Israel's National Security Doctrine

(Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security) Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror - Israel has an unwritten but broadly accepted national security doctrine - "first principles" - which can assist in long-term planning, setting priorities and allocating resources. Israel will forever face a yawning gap between the size of its resident population and that of neighboring countries, which have all been hostile to Israel's existence in the past, and some remain so. Israel always will be a small country in size, and hence hyper-sensitive to any loss of territory and to artillery and rocket fire - unlike most of its neighbors. Israel can never attain a decisive victory in war - a moment which would radically transform the political culture of the region regarding the desire to annihilate it. No victory in any war would ensure, once and for all, that Israel again will not face threats to its existence. Moreover, Israel's first defeat may well be its last, if its territory ends up being conquered by Arab or Islamic forces. This is not the case for any Arab country which Israel might defeat and occupy its territory. Thus, Israel is doomed to plan for the next war at the end of any war it fights, no matter how successful; and in every war it must prevail against all odds. In sharp contrast to its adversaries, the IDF has no option of retreat. Israel's "center of gravity" is concentrated in a narrow geographical space in the greater Tel Aviv region - 10 miles from the Green Line, 45 miles from the Jordan River border, and 25 miles from Gaza. Keeping the enemy away from the region and defending it from attack is vital and critical for Israel's ability to survive and to function during any wartime scenario. Beyond that, due to its small size, Israel does not have much redundancy when it comes to critical infrastructure, which is a serious vulnerability. Israel will make every effort to bolster its ability to defend itself by itself. It cannot and must not rely on others to fight its wars. Both to deter, as well as to defend effectively, and to attack and win when necessary, Israel must maintain a "qualitative edge" over its enemies, mostly using advanced technology and highly-qualified manpower. Israel will do everything necessary to sustain and increase its qualitative advantages. The writer, who served for 36 years in senior IDF posts, was National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu and chairman of the National Security Council.

2021-08-09 00:00:00

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