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IDF Chief of Staff publishes strategy document, outlining goals and methods

Indicating an unprecedented level of transparency, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot yesterday published a document outlining IDF strategy, including the threats facing Israel and plans to combat them.

In the introduction of the 33-page document, Eizenkot states the broad mission of the IDF – Securing the existence of the State of Israel, ensuring it is a democratic and Jewish home for the Jewish people, safeguarding a robust economy and society, and boosting Israel’s status throughout the world. Eizenkot says “The approach as consolidated in this document … will be the compass for deploying and developing force.”

The document emphasises the changing nature of threats to Israel. The conventional threat posed by armies is dwindling, while non-conventional threats from terror groups and other actors are on the rise. In particular, cyber warfare is described as a front on a par with land, sea and air combat. In addition, the document contends there is a need to better understand the challenges of urban warfare and an enemy “spreading out and assimilation into the civilian populated areas to impede the IDF’s fighting ability.”

Other changes which the document recommends are an improvement in the effectiveness of ground manoeuvres, diversifying operational capabilities in order to tackle specific operations rather than all-out war or conflict and the need to maintain intelligence, aerial and naval superiority in the region.

Eizenkot also outlines what he believes are the key components to the IDF’s superiority, specifying its “fighting spirit,” “the quality of its commanders’ decisions” and the IDF’s “execution of missions completely, quickly and with minimal resources.” In conclusion, Eizenkot says that, “The IDF will stand in success in every mission and challenge, and will achieve its goal – to defend and to win.”

During recent weeks, the defence establishment has strongly opposed recommendations by a government-appointed committee to limit defence spending over the coming years, while Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon voted against the state budget last week in protest at the amount allocated for defence.