We hope the success of this project, and its real economic and military advantages, are not overlooked by a government (and Navy) that needs all the good news it can get.

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

‘Israel Not Prepared for Drone Threat’: Yona Schnitzer, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 16, 2017—he IDF has  yet to develop a suitable response to the threat of cross border drone attacks, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira said in a special report issued Wednesday that also looked at regulation of domestic drone use.

Don't Return Bodies For Nothing: Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, Israel Hayom, Nov. 6, 2017—The Israel Defense Forces has racked up three recent achievements on the southern front: locating an attack tunnel leading into Israel and blowing it up; striking over a dozen terrorists, including senior Islamic Jihad operatives; and according to an IDF report on Sunday, holding on to bodies of the terrorists who were in the tunnel at the time of the strike.

Canada’s Peacekeeping Incoherence: Richard Shimooka & Don Macnamara, Globe & Mail, Nov. 14, 2017—Over the past few weeks there has been a renewed impetus toward Canada undertaking a new peacekeeping mission. While some of the motivations behind such an intervention are laudable, they present a number of challenges and considerations that should be fully understood before a commitment is made.

North Korea and the Threat of Chemical Warfare: Theo Emery, New York Times, Oct. 27, 2017—The war of words between President Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over Pyongyang’s nuclear program has rattled nerves around the world. But the trial of two women in Malaysia for using the nerve agent VX to kill Mr. Kim’s half brother is a reminder that North Korea’s lethal arsenal isn’t limited to nuclear weapons. The North’s chemical weapons pose a grave risk to South Korea and to regional stability.

 

 

 

 

 

LEST WE FORGET: REMEMBRANCE DAY 2014 MORE POIGNANT FOLLOWING RECENT TERRORIST ATTACKS ON CANADIAN SOLDIERS

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

This Remembrance Day Will Be Different: Cpl. Cirillo Has Made it Real: Richard Foot, Globe & Mail, Nov. 9, 2014 — This year, at cenotaphs across Canada, Remembrance Day will be different.

Standing on Guard for Canada's Fallen Soldiers: Robert Sibley, Ottawa Citizen, Nov. 10, 2014 — In the days after the murders of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, Canadians found numerous ways to express their sorrow and solidarity with the country’s military

Rare Canadian Jewish Comic Book Turns Up in Toronto: Renee Ghert-Zand, Times of Israel, Nov. 11, 2014— Thanks to a curious library volunteer, Canadians learned of the discovery of a rare comic book honoring Jewish World War II heroes in time for the country’s Remembrance Day, November 11.

Out of the Great War’s Trenches, a Poetry Fit For the Age of Industrial Slaughter: Rex Murphy, National Post, Nov. 8, 2014— Out of the First World War came something of a new poetry.

 

On Topic Links

 

Our Thanks to All Our Military, From This Century and Last: National Post, Nov. 11, 2014

Sea of Red: Tower of London Poppies Seen From the Air (Video): Telegraph, Nov. 11, 2014

Nov. 11 is a Day to Remember Together, Not to Holiday: Fr. Raymond J. de Souza, National Post, Nov. 10, 2014

Why is Canada Botching the Great War Centenary?: J.L. Granatstein, Globe & Mail, Apr. 21, 2014

                                                                            

                   

THIS REMEMBRANCE DAY WILL BE DIFFERENT:

CPL. CIRILLO HAS MADE IT REAL                                                              

Richard Foot                                                                                                                 

Globe & Mail, Nov. 9, 2014

         

This year, at cenotaphs across Canada, Remembrance Day will be different. For the first time in many years, the ceremonies will feel relevant and raw to most of the gathered pilgrims. Corporal Nathan Cirillo’s killing has made sure of that. Canadians first started communing around military cenotaphs in 1902, at the end of the Boer War, when the nation indulged in a great, patriotic burst of memorial-building. Monuments to Canada’s first foreign war were erected in city parks and town squares from Victoria to Halifax. Over the next decade, huge crowds would gather around them to celebrate – yes, celebrate – the imperial victory in South Africa.

 

By 1918 the mood had changed dramatically. The trauma and slaughter of the First World War meant that new memorials would be built, but this time they were mostly sombre creations – like the National War Memorial where Cpl. Cirillo was gunned down on Oct. 22 – designed not to celebrate military achievement but simply to honour the dead. The hour of annual remembrance was fixed at 11 a.m. on 11 November, the time and date of the Armistice in Europe. Over the century that followed, through the Second World War, the Korean War and Afghanistan, Canadians have faithfully gathered around memorials each November to remember the legions left dead or wounded in these conflicts. When memories were still fresh – especially in the aftermath of the Second World War, with its huge number of returning warriors – Remembrance ceremonies were undoubtedly more relevant occasions. Many Canadians would have personally known the pain and heartache of war in their lifetime.

 

Ever since I can recall, however, Remembrance Day has always been about the past. We gather each year to honour ordinary soldiers who made extraordinary sacrifices in history. When surviving veterans of distant wars paraded past the cenotaph (and I can remember a time when First World War veterans were pushed along in their wheelchairs), the ageing warriors seemed too old, too frail to truly bring the past alive. Even in the hallowed presence of these men, Remembrance Day was for most of us a determined act of memory for a distant time.

 

The war in Afghanistan certainly made real the risks and consequences of war. Suddenly, there were families in our own communities with sons and husbands killed and injured overseas. These families were evidence of real loss and real pain. This was the first taste, for many Canadians, of military sacrifice in our own lifetime. Yet somehow, the war in Afghanistan was so complex – the causes and solutions too hard to figure, the battlefields too unconventional, the enemy too hard to identify – that this counter-insurgency campaign and its veterans failed to transform Remembrance Day from an exercise of historical memory, into something most of us could instinctively feel in our hearts.

 

But now that transformation has occurred. Nathan Cirillo is just one soldier, and not even a war veteran at that. Yet his shocking murder as he stood on sentry duty at the National War Memorial – the unforgettable image of him lying on the granite, directly alongside his First World War comrade inside the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – has vividly linked the past with the present. The Unknown Soldier’s remains were brought to Ottawa in May, 2000 from an unmarked Canadian grave at Cabaret-Rouge military cemetery, not far from Vimy, France. Which means the soldier in the tomb in Ottawa very likely fought and died in the famous Canadian attack on Vimy Ridge in 1917. Two fallen soldiers lying side-by-side at the National War Memorial – one from a heralded battle in history, one from our time, taking his last breaths beside the other.

 

Nathan Cirillo’s death is a tragedy. But Cpl. Cirillo now speaks to Canadians in a way the Unknown Soldier can’t – by allowing those of us with little or no connection to war to know, if only fleetingly, what the killing of a Canadian soldier feels like; how it sucked the air from our very lungs, upon hearing the awful news. This year the crowds at cenotaphs across the country will surely be larger. The ceremonies will be more poignant. And our understanding of loss – and the need for memory – will be more real.

                                                                       

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STANDING ON GUARD FOR CANADA'S FALLEN SOLDIERS                         

Robert Sibley                                                                                                       

Ottawa Citizen, Nov. 10, 2014

 

In the days after the murders of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, Canadians found numerous ways to express their sorrow and solidarity with the country’s military — everything from laying flowers at the National War Memorial to lining highways in flag-waving tributes to a passing funeral cortege. But perhaps no expression was more poignant than that of a 15-year-old Nova Scotia girl, Ceilidh Bond, a member of the 1917 Vimy Ridge Army Cadet Corps in Florence, N.S. Three days after Cirillo’s shooting, the young woman dressed in her uniform and stood alone and at attention for several hours in the pouring rain in front of a community cenotaph in North Sydney.

 

Her gesture, photographed by a veteran from a nearby legion hall, captured nationwide attention. “I’ve got my uniform on, and I am proud of what I am doing for Canada,” Bond was quoted as saying. “And I am remembering Nathan Cirillo.” The young woman certainly showed more courage than the National Defence bureaucrats who, in the aftermath of Cirillo’s death, ordered off-duty soldiers across the country not to wear their uniforms — combats as well as dress — in public. But then, arguably, Bond’s act also reflects something the bureaucrats have yet to grasp — the public respect and regard that has emerged in the past decade or so for the men and women of Canada’s armed forces. As Prof. Robert Rutherdale, a social historian at Algoma University, remarks: “There’s no question there’s been a significant increase in popular support for the military because of what has happened since, say, 9/11.”

 

It was a different story 20 years ago. In 1993, the dark cloud of the Somalia affair hung over the Canadian army. Public regard was at a low ebb. The Liberal government of the day cut military spending by 25 per cent. Troops were ordered to keep their uniforms in the closet, at least when on civilian streets. The media regularly ran stories about submarines unable to submerge, helicopters that couldn’t fly and training exercises where recruits, lacking bullets, were told to shout “bang.” Even worse, the military was the target of mockery. Pundits demonstrated their sophistication by referring to Canada’s soldiers as “boy scouts with guns” and how American boy scouts could easily invade the country. Some academics promoted the idea of turning the military into an agency for humanitarian causes.

 

Such arguments ignore the reality that Canada has historically excelled as a warrior nation. During the War of 1812, Canadian militiamen were crucial in helping the British army stymie an American conquest. In the First World War, Canadians soldiers were regarded as the “shock troops” of the Empire. Canadians fighter pilots were top aces in both the First and the Second World Wars. The Royal Canadian Navy, once the third largest in the world, did yeoman’s service protecting convoys from German submarines in the Atlantic during the Second World War. In 1951, at the height of the Korean War, 500 Canadian soldiers held off 5,000 Chinese troops at the Battle of Kapyong — a battle that should take its place in the annals of Canadian military history along with Ypres, Vimy Ridge, Anzio, Ortona, Juno Beach and the liberation of Holland. Most recently, of course, there was the war in Afghanistan, where Canadian soldiers patrolled the hottest combat zones — the two-month battle in 2006 between companies of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and the Taliban is the stuff of legend — and took a disproportionate number of casualties.

 

But then even at the nadir of public regard, Canada’s soldiers continued to display consummate professionalism. In 1993, while the country attended to the Somalia affair, few Canadians heard about how a small troop of Princess Pat’s stood its ground against repeated assaults by Croatian troops. The Croatians were bent on ethnic cleansing in Serb villages, but the Canadians, doing duty as peacekeepers, kept them at bay until they retreated. The lives of hundreds of civilians were saved. Much of this recent history was ignored during that short holiday from history the West enjoyed after the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union imploded. But then came 9/11, the war in Afghanistan and Islamist terrorism.

 

“People are very much aware of Canada’s involvement in overseas conflicts since 9/11,” says Ruthdale. Canadians, he suggests, increasingly recognized the uncertainties and insecurities of our time, prompting them to acknowledge the necessity of the military. As he puts it: “There is a resurgence in respect for the military based on what (people) see and what they read.” A 2010 Ipsos Reid reinforced that view. The survey found most Canadians – about 90 per cent – described the military as “a vital national institution” and held a “positive impression of the people who serve.” A near equivalent percentage regarded the military as a “source of pride.” And at least half of Canadians said they believed the “top focus for the Canadian Forces should be international.”

 

Twenty years ago you might have seen a few thousand at the Remembrance Day ceremony at Ottawa’s National War Memorial. In recent years, those numbers are in the tens of thousands. The same holds true for ceremonies in communities large and small across the country. This year’s ceremony, following so closely on the deaths of two soldiers, may well generate even larger crowds. And so it should. Ceilidh Bond, the young Army Cadet, said it best in explaining her vigil: “I decided to go out in my uniform and stand guard and take Cpl. Cirillo’s place. It was honestly the least I could do.”

 

                                                                       

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RARE CANADIAN JEWISH COMIC BOOK TURNS UP IN TORONTO            

Renee Ghert-Zand                  

Times of Israel, Nov. 11, 2014

 

Thanks to a curious library volunteer, Canadians learned of the discovery of a rare comic book honoring Jewish World War II heroes in time for the country’s Remembrance Day, November 11. The National Post reported on October 31 that the 1944 comic book, “Jewish War Heroes,” turned up in a box of books donated to the Kelly Library at the University of Toronto’s St. Michael’s College. The comic book was the first installment of a three-issue series published by the Canadian Jewish Congress to raise awareness about Jewish participation in the war effort against Nazi Germany and the Axis powers. The series was a means of combating the incorrect perception among some Canadians that Jewish citizens were shirking their national duty.

 

Each page of the found comic book was devoted to a different featured Jewish war hero. Yank Levy wrote a book on guerrilla warfare and appeared on the cover of Life magazine; Israel Fisanovitch was a Soviet submarine captain; and Brigadier Frederick Hermann Kisch and Alfred Brenner received the Distinguished Flying Cross. The first issue contained an informational page stating that 1.5 million Jews were known to be serving in the various Allied armies, navies and air forces — the bulk of them in the US and Soviet armed forces (500,000 each). There were at least 12,000 Jews in Canadian uniform, the same number as from Australia, New Zealand and Africa combined. Palestine and the UK each had 50,000 Jewish officers and enlisted men and women.

 

It is not known how many copies of “Jewish War Heroes” were originally printed. It is believed that only a small number have survived. Sylvia Lovegren, the library volunteer who found the comic book tucked between the pages of a book on WWII, did some research that turned up a few other existing original copies (computer scans and photocopies of the series are more common). “There are two library-bound copies in Toronto…Other than that, there is a copy in the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC and one in the National Library of Israel,” Lovegren told The National Post. While most Canadians may not have been aware of this rare comic book, or of the extent of Jewish participation and valor in the WWII, the discovery of the “Jewish War Heroes” among the donated library books did not completely surprise Jewish comics aficionados. “I certainly knew about it,” Steven M. Bergson told The Times of Israel. In fact, the data processing specialist for the Toronto UJA and the editor of Jewish Comix Anthology has owned photocopies of “Jewish War Heroes” for some years.

 

For Jewish comic book fans and scholars, what makes “Jewish War Heroes” so special, however, is that it is an early example of Canadian Jewish involvement in comics. Although by 1944 comic books were becoming popular with kids and some adults, there were really no Jews involved in the comic book industry in Canada. A few Canadian Jews eventually ended up moving south of the border to the US, where the industry was more robust and noted Jewish creators, like Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, were associated with it. Ironically, the Canadian Jewish Congress-commissioned comic book series was drawn by a non-Jew. George Menendez Rae, who is best remembered for his national superhero, Canada Jack, illustrated the work. “No Jews worked on comics in Canada, in either writing or drawing until the 1980s,” said Bergson.

 

According to Bergson, an auction house in Israel sold originals of issues 1 and 2 of the series for $800. The National Post quoted Peter Birkemoe, owner of Toronto comic book shop The Beguiling, as saying that he thought that the comic books would go for between $1,000 and a price “close to five figures” at auction now.

                                                                       

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OUT OF THE GREAT WAR’S TRENCHES,

A POETRY FIT FOR THE AGE OF INDUSTRIAL SLAUGHTER                        

Rex Murphy          

National Post, Nov. 8, 2014

 

Out of the First World War came something of a new poetry. From the days of Homer and his great Illiad, Western poetry, if it did not purely celebrate the glories or war, the prowess of its heroes, its contempt for the weak, certainly placed it in the highest category of achievement and honour. The bards of olden times were the memory-keepers of a tribe’s warriors. They wrote to celebrate and ennoble victory in war, and to provide verbal garlands that would lend lasting fame to the heroes of their day. Of war’s champions (Hector, Achilles, the Knights of the Round Table) and great slaughter-men (Shakespeare liked the term) poets have always sung.

 

Not so much have poets or poetry found time to tell of the brutal meanness of war, its spirit-crushing hardships, sufferings and deaths. And poetry has had little time for those nameless millions killed or mutilated while fighting under the banners of their high-born leaders – until The Great War. If smaller figures did emerge in the older Homeric tradition — an attendant or servant — they were rarely central. War was a tapestry in which Kings, Heroes and Knights were sung of and lauded, common soldiers just grey stitching in the background of the pattern.

 

Milton has an excellent summary of the tradition:

 

    Warrs, hitherto the onely Argument

    Heroic deem’d, chief maistrie to dissect

    With long and tedious havoc fabl’d Knights

    In Battels feign’d.

 

It was in the aftermath of the apocalyptic horrors of what we have come to call the First World War that poetry took on quite different tones, became more of a reportage on the sufferings of individuals in the mass, rather than a celebration of the few high names in command. It was a poetry that looked with anguish and pity at all the broken lives and limbs that are the real stuff of war, and traded the high tradition of trumpet blasts for heroes, to lament and anger over the treatment of those in the numberless ranks.

 

Of these poets, Wilfred Owen, a victim of war himself, remains the strongest voice, and his verse simultaneously the most touching and angry that sang that terrible conflict. Just as John McCrae’s Flanders’ Fields has become a universal anthem for the fallen dead of the war, one of Owen’s poems, Anthem for Doomed Youth — though lesser known — is among a small handful of First World War poems that retain their urgency and impact a full century after the conflict in which they were written. It is a very worthy Remembrance Day poem.

 

There are no services for the individuals killed in battle, no church with its solemn bells, its candles for the dead, the farewells of relatives and loved ones. Owen imagines the battlefield as providing “substitutes” for these, though substitutes is a poor word. A terrible irony is at work when from war and its weapons he weaves a metaphoric church service for the fallen. Their prayers are rifle sounds — the sounds from the rifles that killed and wounded.

 

    What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?

    Only the monstrous anger of the guns.

    Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle

    Can patter out their hasty orisons.

 

“Orisons” is an older terms for prayers (Hamlet: Nymph in thy orisons, be all my sins remember’d). And if the rifles are prayer, what supplies a choir?

 

    No mockeries for them from prayers or bells,

    Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs —

    The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;

    And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

 

It is worth stopping here, for it is almost certain that Owen’s sonnet was reflecting one of the most beautiful lines in all poetry from the greatest writer of sonnets ever. “Choirs” is meant to echo the golden line of Shakespeare’s “bare, ruin’d choirs where late the sweet birds sang.” Owen’s allusion harvests some of the ineffable melancholy of that famous line, to give depth of the profound ironies of Anthem .

 

He makes a turn in the second stanza where he imagines what or who will speak or perform a farewell to the dead, a Requiescat. There is no priest or rector here so, lyrically inspired, he imagines their funeral candles will be in the eyes of young boys (brothers at home perhaps):

 

    What candles may be held to speed them all?

    Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes

    Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.

 

And in a final sweet touch, worthy of Keats in its slow-moving grace, he writes three lines which for sheer force of sympathy and beauty are without rival:

 

    The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;

    Their flowers the tenderness of silent maids,

    And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

 

He called his poem an Anthem, but it is really a dirge or threnody, a poem of sad remembrance and farewell, in which the liturgy, the rites and ceremony of church burial, are drawn from the practice and incidents of that battlefields. Anthem is, as Owens insisted of all his war poetry, a song of pity.

 

It is, as I and others have said, a poem for November 11. On what other day would that fading last line — And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds — have such elegiac music? A remembrance from a poet who saw so many others killed one hundred years ago, and who was himself called out in the very blossom of his days by the first great cataclysm of the modern age.

 

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On Topic

 

Our Thanks to All Our Military, From This Century and Last: National Post, Nov. 11, 2014—Last year, as Nov. 11 approached, this editorial board noted thankfully that Canada had spent the past year at peace.

Sea of Red: Tower of London Poppies Seen From the Air (Video): Telegraph, Nov. 11, 2014 —The Tower of London has released previously unseen aerial footage of the Installation of 888,246 ceramic poppies by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red.

Nov. 11 is a Day to Remember Together, Not to Holiday: Fr. Raymond J. de Souza, National Post, Nov. 10, 2014—Only twenty days after the murder at the cenotaph, today’s Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa will be more somber than most.

Why is Canada Botching the Great War Centenary?: J.L. Granatstein, Globe & Mail, Apr. 21, 2014—The centenary of the outbreak of the First World War will be marked all across the world in August.

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

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Rob Coles, 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