2017 has been a year of numerous developments in the Middle East. The President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, and his allies – Russia on the one hand and Iran and its proxies (mainly Hezbollah) on the other, managed to stabilize the future of his regime and push ISIS forces out of Syrian territory. The agreement between Russia and the USA regarding the future of Syria guarantees Assad's political survival.
The current major confrontation in the Middle East, the one between Iran and Saudi Arabia, is escalating through fighting in Yemen, the boycott on Qatar and Riyadh's massive procurement of US-made weapon systems. The exchanges of verbal blows between Iran and Saudi Arabia are becoming more extreme with every passing month, and the mending of the rift within the Muslim world, between Shi'ites and Sunnis is nowhere in sight.
Against the background of the changes in the Middle East, the State of Israel finds itself in a position where numerous geopolitical opportunities are presenting themselves. Along with these opportunities, new defense challenges have emerged as well, in the form of the Iranian presence in Syria and the intensified arms race throughout the Middle East.
The Winter issue of Israel Defense magazine surveys the geopolitical situation in various arenas around the world at the end of 2017: From Russia's leading role in the Middle East, through the interim outcome of the Arab Spring, to the terrorist threat emanating from Central Asia.
The 40th issue also considers the challenges facing the IAF and IDF Navy at the outset of 2018: Preparing for the threats of the war-between-the-wars, acquiring new platforms, increasing training effectiveness, implementing new concepts, and more. One of the highlights of this issue is a special centerfold dedicated to the naval vessels currently operated by the IDF Navy.
At the conclusion of 2017, we asked the marketing executives of Israel’s major defense industries about their companies' success stories of the past year, the potential markets for the future and the imminent challenges.
Main stories in the Winter issue include:
"Combat Intelligence Collection is a Force Multiplier": The "Eitam" combat intelligence collection battalion endeavors to maintain the tranquility along the borders with Egypt and Jordan. A rare visit to Israel's southern border and a special interview with the battalion's commander.
"No Place is Too Far": It may well be a long-serving aircraft, but the upgraded F-15C/D is still a superior war machine capable of reaching the longest ranges of all IAF aircraft. A special interview with the squadron commander.
Russian Roulette: Putin’s Russia is back as the key player in the Middle East. The experts of Israel Defense discuss the future of the region under the Kremlin’s influence.
The Arab Spring – an Interim Review: Seven years after the popular uprisings in the Arab countries, it seems that the Arab world has not only failed to develop in the direction of democracy, but has even distanced itself from it. Special analytical review by Col. (res.) Dr. Shaul Shay.
On Both Sides of the Fence: It is one of the most anonymous units in IDF, but its troopers operate in the hottest sectors along the borders. A visit to the "Kometz" Unit, in charge of Israel’s border fences.
The Asian Prairie: The links between Central Asia and radical Islamist terrorism started growing stronger following the collapse of the USSR. The new countries that were established back then are forced to deal with the threat of terrorism.
Pakistan’s Nuclear Jihadists: The leaders of the Pakistani nuclear weapon program, originally developed against the Indian enemy, hated each other’s guts, but many of them hated the West, Israel and the Jews even more, and aspired to obtain "The Islamic Bomb."
And many other fascinating articles in the latest issue of Israel Defense.
The issue is now delivered to subscribers and available in select bookstores around the world.