Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Israel's military planning for a multi-front war

TEL AVIV — Israel's military has intensified coordination between the army and air force to conduct simultaneous operations in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.   

Officials said the effort reflects an assessment that Israel's next war would include such adversaries as Hamas, Hizbullah and Syria.

"The Israeli military's future operations will be broader and more demanding in terms of their scope and pace, with more risks than Operation Cast Lead," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.

Operation Cast Lead marked the Israeli military attack on the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. The 22-day war spanned December 2008 and January 2009.

Also In This Edition

In an address to Israeli military officers on June 9, Barak envisioned a war with far greater Israeli casualties than that against Hamas, Middle East Newsline reported. The minister said the next war would take place under more difficult conditions than the Israeli air, naval and ground campaign in the Gaza Strip, a flat area of 360 square kilometers.

"The country will have many challenges, but what matters is the resiliency of the Israel Defense Forces and its ability to come out on top in every battle," Barak said.

"You must not delude yourselves. During combat things have a tendency to go wrong and, in the end, the completion of the mission is measured by bravery and determination."

On June 9, the military demonstrated interservice interoperability in an exercise in southern Israel. The exercise combined infantry, engineering, armored, artillery and the air force.

"This demonstrated various combat techniques used to break through complex ground obstacles and techniques for combat in built-up areas," a military statement said. "This demonstration included a presentation of the relevant logistical and medical support used during combat."

Officials said the military has intensified training, particularly in urban areas. They said the military-led Turning Point-3 civil defense exercise, held in late May, envisioned missile strikes on Israel from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

"We are faced with many challenges from distant lands through nations that share a border with us, threats from conventional weapons and threats from those who are trying to attain unconventional abilities," Israeli Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Dan Harel said.

Harel said the Israeli war in the Gaza Strip demonstrated interoperability between the air force and army. The general said the army and air force would develop air combat support tactics on the level of battalion.

"These tactics enable the combat plans intended to assist the different brigades on the battlefield," Harel said. "In the future, these tactics will also be implemented on the battalion level. The information regarding aerial attacks will be transferred directly to the combat planes from the situation room of the brigade commander by the aerial assistance officer, who acts as representative of the Israel Air Force."

The augmented exercise training schedule was ordered in wake of the Israeli war with Hizbullah in 2006. The military was said to have performed poorly in ground operations against Hizbullah commandos and rocket launches.

"Today I can say that the IDF has learned the lessons of the war, has implemented them, and is now a stronger army -- more adept and more qualified to deal with the substantial security challenges that face us today," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who also addressed the officers, said.

On June 15, Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi convened senior officers for a review of the war in the Gaza Strip. Ashkenazi said the anti-Hamas campaign drew on lessons from the Hizbullah war, with successes attributed to preparation by the standing army and reserves.

"Being prepared for war is the IDF's constant mission, and we must be prepared to our utmost ability," Ashkenazi said. "The conclusions of this operation are not only relevant in the southern front, and they must be implemented in a general work plan."

About Us     l    Contact Us     l     l
Copyright © 2009    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.