web analytics
November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘biological’

Netanyahu Says Israel May Use Military Option to Protect Syrian Bio-Chem Weapons

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

“Israel will do everything it takes to ensure Syria’s chemical weapons do not fall into the hands of terrorist organizations — and if such a situation arises, then Israel will weigh a military option,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a group of European ambassadors in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that Syrian President Bashar Assad had the assistance of Iran and Hizbullah during his 19 month crackdown on opposition which has caused the deaths of approximately 33,000 people.

The prime minister also noted that Iran and Hezbollah have assisted Syrian President Bashar Assad in his 19-month crackdown against opposition groups.

Concerns are rising that Islamic fundamentalist groups may take control of Syria’s large stockpile of biological and chemical weapons in the event of Assad’s fall.

campaign.

 

Big Men, Little Man

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

The Combat Engineering Corps is greeted by a jubilant little fellow after completing their treacherous trek for their gray berets.

The Combat Engineering Corps symbol features a sword on a defensive tower with a blast halo on the background.

The Combat Engineering Corps official motto is “Rishonim Tamid” (“Always First”). Its unofficial motto is “We’ll do the hard stuff today, the impossible tomorrow.”

The corps’ roles include mobility assurance, road breaching, defense and fortifications, counter-mobility of enemy forces, construction and destruction under fire, sabotage, explosives, bomb disposal, purifying nuclear, biological and chemical threats, and special engineering missions, which include identifying and demolishing smuggling tunnels.

Israeli ‘Rotorless’ Vertical Take Off & Landing ‘AirMule’ Drone Out to Revolutionize Civil and Military Aviation

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Meet the AirMule, a compact, unmanned, single-engine, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. Internal lift rotors enable the AirMule to fly inside mountainous, wooded, or urban terrain where helicopters can’t go. The AirMule is able to evacuate two casualties, or haul a fairly significant payload.

Founded by Dr. Rafi Yoeli, Urban Aeronautics Ltd. (UrbanAero) has established an early lead in developing a compact vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle with no exposed rotors that is tailored to meet FAA requirements for powered lift vehicles and also capable of flying and operating inside complex urban and natural environments.

With more than 25 years experience in aerospace research and development, Dr. Yoeli has assembled a world-class team, including Chief Engineer Mike Turgeman, Flight Control System Specialist Ely Erenthal, and Aerospace engineer Shahar Avneri, working to realize Yoeli’s vision for developing one of the last areas of aviation remaining to be pioneered: “Rotorless” Vertical Take Off & Landing aircraft.

AirMule can quickly deliver water, food and medical supplies directly to affected populations—no matter how isolated—and save lives. You name the emergency, and AirMule will get there, unmanned and reliable, in nuclear, biological or chemical emergencies, or in routine electric grids or bridge inspections, agricultural spraying, offshore oil platform support. It is safer and cheaper to operate, because its pilot stays on base, operating it by remote control.

And in war AirMule offers precise point to point logistic support in battle conditions, where choppers would get chewed up alive. Its maneuverability, small visual footprint, low noise and reduced radar and IR signatures offer a stealth advantage that greatly enhances its effectiveness and survivability in these environments.

IDF, Hospitals Prepare for Unconventional Attacks

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

In an environment of regional instability and geopolitical threats to Israel, the IDF will hold a series of drills to prepare the country in the event of a biological, chemical or radioactive attack.

 

For the first time, the IDF will simulate a “dirty bomb” radioactive terror attack in Israel.  The exercise, titled “Dark Cloud”, will take place in January in Haifa.  It will include the IDF Home Front Command, hospitals, police, and emergency services.

 

On Wednesday, the Defense Ministry will hold its sixth annual “Orange Flame” exercise to practice a response to biological attacks.  Hospitals in Afula, Nazareth, and Tiberias in the north will practice dealing with 5,000 patients a day exhibiting  symptoms related to contact with biological weapons.  An inter-ministerial committee will concurrently practice containing a national crisis, utilizing polices such as regional quarantines and mass vaccine distributions.

 

Syria is known to have a large cache of VX, sarin, and mustar gases, and Libya was discovered to have a large chemical weapons arsenal following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

Eight Years Of Unheeded ‘Daniel’ Warnings About Iran What Happens Next? (Part V)

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

            The views expressed in this eight-column article on Project Daniel are solely those of Professor Louis René Beres, and may not reflect the opinions of any other members of Project Daniel, or of any government.

            It is highly unlikely, The Group reasoned, that any enemy state would ever calculate that the expected benefits of annihilating Israel would be so great as to outweigh the expected costs of its own annihilation. Excluding an irrational enemy state, a prospect that falls by definition outside the logic of nuclear deterrence, all state enemies of Israel would assuredly refrain from nuclear and/or biological attacks upon Israel that would presumptively elicit massive counter-value reprisals. Naturally, this reasoning would obtain only to the extent that these enemy states fully believed Israel would actually make good on its threats.

 

             Israel’s nuclear deterrent, once it were made open and appropriately explicit, would need to make clear to all prospective nuclear enemies the following: “Israel’s nuclear weapons, dispersed, multiplied and hardened, are targeted upon your major cities. These weapons will never be used against these targets except in retaliation for certain WMD aggressions. Unless our population centers are struck first by nuclear attack or certain levels of biological attack or by combined nuclear/biological attack, we will not harm your cities.”

 

            This reasoning, we knew, would disturb some readers and policy-makers. Yet, the counter-value targeting strategy recommended by Project Daniel still represents Israel’s best hope for avoiding a nuclear or biological war. It remains, therefore, the most humane strategy available.

 

            The Israeli alternative, an expressed counter force targeting doctrine, would produce a markedly higher probability of nuclear or nuclear/biological war. And such a war, even if all weapons remained targeted on the other side’s military forces and structures (a very optimistic assumption) would entail enormously high levels of “collateral damage.”

 

            The very best weapons, Clausewitz wrote, are those that achieve their objectives without ever actually being used. This is especially the case with nuclear weapons; Israel’s nuclear weapons can succeed only through non-use. Recognizing this, Project Daniel made very clear in its Final Report to then-Prime Minister Sharon that nuclear war fighting must always be avoided by Israel wherever possible. Nothing has happened in the past eight years to in any way change this judgment.

 

            The Project Daniel Group recommended that Israel do whatever it must to prevent enemy nuclearization, up to and including pertinent acts of preemption. Should these measures fail, measures that would be permissible under international law as expressions of “anticipatory self-defense,” the Jewish State should immediately end its posture of nuclear ambiguity with fully open declarations of counter-value targeting. Again, just how this imperative cessation would take operational shape is a question that now needs to be addressed squarely and expertly in both Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv.

 

            In our age of Total War, Israel must always remain fully aware of those harms that would threaten its very continuance as a state.  Although the Jewish state has always recognized an overriding obligation to seek peace through negotiation and diplomacy wherever possible, there are times when its commitment to peaceful settlement will not be reciprocated. Moreover, as noted by Project Daniel, there are times when the idea of an existential threat may reasonably apply to a particular level of harms that falls well below the threshold of complete national annihilation.

 

            Examining pertinent possibilities, The Group noted three distinct but interrelated existential threats to Israel:

1.         Biological/Nuclear (BN) threats from states;

2.         BN threats from terror organizations; and

3.         BN threats from combined efforts of states and terror organizations.

 

             To the extent that certain Arab states and Iran are now allowed to develop WMD capabilities, Israel may have to deal someday with an “anonymous attack scenario.” Here, the aggressor enemy state would not identify itself, and Israeli post-attack identification would be exceedingly difficult. What is Israel to do in such a confused and urgent crisis situation?

 

            The Group recommended to the former prime minister that “Israel must identify explicitly and early on that all enemy Arab states and Iran are subject to massive Israeli reprisal in the event of a BN attack upon Israel.” We recommended, further, that “massive” reprisals be targeted at between 10 and 20 large enemy cities (counter-value targeting), and that the nuclear yields of such Israeli reprisals be in very high range. Such deterrent threats by Israel would be very compelling to all rational enemies, but, at the same time, would likely have little or no effect upon irrational ones.

 

            In the case of genuinely irrational adversaries, Israel’s only hope for safety will likely lie in appropriate and operationally feasible acts of preemption.

 

            A policy of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), which once obtained between the United States and the Soviet Union, would never work between Israel and its Arab/Iranian enemies. Rather, the Project Daniel Group recommended that Israel must prevent its enemies from acquiring BN status, and that any notion of BN “parity” between Israel and its enemies would be intolerable. Accordingly, The Group advised the prime minister: “Israel immediately adopt – as highest priority – a policy of preemption with respect to enemy existential threats.” Such a policy would be based upon the more limited definition of “existential” described above, and would also enhance Israel’s overall deterrence posture.
            Recognizing the close partnership and overlapping interests between Israel and the United States, the Project Daniel Group strongly supported the American War Against Terror (WAT). In this connection, we had urged full cooperation and mutuality between Jerusalem and Washington regarding communication of intentions. If for any reason the United States should decide against exercising preemption options against certain developing weapons of mass destruction, Israel must reserve for itself the unhindered prerogative to undertake its own preemption options.

 

             Significantly, in view of US inaction since 2003 on the Iran front, inaction that can be assumed to continue under President Barack Obama, it now appears that this particular prerogative may yet have to be exercised. From the standpoint of comparative force size alone, the United States Air Force would have been preferable to the Israel Air Force in undertaking any essential acts of anticipatory self-defense against Iranian nuclear assets and infrastructures. To be sure, the IAF is exceptionally capable, but it is also very small.

 

            The Group began its initial deliberations with the following urgent metaphor in mind: Israel could face the hazard of a suicide-bomber in macrocosm. In this scenario, an enemy Arab state or Iran would act against Israel without any ordinary regard for expected retaliatory consequences. Here, in the fashion of an individual suicide bomber who acts without fear of personal consequences, indeed, who actually welcomes the most extreme personal consequence, which is death, an enemy Arab state and/or Iran could launch WMD attacks against Israel with full knowledge and expectation of overwhelming Israeli reprisals. The conclusion to be drawn from this scenario is that Israeli deterrence vis-à-vis “suicide states” would have been immobilized by enemy irrationality, and that Israel’s only recourse in such circumstances would have been appropriate forms of preemption.

 

Louis René Beres is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

Title: The Search Committee

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Title: The Search Committee

Author: Marc Angel

Publisher: Urim Fiction

 

   “Members of the search committee You asked me to respond to three questions, and I will do so … to avoid the appearance of being uncooperative. My husband, too, objects to your impertinence in summoning me Number one: do I want my husband to be rosh yeshiva?”

 

   These are the opening remarks of Rebbetzin Dena Grossman, whose husband is fighting to become the biological heir to Yeshivas Lita, a prominent American yeshiva, upon the passing of his father, the former rosh yeshiva.

 

   Fashioned on the European model, Yeshivas Lita is on the brink of a breakdown as two polar-opposite factions of the rosh yeshiva selection board envision a very different future for the institution. The jarring realization for readers of The Search Committee is that the rebbetzin is just one of many conflicting voices debating the appointment of her father-in-law’s acclaimed baal teshuva student rather than her husband, son of the venerated but deceased yeshiva head. The late rosh yeshiva did not leave a written will declaring his choice for his successor. He had only verbalized his preference that David Mercado be his heir upon his petira.

 

   Appointing a new rosh yeshiva based on that off the cuff remark is at the bottom of to the search committee’s divisiveness.

 

   How does the bereaved daughter-in-law but loyal wife defend the appointment of her husband, the biological heir of his father? She points out that “among our circle of friends it has always been an unstated assumption that my husband would become the rosh yeshiva.” She adds that her father had arranged her shidduch to whom he understood would be the future rosh yeshiva, so that he, her father, could realize his dream of social prominence. She then asserts that her dreams of social standing should not be destroyed by a “mere” baal teshuva, stellar IQ and admirable character notwithstanding. After all, his “disgrace” of a wife, a convert to Judaism, doesn’t cover her hair!

 

   David Mercado’s rocketing rise to prominence as the yeshiva’s premier student is no small matter. His supporters agree with his vision of an American-style yeshiva based on the ever-evolving social and intellectual sophistication of post-Shoah Orthodoxy.

 

   That vision could conceivably offset the tragedy of a hunched-over, physically unfit student body learning in an environment that decries the fresh air and exercise recommended by the Rambam; doomed to fail shidduchim that take advantage of trusting naifs; and a growing social gap among wealthy yeshiva supporters and those who drain off their funds as a “mitzvah.” Mercado’s supporters and David himself cite his departure from a promising future within secular society and his entrance to halachic Jewish life – predicated on his reaction to reading The Kuzari – as one of his many merits for becoming a leader of Yeshivat Lita.

 

   Mercado mentions the precious hours he’d spent in learning with the former rosh yeshiva who had seen in his student an ilui with excellent leadership skills. The recollection, offset by Mercado’s memory of motzi shem ra and onaat devarim from the rosh yeshiva’s son, illustrates the search committee’s dilemma. The aspiring rosh yeshiva had attempted to seal his glorious future with public insults over time, calling heir-apparent Mercado a phony whose life-change was based on a Sefardi sefer, among other slurs.

 

   “I can’t say I’m surprised by the outcome of your deliberations,” David Mercado eventually announces to the search committee members. You, the reader, might be, after reading this phenomenal book that brings to the fore the gritty, real-life debates over the future of American Jewry’s advanced Torah study.

Five Years After Project Daniel… Our Strategic Recommendations To Israel Remain Valid (Part III)

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Israel’s Policy Of Nuclear Ambiguity

 

The views expressed in these six columns are those of Professor Louis René Beres, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other members of Project Daniel, or of any government.

 

Project Daniel examined some of the precise ways in which a nuclear war might actually begin between Israel and its enemies. From the standpoint of preventing such a war, it is essential, we reasoned, that Israel must protect itself with suitable policies of preemption, defense and deterrence. This last set of policies will depend substantially upon whether Israel continues to keep its bomb in the “basement,” or whether it decides to change formally from a nuclear posture of “deliberate ambiguity” to one of selected and deliberately partial disclosure.

 

 In one respect, the issue is already somewhat moot. Shortly after coming to power as prime minister, Shimon Peres already took the unprecedented step of openly acknowledging Israel’s nuclear capability. Responding to press questions about the Oslo “peace process” and the probable extent of Israeli concessions, Peres remarked that he would be “delighted” to “give up the Atom” if the entire region would only embrace a comprehensive security plan.  Although this remark was certainly not an intended expression of changed nuclear policy, it did raise the question of a more tangible Israeli shift away from nuclear ambiguity. Certain public remarks by current Prime Minister Olmert – and also certain recent missile tests in Israel – may have had similarly shifting effects.

 

Project Daniel recognized that the nuclear disclosure issue is far more than a simple “yes” or “no.”  Obviously, the basic question had already been answered by Peres’ “offer.”  What still needs to be determined is the exact timing of purposeful disclosure and the extent of subtlety and detail with which Israel should actually communicate its nuclear capabilities and intentions to selected enemy states. This issue was central to the deliberations of Project Daniel, which concluded in 2003 that Israel’s bomb should remain in the basement as long as possible, but also that it should be revealed in particular contours if enemy circumstances should change in an expressly ominous fashion.

 

Because the Project Daniel report stipulated the need for an expanded Israeli doctrine of preemption, this Project Daniel statement on nuclear ambiguity meant that Israel should promptly remove the bomb from its “basement” if − for whatever reason − Israel should have failed to exploit the recommended doctrine of preemption. Today, following a U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that makes any preemption against Iran more problematic, deliberate nuclear ambiguity seems even more out-of-date. Nonetheless, this is a very subtle strategic issue that requires immediate and careful attention in capable and authoritative quarters.

 

Project Daniel understood that the rationale for Israeli nuclear disclosure does not lie in expressing the obvious; which is, that Israel has the bomb. Instead, it lies in the critical understanding that nuclear weapons can serve Israel’s security in a number of different ways, and that all of these ways could benefit the Jewish State to the extent that certain aspects of these weapons and associated strategies are appropriately disclosed. The pertinent form and extent of disclosure would be especially vital to Israeli nuclear deterrence. Exactly what this particular form and extent should be has yet to be determined. It should, therefore, now be considered a question of authentically supreme importance to Israel’s strategists.

 

To protect itself against enemy strikes, particularly those attacks that could carry existential costs, Project Daniel recommended that Israel exploit every component function of its nuclear arsenal.  The success of Israel’s efforts, we acknowledged, will depend in large measure not only upon its chosen configuration of “counterforce” (hard-target) and “counter-value” (city-busting) operations, but also upon the extent to which this configuration is made known in advance to enemy states.  Before such an enemy is deterred from launching first-strikes against Israel, or before it is deterred from launching retaliatory attacks following an Israeli preemption, it may not be enough that it simply “knows” that Israel has the Bomb.  It may also need to recognize that these Israeli nuclear weapons are sufficiently invulnerable to such attacks and that they are aimed at very high-value targets.

 

In this connection, and as indicated earlier in this “retrospective,” the Final Report of Project Daniel recommended “a recognizable retaliatory force should be fashioned with the capacity to destroy some 15 high-value targets scattered widely over pertinent enemy states in the Middle East.” This “counter-value” strategy meant that Israel’s second-strike response to enemy aggressions involving certain biological and/or nuclear weapons would be unambiguously directed at enemy populations, not at enemy weapons or infrastructures. Looking over the evolution of pertinent existential threats to Israel over the past five years, it seems that our original recommendation was entirely correct.

 

It may appear, at first glance, that Israeli targeting of enemy military installations and troop concentrations (“counterforce targeting”) could be both more compelling as a deterrent and also more humane. But it is likely, even plausible, that a nuclear-armed enemy of Israel could regard any Israeli retaliatory destruction of its armed forces as “acceptable” in certain circumstances. Such an enemy might conclude, for example, that the expected benefits of annihilating Israel would outweigh any expected retaliatory harms to its military. Here Israel’s nuclear deterrent would fail, possibly with existential consequences.

 

It is highly unlikely, The Project Daniel Group recognized, that any enemy state would ever calculate that the expected benefits of annihilating Israel would be so great as to outweigh the expected costs of its own annihilation. Excluding an irrational enemy state − a prospect that falls by definition outside the logic of nuclear deterrence – all state enemies of Israel would assuredly refrain from nuclear and/or biological attacks upon Israel that would presumptively elicit massive counter-value reprisals. Naturally, this reasoning would obtain only to the extent that these enemy states fully believed that Israel would actually make good on its threats.

 

Israel’s nuclear deterrent, once it were made open and appropriately explicit, would need to make clear to all prospective nuclear enemies the following: “Israel’s nuclear weapons, dispersed, multiplied and hardened, are targeted upon your major cities. These weapons will never be used against these targets except in retaliation for certain WMD aggressions. Unless our population centers are struck first by nuclear attack or certain levels of biological attack or by combined nuclear/biological attack, we will not harm your cities.”

 

This reasoning, we knew, will disturb some readers and policy-makers. Yet, the counter-value targeting strategy recommended by Project Daniel still represents Israel’s best hope for avoiding a nuclear or biological war. It remains, therefore, the most humane strategy available. The Israeli alternative, an expressed counterforce targeting doctrine, would produce a markedly higher probability of nuclear or nuclear/biological war. And such a war, even if all weapons remained targeted on the other side’s military forces and structures (a very optimistic assumption) would entail enormously high levels of “collateral damage.”

 

The very best weapons, Clausewitz wrote, are those that achieve their objectives without ever actually being used. This is especially the case with nuclear weapons; Israel’s nuclear weapons can succeed only through non-use. Recognizing this, Project Daniel made very clear in its Final Report to then Prime Minister Sharon that nuclear war fighting must always be avoided by Israel wherever possible. Nothing has happened in the past five years to − in any way − change this judgment.

 

The Project Daniel Group recommended that Israel do whatever it must to prevent enemy nuclearization, up to and including pertinent acts of preemption. Should these measures fail, measures that would be permissible under international law as expressions of “anticipatory self-defense,” the Jewish State should immediately end its posture of nuclear ambiguity with fully open declarations of counter-value targeting. Again, just how this imperative cessation would take operational shape is a question that now needs to be addressed squarely and expertly in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

 

Copyright © The Jewish Press, September 5, 2008. All rights reserved

 

LOUIS RENÉ BERES, chair of Project Daniel, is the Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/five-years-after-project-daniel-our-strategic-recommendations-to-israel-remain-valid-part-iii/2008/09/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: