Monday, April 18, 2011

Israel Preparing For War On All Fronts

The IDF’s multi-year plan, unveiled to the press this week, was for the most part a continuation of the last plan, Tefen, initiated in 2007 under former chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi.

Then, the IDF was reeling from its failures and mistakes following the Second Lebanon War in 2006, and Ashkenazi decided to invest in the ground forces by manufacturing more Merkava tanks, developing a new armored personnel carrier (APC) called the Namer and significantly boosting training.

An emphasis was also put on missile defense, the benefits of which we witnessed last week when the Iron Dome intercepted eight rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

This has paid off, and the IDF is unquestionably better prepared today for another ground war in Syria, Lebanon or the Gaza Strip.

What are the chances for war? 50-50? 70-30? No one in the IDF will say. If they could, there would be no purpose in maintaining a massive branch in the IDF called Military Intelligence.

The new plan, though, is sophisticated and recognizes that the IDF is already at war on some of its fronts. It is waging a war against Iran’s nuclear program – mostly in the shadows and below the surface – and is also, at the same time, fighting on the high seas against weapons smuggling to Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon – demonstrated by the seizure of Iranian arms on the Victoria cargo ship last month.