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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Institute for National Security Studies’

The Future of CyberWarfare

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, at the INSS (Institute for national security studies) in Tel Aviv, the head of the IDF Telecommunications Branch, Maj. Gen. Uzi Moshkovitz, spoke about the current and future states of cyber warfare and cyber defense. What follows is the speech he gave.

Everything is cyber

“When we look at data centers and information systems, they are basically entirely located in the cyber dimension. Everything can be attacked potentially. Everything is cyber.”

“Everything in this cyber dimension is new, dynamic and volatile. I’m going to talk about the defensive side.”

The human advantage

“The most important thing to us is human capital. Everything within the cyber domain relies upon the strength of our personnel. Therefore, we must restructure our education system. The main tools of cyber defense are not the switches, routers, or operating systems, but rather the cyber defenders themselves.”

Cyber warfare vs. air warfare

“Cyber warfare vs. air warfare – this is an inevitable comparison. Let’s look at history of air warfare between 1917 to 1939, right up to the beginning of World War II. During the last two years of WWI, air warfare was pretty much nonexistent. Twenty years later we had the Luftwaffe, the RAF (German and British air forces), which were highly influential factors.”

Moreover, this was almost a hundred ago, when the pace of technological advancement was not as rapid as what we are witnessing today. We can only imagine where the cyber dimension is heading in the coming decades.”

The rise of cyber warfare

“Why is the cyber domain so attractive? It influences everything – intelligence organizations are on a quest for the enemy’s secrets. During the last 35 years, all of our secrets and the enemy’s secrets have been stored inside computers. This makes the use of the cyber attacks obvious.

If we look upon psychological warfare and social media – this is about controlling people by controlling the internet. If we look at the Arab Spring, which erupted 3 years ago, it was solely initiated and propagated through social media. This is how people are controlled nowadays.”

The easy development of cyber warfare

“Let’s say you’re a nation and you develop ballistic capabilities or even intercontinental ballistic missiles. You have to have a very good engineering infrastructure and lots of money. If you’re lucky enough to have resources, it will take you a few years to have this capability.”

“On the hand, look at the cyber domain – if a nation wants to go from number 7 or 8 to number 2 or 3, it’s much easier. They will have almost no dependence on physical matters – they only need the the human capital. The cyber force buildup is very very cheap.

To attack a computer or a computer network that’s a mile away from you or 15,000 miles away from you – it’s basically the same. In the cyber domain, the physical distance between hostile parties has basically no importance, though this is a bit simplistic.”

“Our understanding is rapidly changing. Basic computers now control our water, our energy resources, and our transportation systems. The grid has now much wider and deeper significance than it had a few years ago. Say a stock exchange site goes down once a month – what does it do for the site’s credibility?”

The real threat of cyber warfare: unpredictability

“Yesterday we had an attack [OpIsrael] that we were aware of and able to defend against. This is not what we fear. We fear the attacks we don’t know about. We fear the enemies that have stabilized themselves within our networks of which we are unaware. Now, a party can be under attack and be totally unaware–this is different from classic warfare. Who attacked Georgia and Estonia a couple of years ago? We still do not know.”

Head of IDF Intelligence: 170,000 Rockets Pointing at Israel

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

For the first time in decades, enemy forces can attack all of Israel’s cities, Chief of the IDF Intelligence Directorate Major General Aviv Kochavi said last week. “About 170,000 rockets and missiles are pointed at Israel, and they are deadlier than ever,” the Intelligence Chief said. “Many of these weapons can be fired deep into Israel’s territory.”

Speaking at the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Maj. Gen. Kochavi described Israel’s evolving security challenges, ranging from regional instability to organized terrorism and Global Jihad. “Every day, the enemy continues to advance,” he said. “For the first time in many years, Israel is almost completely surrounded by threats. These are not merely potential threats, but rather threats posed by an active enemy.”

Maj. Gen. Kochavi estimated that Hezbollah now possesses 100,000 rockets and missiles threatening Israel from its northern border. The extraordinary size of this stockpile redefines Hezbollah’s capabilities, placing it in the category of a “semi-military” organization. “Hezbollah is no longer a terrorist organization in the most basic sense of the term,” the intelligence chief stressed. “An organization that has more than 100,000 rockets resembles a military more than a terrorist organization.”

hezbollah missile threat

This change in definition applies to terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East, Maj. Gen. Kochavi stressed, warning, “The line between ‘terrorist organization’ and ‘military’ is becoming increasingly blurred. They possess advanced anti-tank missiles and mortars. The same goes for Hamas,” whose rockets threaten millions of Israeli civilians.

“Thousands of our enemies’ missiles are armed with warheads and 700-900 kilograms of explosive material,” the intelligence chief said. “These weapons can define the course of war and our decision making. As long as our enemies have rockets that threaten every part of Israel, they can continue to wage a war, even after we have taken parts of enemy territory.”

Terrorist groups near Israel have changed the nature of war, moving from open spaces into urban areas. “The enemy is hiding in cities and villages, wearing civilian clothing while equipped with advanced weaponry. Tens of kilometers of underground tunnels exist in Gaza and Southern Lebanon.”

Maj. Gen. Kochavi related to the regional shift against Israel and the West. In the wake of the Arab Spring, governments throughout the Middle East have lost control of their populations. This widespread phenomenon of fragmentation has confronted Israel with an uncertain reality. “The Syrian side of the Golan region has fallen under the control of several different powers,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said. “Every village is controlled by different authorities, including the Syrian Free Army, Jihadist groups and the Syrian military.”

The intelligence chief pointed to Global Jihad as “the most troubling phenomenon of all,” explaining that about 30,000 Global Jihad operatives are active in Syria. “Syria has turned into a magnet for these operatives – from Europe, Asia, Australia and even the Americas,” he said. “They may not take over Haifa, but for the first time in history, they are injecting a radical religious ideology against the West into the Middle East.” Maj. Gen. Kochavi focused on similar challenges in the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip, where a changing landscape is creating uncertainty for Israel. “All of the small groups in these areas can become larger. This creates a tremendous challenge for the Intelligence Corps.”

Such rapid changes in the region’s geopolitical scene and military buildup require that the IDF quickly enhance its readiness for the new threats, improving its intelligence capabilities to maintain its edge over the enemy. Advancements in cyber defense constitute a major part of these efforts. “Today, the intelligence we used to gather with 40 people is now obtained by four,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said. “Cyber defense, in my modest opinion, will soon be revealed to be the biggest military revolution in the past century, more than gunpowder and the use of air power.”

Will Obama Ignore Iran’s Active Nukes Like Syria’s Chemical Weapons?

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

It was a no brainer: Gen. Itai Baron, head of the research division at IDF Military Intelligence, told the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies on Tuesday about the the Syrian government’s repeated use of chemical weapons.

He said photographs of the victims in Syria show foam coming out of their mouths, which he and his staff at Military Intelligence identified as the result of a chemical attack.

“To the best of our professional understanding, the regime has used lethal chemical weapons on a number of occasions, including the incident on March 19,” he said.

On 19 March 2013, the Syrian government and the Syrian rebels accused each other of using chemical weapons in an attack in the province of Aleppo. Reports of the event indicated that between 15 and 40 died. A Reuters photographer reported the gas had a “chlorine like smell” and said that he saw victims suffocating. The Syrian rebels say the chemical agent was delivered via a SCUD missile. Reuters photographs show images of government soldiers injured in the attack. But senior American officials said that the rebels don’t possess the means to launch chemical weapons.

All of the above is not good enough for the U.S. Administration. According to the NY Times, it is still waiting for the results of “an exhaustive analysis of soil, hair and other material to determine whether chemical warfare agents have been used.”

And then, even if that investigation proves the use of chemicals, a U.S. official told the Times, “the White House must determine who used them and whether they were used deliberately or accidentally.”

He did not offer a timetable for that process.

The whole world knows the Syrians have five chemical weapons production facilities, two of which are next door to missile launching sites (al-Safira and Hama). And by now the whole world is convinced Syria has been using those weapons on its own civilians. So what’s the catch? Why are Sec. John Kerry and Sec. Chuck Hagel hell bent on denying the obvious truth?

Because President Obama has told the world he would send American troops in, should Syria use chemical weapons.

He obviously directed his warning at President Assad, to make sure the latter understands America means business this time. He was wagging his finger, he wasn’t actually planning to make good on his warning. President Obama really doesn’t need another war on his hands.

He did not expect the rather savvy Assad to dare him on his statement. Now he’s stuck with the whole world watching. So, if he can’t change his warning, the only thing left to change is reality.

Which is why both his lieutenants, Kerry and Hagel, are working overtime to spread doubt about the validity of the evidence and the analysis. Hagel even put down the source of the analysis, Israel, wondering how come the Israelis hadn’t told him about it when he was there.

Because they didn’t think he had to be told, they were pretty sure he already knew. They also didn’t tell him about the thing with the sun going down come 7 o’clock, and he still managed to prepare for all the darkness that followed.

“It is precisely because this is a red line that we have to establish with airtight certainty that this happened,” the official told the Times.

But the UN is not allowed to send a team into Syria to take soil samples from the site, and certainly not to inspect the chemical facilities – so where is the U.S. going to get its “airtight certainty?”

It won’t. Because President Obama is not prepared to send troops into Syria—and I don’t blame him for it, I think only a fool would jeopardize American lives when we’re perfectly happy to see the Syrians killing each other with impunity. So the Administration will not be confused by the fact, please stop trying.

Except that from Israel’s point of view this is the ultimate test case. It’s got a red line, it’s got a criminal Arab regime, it’s got professional analysis, it’s got pictures. let’s face it, by the time—possibly this coming June—Iran will be ready with an operational nuclear bomb to be mounted on an operational long rage missile, Israel will be able to offer a whole lot less as evidence.

Former Military Intelligence Chief: ‘Iran Has Crossed the Red Line’

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

“Israel can attack Iran alone and can also deal with the aftermath,” Major-General (Ret.) Amos Yadlin, the former IDF head of military intelligence told the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies. According to Yadlin, Iran has already “crossed the new red line drawn by Israel.”

Yadlin estimated that “the Iranians can very quickly produce a nuclear bomb even now, and the closer they get to the breakthrough moment, the faster they’ll be able to do it – under a presidential order. He warned that as early as this summer Iran will be at a stage where the time lag between an order and a finished bomb will come down to a month or two.

At that point, he warned, it would be extremely difficult to stop Iran.

Gen. Itai Baron, head of the research division at Military Intelligence, said that back in 2012 Israeli experts recognized a difference between the real capabilities of Iran and what it was actually prepared to execute. He estimated that the sanctions imposed on Iran, including international pressure, damage and deter Iran. Yet, despite those influences, Iran’s nuclear program continues to advance in an obvious direction.

“We are in a period of a lot of risks, uncertainties and instability, in an explosive atmosphere and an increased likelihood of escalation scenarios,” Baron concluded. But he nevertheless stressed that the IDF is not expecting an all out war of annihilation directed at Israel, similar to the Yom Kippur War 40 years ago.

Gen. Baron also warned against the Syrian government’s repeated use of chemical weapons and of repeated attempts to send Syrian military equipment to the Hizbollah in Lebanon.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/former-military-intelligence-chief-israel-can-attack-iran-alone/2013/04/23/

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