“We must not rest on the laurels. We must not be euphoric, nor smug nor arrogant. We are in a good state regarding our operational and technological power, and we must continue to build this force in order to create a practical advantage over the enemy.” These remarks were made by Lt. Gen. (ret.) Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon, former Israeli Minister of Defense and former IDF Chief of Staff, during the Israel Defense annual conference held this week in Tel Aviv.
“We are currently in a period characterized as a war-between-the-wars. We shouldn’t be waiting for the next round of fighting, but rather try to prevent it or delay it,” Ya’alon said, adding that Israel is at the global forefront in the ability to process huge amounts of intelligence data.
According to Ya’alon, the Iranians understand that they are more exposed to Israel’s intelligence capabilities. “For example,” he said, “they launched a drone which was destroyed together with its command and control trailer, followed by an attack on 50 Iranian targets in Syria. Iran fails to deliver weapons to the Gaza Strip. We are providing a solution to the tunnel threat – and it all comes down to intelligence.”
Eitan Ben David, Deputy National Security Advisor at the Prime Minister’s Office, who also spoke at the second day of the ‘Fire, Maneuvering and Intelligence in a Complex Environment’ Conference, stated Israel’s most pressing challenges today: the prevention of Iranian entrenchment in Syria and the prevention of a nuclearized Iran. He said we should also be aware of the restoration of the Syrian Army, as well as a possible renewal of Shi’ite terrorism. Regarding the Palestinian arena, Ben David said that Israel is making great efforts to preserve the calm in the Gaza Strip and prevent a humanitarian crisis there.
To his view, Israel’s strategic posture has improved, and it is built on a combination of military and economic power. “The State of Israel has great opportunities today, such as maintaining the strategic cooperation with the United States, whose current support for Israel is unprecedented.” Ben David also mentioned that there had been significant developments in Israel’s defense deals with numerous states worldwide, such as China, Japan, India, South American countries, Poland, the Czech Republic, Greece, Cyprus, and more. He also said that Israel had tightened its relations with EU countries like Germany, France, and Britain.