Israel’s Efforts to Prepare for Iranian Aggression

February 19, 2020

by: Kate Norman

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The IDF is developing a branch to deal specifically with Iran (illustrative)

Wednesday, 19 February 2020 | In response to the ever-shifting dynamics of the Middle East—especially Iran’s relentless efforts to spread itself further across the region—the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is reshuffling and establishing a separate department dedicated entirely to the Islamic regime.

Israel has maintained that Iran has a vision to establish an uninterrupted land bridge of power and influence from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea—running right through the Jewish state. As such, the Jewish state has accused Iran of attempting over the years to entrench itself into nations across the region, establishing a launching pad for attacks against Israel.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Lt.–Gen. Aviv Kohavi presented a five-year Momentum Plan for the military to Israel’s top brass last week, garnering approval from Defense Minister Naftali Bennett. Kohavi’s vision entails reshuffling the separate departments of the military to create better integration and cooperation between the forces and to capitalize on the IDF’s advantages over its enemies: namely in air power, intelligence and technology.

“I can announce that we are identifying initial signs of loosening and recalculation by Iran regarding its plans in Syria.” Bennett said at a conference. “We just started and we will increase. We will go from a defensive concept to an offensive concept—weakening, tiring and erasing the octopus’s head by weakening its tentacles.”

On the Iranian front, the plan envisions furthering Israel’s “war-between-wars” policy of striking weapons stashes and military targets that Israel’s enemies are trying to amass surrounding the Jewish state. Kohavi’s vision calls to beef up the military’s weapons and technology stash, which will require a significant budget increase—though the current standstill without a fully functioning government could put a wrench in that for the time being.

Nonetheless, the new directorate is slated to be up and running by this summer, focusing only on Iran itself and not on its proxies in other nations as the IDF already has directorates focusing on those. The new Strategy and Iran Directorate does not have an official chief yet, but it will focus on military strategies to counter Iranian aggression and international relations.

To that effect, the IDF’s Liaison Unit, which coordinates with foreign militaries, and the Planning Division will be moving into the new Iran-centered directorate.

“We are constantly working to raising the stakes for Iran until we reach our ultimate goal: removing them from Syria,” Defense Minister Bennett said yesterday. “We will continue to prevent an Iranian presence on our northern border.”

“For generations, we have been constantly fighting the arms of the Iranian octopus in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza, and we have not focused on the weakening of Iran itself,” Bennett added—until now with the increased focus on preventing Tehran from arming Israel’s enemies on multiple fronts.

The Israeli military’s introduction of the medium-range Arrow missile defense system forced Iran to shift from its potential strategy of merely firing missiles at the Jewish state from within Iranian territory to entrenching in nations neighboring Israel, where it can fire warheads at a much closer range, a military history expert told the Jerusalem Post.

The Islamic regime has backed completely out of its requirements under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal over the past few months and ramped up production of enriched uranium—a move experts have warned will significantly lower the countdown to Tehran’s possession of a nuclear weapon.

In that event, “only the Arrow missile defense system guarantees Israeli survival,” the former head of the Arrow project declared this week.

Even though the best offense is defense, the only arena in which Israel can operate independent and unrestricted, according to a former IDF missile defense commander, is defense. While the Jewish state often restrains strikes on Iranian targets in Syria and Lebanon depending on the US and Russia, Brig.–Gen. Eitan Yariv noted at a military history conference this week, “Our defense is totally dependent on us…we can defend ourselves by ourselves.”

Posted on February 19, 2020

Source: (Bridges for Peace, February 19, 2020)

Photo Credit: IDF/idf.il