On Feb. 7, outgoing Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi warned of the
repercussions for Israel's military by a collapse of the regime of Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak. In an address to the Herzliya Conference,
Ashkenazi, who leaves his post on Feb. 14, said the military must now be
prepared on all fronts, Middle East Newsline reported.
"Israel is in the middle of this reality," Ashkenazi said. "We have to
be ready to fight on more than one front."
The chief of staff acknowledged that the military was not prepared for
the massive unrest in Egypt. Ashkenazi suggested that even the Mubarak
regime did not envision the opposition campaign.
"No one is a prophet," Ashkenazi said. "If you think I need to know
exactly what the Egyptian chief of staff needs to know — while he was
traveling from New York to Cairo when this was happening — he didn’t know
The chief of staff did not rule out that the unrest in Egypt would
spread throughout the region. He called on the military to improve its
"We need to put a big emphasis on intelligence so that we can see the
target in advance," Ashkenazi said. "We must not only practice and train but
to prepare for conventional war."