Sunday, February 27, 2011

Iron Dome

Because Israel depends on the very large scale mobilization of reserves, its logical strategic objective should be to minimize the length of combat. This requires decisive offensive operations. These operations will best succeed if Israeli forces are adequate in size, well equipped and well trained.

Today, the IDF is undersized. Its equipment is generally inferior to that generated for export by its own industry. The training of the reserves which constitute the bulk of its force structure remains inadequate. The Israeli public, feeling secure and enjoying a high standard of living, has opted to pay a "blood tax", trading the future lives of its sons, husbands and fathers for lower taxes and the convenience of less burdensome reserve duty.

Spending 5 billion shekels on a defense system against low lethality artillery rockets and deploying these missile batteries in defense of urban areas rather than strategically vital air and military bases is utter strategic nonsense. It is not surprising that it comes from a proven military illiterate like Amir Peretz. This additional funding would be far better spent on reactivating the three reserve tank divisions prematurely deactivated in 2004, as well as two F 4-2000, one F-16A and one AH-1S squadrons, all recently deactivated to reduce the Israeli military budget. Israel also needs to significantly increase reserve training and should procure the Israeli manufactured force multipliers that will improve the quality of existing kit.

The United States's offer to partially fund additional Iron Dome Batteries is designed to offset the risk Israel would assume by withdrawing from West Bank. Israelis who think that Iron Dome is a cost effective solution to the threat of cross border bombardment are at odds with their General Staff, which has consistently recommended emphasis on offensive action versus missile interceptors. Israel is a strange country. Everyone serves in the military; yet, virtually no Israeli understands national defense.

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