Israeli History Part II
Building the defense was a priority task in the new state, which at the same time faced major challenges in several areas, not least the reception of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, most displaced from Arab states. This, at the same time, gave IDF access to crews – and Israeli intelligence access to Arab experts. In addition to financial constraints, the development of the IDF was hampered by inadequate access to weapons. For political reasons, especially relations with the Arab states, most countries refused to sell weapons to Israel. The exception was primarily France, which, on the other hand, after the six-day war in 1967, essentially stopped deliveries – while the US only supplied weapons to a greater extent after this war.
The Israeli defense is strongly centralized, with close coordination between the land, air and naval forces (defense forces) through a joint general staff. The operational structure is linked to three regional commands. The IDF has close relationships with civilian Israeli society in several ways, including through an extensive defense industry that has produced material both for the IDF and for export.
Since its establishment in 1948, the Israeli Army (Israeli Army, IA) has been the largest part of the IDF. Subsequently, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has become a very important part, while the Navy (Israeli Navy, IN) remains the smallest branch of the defense. In addition to these are several joint institutions and the military intelligence, Aman (Agaf HaModiin). The IDF also has a Home Command with special responsibility for the defense of civil society, as well as search and rescue operations.
The IDF is led by a Chief of Staff who is subordinate to the Minister of Defense. His second in command is at the same time army commander. The Chief of Defense leads the central, joint general staff – which at the same time constitutes the command – and where the border commanders are included. In addition to the branches of defense, the IDF is organized into three regional commands, respectively, the Northern Command (for defense against Lebanon and Syria), the Central Command (which covers central Israel and the West Bank), and the Southern Command (with responsibility for the Negev and the border with Egypt as well as the Gaza Strip).). Check Constructmaterials to see more articles about this country and Middle East.
Through the military service, a large part of the Israeli population is enrolled in the reserve forces. These constitute a significant part of the IDF, and have been mobilized by all wars. They usually consist of well-trained departments that are welded together after many rehearsal exercises.
The task of the IDF is to defend the existence of the State of Israel, with its territory and population, including by fighting all forms of terrorism. The foremost tenet of defense doctrine is that Israel cannot afford to lose a single war – for fear of being wiped out as a state. The doctrine also states that the strategy is defensive, without territorial ambitions, and a desire to avoid war through the use of political means and credible military deterrence – and that escalation of a conflict should be avoided.
Especially after the 1956 Suez crisis, pre-emptive strikes became a clue to Israeli defense policy. This was expressed when the IDF attacked Egypt and Syria before they could launch their planned attack on Israel in June 1967 – but did not succeed in the same countries in October 1973. The experiences of the 1956 Sinai war meant greater emphasis on mobility, with a build-up of the armored forces. This came into use in both 1967 and 1973, and contributed significantly to Israel’s offensive in 1973. During the 1967 Six-Day War, the Israeli Air Force contributed to a rapid victory by taking out the Egyptian, but also the Syrian and Jordanian. In several later cases, the IAF proved superior, including several cases of Syrian air strikes, including Lebanon. A superiority in the air – with control over the airspace – is an essential part of the Israeli defense strategy, and absolutely crucial because of Israel’s small territory and lack of strategic depth. The latter was remedied by the occupation of Sinai (to 1982), West Bank and Golan Heights.
A fundamental prerequisite for Israeli defense policy has been a strong intelligence that should provide a minimum of 48 hours notice – with room for mobilization of the reserve forces. This failed in 1973 and led to Israel being poorly prepared when Egypt and Syria attacked. Both the political and military leadership were criticized in the post-war investigation; Agranat Commission. Israel has several intelligence agencies, and for several periods poor cooperation and coordination between them has been pointed out. The military intelligence, Aman, is the largest; the foreign-oriented – Mossad – is the best known. Several specialized environments sort under Aman, including the clearing unit Sayeret Matkal, established in 1957 primarily to obtain intelligence from Arab countries.