The concerns the IDF Chief of Staff has voiced regarding a possible flare-up along the northern border come just days after the saga of the US forces' departure from northern Syria and the entrance of the Turkish forces into the areas dominated by the Kurds. As we reported, Israeli intelligence elements estimate that the American withdrawal will lead to more intensive activity by ISIS in Syria, possibly even in the southern part of the country, close to the Israeli border.
At the same time, in Lebanon, the masses are flooding the city streets around the country, demanding economic reforms and the replacement of the present government. IDF may be concerned about Hezbollah preferring to divert the fire in the direction of Israel rather than facing the Lebanese public. It is unclear, however, how the present demonstrations are different from the "Garbage Demonstrations" in Lebanon just a few months ago.
In any case, Lieutenant General Kochavi made his statement against the background of the discussions regarding the budget for the IDF's new force build-up program "Tnufa", which is to replace the long-term program "Gideon" in 2020. When budget discussions are under way, a war in the background is the preferable option to justify the funds. The Chief of Staff's statement also contained a hint of Iraq as an additional theater of operations. US troops have remained in that country – some of them had redeployed to Iraq from northern Syria.
Another assertion against the Americans reflected in the Chief of Staff's statement involves the lack of a response against the Iranians following the attack against the oil installations in Saudi Arabia. Israel is probably expecting the coalition against Iran to disintegrate as President Trump is pushing for a new agreement rather than war. France has offered a credit line of US$ 15 billion, and the entire plan the Mossad has been developing for the past two decades, of getting the USA to conquer Iran, seems to be more distant than ever before. In this state of affairs, IDF need more money so as to "go it alone."
Kochavi's statement has been addressed to the Israeli public with the intention of rallying support for the demands of IDF in the struggle expected in the coming months against the Ministry of Finance. Additionally, his statement has been addressed to the White House. Admittedly, the USA contributes foreign aid to the tune of about US$ 3 billion per year for the build-up of the IDF and for other, jointly-financed projects, but its presence in the Middle East allows IDF to tone down its force build-up processes. Now, allegedly, the IDF Chief of Staff has directed an implied criticism at the White House, for being responsible for the intensifying risk in Syria and opposite Iran.