web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Stress On Diversifying IDF Capabilities

IDF soldiers enter the Gaza Strip, 18 July 2014.

IDF soldiers enter the Gaza Strip, 18 July 2014.
Photo Credit: Edi Israel/Flash90

Has Israel of late neglected the IDF’s ground forces? Is it well prepared to wage its real battles ahead against well-entrenched Hamas and Hezbollah armies?  Currently embroiled in an intensive ground battle with Hamas in Gaza, have IDF’s infantry and armor units complained of insufficient preparation?

Perhaps, things are not all fine. An ineluctable impression one gets from a recent study conducted by the Tel Aviv based Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies is that the IDF has decided to invest primarily in air force capabilities, intelligence, special operations forces, stand-off precision fire and cyber capabilities. It is at the expense of its more traditional units, mainly the large ground forces. The study stresses the need to diversify IDF precision-fire capabilities and not to concentrate it all in the hands of the air force. It says today’s technology allows for precision fire to be launched from the sea as well .

An expert of the BESA Center says that the backbone of the IDF traditionally has been a large land army, comprised of heavy armored brigades supported by artillery and infantry.  Most of the ground forces were reserve units mobilized from their homes in the event of war. A strong air force ensured air superiority allowing the time for the reserves to deploy. It proved highly effective when Israel’s main strategic threat was large conventional Arab armies threatening to invade its territory.

The expert says the scene has changed a lot  in the last two to three decades. The last time the IDF engaged in combat with a conventional army was on Lebanese soil against the Syrian army in 1982.  Since then, the threat from conventional armies has diminished. Egypt and Jordan signed peace treaties with Israel (in 1979 and 1994). Iraq’s army was essentially eliminated by US invasion in 2003. The Syrian army too has been devastated by the civil war in that country. 

Today, instead of conventional armies, the IDF finds itself occupied with operations against terror and guerilla organizations such as Hamas in Gaza, Islamic Jihad in Sinai, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The threat to Israel’s home front has also changed, from bombardment by hostile air forces to rocket and missile fire by terror organizations. The country that most supports and supplies these organizations is a non-Arab state actor that does not share a border with Israel – Iran. Iran also has a nuclear program that poses a threat to the entire Middle East. Under these circumstances Israel must be able to project power thousands of kilometers from home.
He says there are new technological developments in the military. Drones and unmanned vehicles in the air, sea and land; networks of digital command and control; precision fire that can be launched from almost any platform; and cyber-warfare – all hold the potential to alter, and in some cases have already changed, the way armies fight.
Besides, the expert says, the IDF cannot overlook the domestic strategic environment. The large civil protest demonstrations in Israel of 2011 reflect a change in priorities of the Israeli public: “More butter, fewer guns.” The IDF has to be more effective and less costly.
“Ideally, like every military, the IDF would like to have it all: The new F-35 jet fighter and state-of-the-art Dolphin class submarines, the new Namer APC and a new model of the Merkava tank, and additional batteries of Iron Dome, Arrow and the new David’s Sling missile defense systems. However, due to budget pressures, the IDF must compromise and make hard choices, “ he says..

About the Author: Jagdish N. Singh is an Indian journalist based in New Delhi.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Stress On Diversifying IDF Capabilities”

  1. see protest were wrong, happy now to have IDF

  2. butter won’t save your life

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Peace partners for hate: Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (R) and chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.
PA Chief Negotiator Compares Netanyahu with ISIS
Latest Indepth Stories
isis-open-graph

With $2 billion on hand the Islamic State is an extremely well-funded terrorist group that may pose a major international crisis for the U.S. and the world. Learn about their rise to power and the toll they’ve taken thus far.

In the recent Gaza war and its aftermath, we saw a totally illogical reaction from the world.

champions

A., a teacher: “I do not know a single Gazan who is pro-Hamas at the moment, except for those on its payroll.”

terrorists

Is the global community clear in its response to these extremist groups?

Like our fabled character, Don Quixote, President Obama has constantly spawned his own reality.

Boroujerdi was informed that “the pressures and tortures will increase until he has been destroyed.”

Fatah: Hamas stole relief aid for Gaza and distributed it amongst its followers in mosques.

Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?

Washington remains ignorant of the need to dismantle alliances with various Muslim countries.

Defeating IS requires bombing its strongholds and recognizing the violent nature of Islam.

Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority cannot even agree to move their clocks back on the same day.

Shemita is about relating to each other by temporarily eliminating gaps of wealth power & status

David transcended adversity to become a leader; Who are we to make excuses for a lack of greatness?

sympathy: Feeling sorrow or pity for another’s tribulations; Empathy:sharing an emotional experience

Last week the president announced a four-point plan. Unfortunately, there’s little buy-in from our European and Middle Eastern allies. Here’s my own four-point plan that may be more palatable to our allies.

More Articles from Jagdish N. Singh
Narendra Modi

Washington remains ignorant of the need to dismantle alliances with various Muslim countries.

Narendra Modi

Islamist terror threatens contemporary enlightened humanity’s shared fundamental rights and values.

Dalai Lama: In the interest of Tibetans today to have peaceful co-existence with the Chinese.

Jerusalem has been aware of the importance of China to its growth and security.

Protests in Israel in 2011 reflect a change in priorities of Israelis: “More butter, fewer guns.”

New Delhi would do well to remain aware of the predicament of Israel today.

ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.

One wishes the PA would distance itself completely from Hamas now for the sake of peace and development in the region.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/stress-on-diversifying-idf-capabilities/2014/08/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: