"Israel is Facing a Strategic Turning Point"

Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad addressed the 2nd International Ground Warfare & Logistics Conference: "We are currently living in the best security era ever, although we face unprecedented challenges"

Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad (Photo: Gilad Kavalerchik)

Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad, currently heading the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, referred to Israel's current national security situation: "We are currently living in the best security era ever, although we face unprecedented challenges. For the moment, we are enjoying a period of security tranquility, although this might change in the coming years."

In his address, Amos Gilad stated that Israel is facing a strategic turning point – "ISIS as a state is on the decline. Eventually, ISIS will be defeated as a state entity." According to him, Assad's current strength stems from the fact that he grants permits of presence to the Russians, Hezbollah and Iran. For this reason, Assad has no intention of forsaking his rule and Iran is backing him.

Gilad believes that Hezbollah constitutes a military risk to Israel owing to the concrete threats of the missiles, rockets and closure of the airspace. On the other hand, Israel is currently benefiting from a substantial degree of deterrence and some Arab countries may be regarded as 'security friends', including Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Iran was and still remains Israel's primary objective. Gilad believes that US President Donald Trump is leading a change in the region in order to consolidate US presence in the Middle East. This policy presents some important opportunities for Israel.

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"Loitering weapon systems and loitering munitions provide the optimal solution for battlefield commanders, allowing them to command the vertical medium. Loitering munitions are still in their infancy, but the Americans, for example, intend to publish tenders for the supply of massive amounts of loitering munitions – on the scale of tens of thousands of platforms," said Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Rom, formerly a senior IAF fighter pilot and commander and presently the Chairman of the Board of UVision, a company that develops and manufactures loitering platforms, at the International Ground Warfare Conference.

Giora Rom explained that loitering munitions are particularly suitable for special operations. "We recently started an experiment involving loitering munitions with US Special Forces, coordinated with the Raytheon Corporation," he told the audience. "The commander on the battlefield is assigned a mission to attack a target. Today, targets are often located in areas saturated with civilian populations and uninvolved parties, and collateral damage must be strictly avoided." Using loitering munitions, the commander can respond very quickly and attack the target with maximum precision. Prompt response is critical – the commander often has only a few seconds to decide what and how to attack, hence the importance of having all of the capabilities incorporated into a single, readily-available platform: it is a loitering platform, it can identify the target and execute the actual attack. Additional advantages: the platform is carried by a single trooper, it is launched from the ground and is inexpensive. The platform can carry warheads of varying sizes and weights and the operator can choose from a range of fuzes. Endurance is substantial, the payloads are effective during the day and night and the loitering platform is capable of engaging moving targets.

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(Photo: AP)

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