This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCE AS AN INSTRUMENT OF NATIONAL POLICY
SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COURSE CLASS 53 BY
16 September 2009
The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the AFPCGSC. This document may not be released for open publication until it has been cleared by the College.
Page | 2
Introduction – The bureaucracy and military as instruments of national policy
Measuring National Power provides a country-specific dynamic process where security is finite and safety is a function of possessing a differential advantage in military power which is a necessary strategy to balance or equalize another entity’s power. Page 04
The politico-administrative dichotomy of Israel
National power can be defined simply as the capacity of a country to pursue strategic goals through purposeful action. It therefore presupposes a model which is defined by four interrelated systems which determine the nation’s capacity to transform its resources to the effective combination of civilian and military possible. Page 05
The role of defense industry of Israel in building national capability
With increasing competition from the major world aerospace players, Israeli companies tend to specialize in niche markets, or have sought to combine forces through mergers or joint marketing efforts. Page 07
Israel Defense Force: History, Resources, customs and traditions
In Israel, the military is one of the most respected institutions in Israeli society and has long been a unifying agent for the many groups comprising Israel’s diverse population. Page 08
Page | 3
The examination of military capability as a vector of national policy is patterned analogously to the larger framework for assessing national power. Page 11
Page | 4
Introduction: The bureaucracy and military as instruments of national policy
The economic fundamentals of production contend that for any given country, notwithstanding the state-society structure would focus on minimum production of intermediate goods (goods which are used as inputs i.e. steel) to maximize military capability to reduce insecurity at the maximum degree. 1 It is therefore logical to expect that a country facing serious threats to concentrate considerable degree of its resources on national defense since it is essentially a non-rival and non-excludable public good. Moreover, increasing tension within a country could be effectively managed by ensuring adequate support from the military and other enforcement agencies to maintain and uphold peace and order which will complement our national policies at the local level. (SSR, 2001; PFIF, 2009; Mobekk, 2006) This scenario is widely observed in Africa, Russia, China, and most of Asia. This partly explains the fiscal imbalances in terms of military spending as against sectors in support of human development. While the debate of which sector should be considered as a main priority in national objectives is arguable, countries which are vulnerable to attacks internally and externally are tolerated for their discretion.
Figure 1 Map of Israel
Meanwhile, politico-military instruments such as technology, arms control and countering WMD, defense engagements for peacekeeping, international defense security engagements, as well as peacekeeping operations all necessitate resources, financial, human capital, and a prominent drive for innovation. These resources elicit unconventional responses to emerging threats such as terrorism, insurgency, drug trafficking, and human displacement. The likelihood that the response would be effective and adequate when security issues arise is significantly determined by the available resources to maintain and sustain the operations of the defense forces. Given this premise, we find high correlation between high economic growth, human security, and national development in peaceful countries as compared to war-stricken nations. (Boswood, 2007) There is also substantial evidence illustrating high defense spending with effective public policy. (Eschborn, 2005) While these instruments serve as options for decisionFigure 2 The Ink Flag as makers who are most likely to uphold the safety and security, ita symbol of Israel’s victory in 1948
Measuring National power provides a country-specific dynamic process where security is finite and safety is a function of possessing a differential advantage in military power which is a necessary strategy to balance or equalize another entity’s power. As such, the defense sector assumes as front liners to ensure national security in aid of national objectives.
Page | 5
is also within their best interest to choose the superior but cost-effective methods that minimize collateral damage or engage in limited military intervention if necessary. At any given time when national security is put at risk, the military becomes a key element in the whole-of-government approach to defense and security.
The politico-administrative dichotomy of Israel
National power can be defined simply as the capacity of a country to pursue strategic goals through purposeful action. The national goals are embodied in the strategies and policies that steer the nation’s sectors and determines its outcomes at the national and local levels. In a parliamentary setting, the crafting of the national policies remains as an executive function while the administration and execution remains bilaterally at the government and the military. It therefore presupposes a model which is defined by four interrelated systems which determine the nation’s capacity to transform its resources to the effective combination of civilian and military possible (Figure 1).
The bureaucracy and instruments of national policy
The environment The environment
Political parties Pressureg roups Interestg roups Resources
P ublicpolicies, la etc. ws,
Theadm inistrative system
B ureaucracy Military
E xecutes enforce / s
S entim ents publicopinion,behaviour ,
Figure 3 The Bureaucracy and instruments of national policy
Page | 6
In the Israeli political spectrum, Israel’s Parliament is based on Basic Law, or the Knesset, with 120 members elected by secret ballot each with 4-year term. As a Parliamentary democracy, the key bureaucratic institutions include the Presidency, the Knesset (parliament), the Government (cabinet), the Judiciary and the State Comptroller. Suffrage is universally discretionary among Israeli citizens aged 18 years and above provided that they appear in the voter’s list. Israel’s administrative system is comprised of Groups which are sometimes associated with the political left or right, especially in international circles, according to their stance on issues important to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Parties who identify themselves as neither are considered as centre parties. Interest groups range from agricultural, feminist, and citizens empowerment to those seeking financial obligations from the Government. Although the laws of numbers suggest a struggle between parties, with small parties possibly disproportionate or barred from the parliaments, formation of coalitions to overcome the threshold becomes a usual setting. Ironically enough, these coalitions also accounts for the short life span of the Israeli government as tedious peace process, religion, and political outrages cause them to break up. Needless to say, although the civilian supremacy over the military is rarely challenged, the serious and longstanding external and incidental threat to Israeli security justifies its massive militarization which gives rise to the term “garrison democracy”.
The Israel Military Government holds a functional command within the General Staff as military governors, with a separate civilian administration to exercise the military powers of the military government including advisory, guidance, coordinating body, and supervisor of all government ministries, state institutions, and public authorities in the occupied territories. Needless to say, although the civilian supremacy over the military is rarely challenged, the serious and longstanding external and incidental threat to Israeli security justifies its massive militarization which gives rise to the term “garrison democracy”. As such, it is inevitable that the military has served as a channel of political interest groups, which entails political careers to former servicemen during retirement. The Israel Defense Force leaders eventually climb into the bureaucratic ranks as well as leadership appointments in public institutions. The Israel Defense Force is a composite defense army managed by a General Staff. The Chief of the General Staff, the sole Officer with a rank of Lieutenant General is recommended in the seat by the Defense Minister and
Page | 7
appointed by the cabinet with the nod of the Prime Minister of Israel. Given the power vested upon him, he reports directly to the former and indirectly to the latter. Meanwhile, the Judiciary is an independent branch of the Government comprised of three-tier system: The Magistrate Courts, the District courts, and the Supreme Court. The separation of powers in the Israeli government preserves the balance in the formation of national objectives, development and enforcement of national policies, and the strict compliance of the laws. Although the military plays a significant role in all aspects of every Israeli life, the dichotomy of the interrelated systems guarantees that abuse of powers especially to the civil society will be prevented.
The role of defense industry of Israel in building national capability
Israel’s defense industry was initiated primarily to respond to the situation previously described. With the domestic production fluctuating at an annual range of 5 percent, the sudden drop at a record low of negative 1 percent in 2002 indicates a significant disaster in Israel’s economy brought about by the appalling Israeli-Palestinian conflict where the casualties reached about 2,309. In this given scenario, the Israeli government reinstated the role of the military as civil disorders and terrorism started in 2000, with national policies geared towards intensifying military capability to respond to the growing uncertainty and tension not only in the region but also within the confines of Israel.
Israeli Merkava Mark 4 MBT
Page | 8
Figure 5 Israel’s economy at a glance
Israel’s defense industry found its roots in response to the growing hostilities of the Arab nation. Evolving from small arms manufacturing in 1930’s to a real dealer as the Israel Military Industry in 1948 for the IDF. Perhaps the major catalyst for the metamorphosis of the weapons industry came after the six day war and instigated by the imposition of tariff on imports from France. These events inspired the Israeli defense industry to nurture its weapons development capability to empower the nation and to secure its borders from the growing conflict in the region. There are approximately 150 defense firms in Israel, with combined revenues of an estimated $3.5 billion. The three largest entities are the government-owned IAI, IMI and the Rafael Arms Development Authority. Each produces a wide range of conventional arms and advanced defense electronics. The medium-sized privately owned companies include Elbit Systems and the Tadiran Group, which focus mainly on defense electronics. The smaller firms produce a narrower range of products. In all, the industry employs close to 50,000 people, all of whom share a commitment to high levels of research and development and the ability to make use of the IDF's combat experience. Israel's defense exports are coordinated and regulated through SIBAT. It is a Foreign Defense Assistance and Defense Export Organization which is run by the Ministry of Defense. SIBAT's tasks include licensing all defense exports as well as marketing products developed for the IDF, from electronic components to missile boats and tanks. Each year, SIBAT publishes a defense sales directory, an authoritative guide to what the industry has to offer. With increasing competition from the major world aerospace players, Israeli companies tend to specialize in niche markets, or have sought to combine forces through mergers or joint marketing efforts. In addition, declining global defense spending has provided them with new opportunities as foreign governments seek to upgrade their existing arsenal rather than buy new equipment.
Page | 9
Israel Defense Force: History, Resources, customs and traditions
In Israel, the military is one of the most respected institutions in Israeli society and has long been a unifying agent for the many groups comprising Israel’s diverse population. The mission of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is “To defend the existence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state of Israel. To protect the inhabitants of Israel and to combat all forms of terrorism which threaten the daily lives of its citizens.” In order to accomplish the IDF mission, Israel has defined some basic points of IDF doctrine: • Israel cannot afford to lose a single Figure 6 Israel’s Domestic defense war. • Conduct strategic level defense withspending no territorial ambitions. • Avoid war by political means and a credible deterrent posture. • Prevent escalation. • Determine the outcome of war quickly and decisively. • Combat terrorism. • Maintain a very low casualty ratio. Like the other systems in the framework, the military is a significant determinant of national capability and is often one of the most influential and effective instrument in ensuring that national objectives are met and national policies are promulgated. More importantly, in a period of disasters and when events threaten national security, the defense force responds most effectively and efficiently. Since the IDF is at the front lines of Israel, whether in social or political spectrum, it is treated with high regard asFigure 7 Casualties near Gaza strip the world’s most advanced and well-equipped countries.
Historically as well as technically, the IDF as a paramilitary organization has been considered as a defense force for external defense. However, as the concept of war evolved, the concept of military capability has improved and pushed beyond what was previously imagined in terms of the effective coercive strength and advanced munitions. Given the high demand for superior defense capability due to the persistent tension in the East Asia, the IDF continues to build the world’s most advanced weapons technology for security. Israel’s capability at present time is far
Page | 10
beyond its state four decades ago when it has very limited resources that even the military personnel were deprived of wages. 2 Israel, because of the longstanding wars that were fought, lost, and won, has developed an intrinsic defense strategy and have learned and adapted to the threat environment against their adversaries and with emphasis on the external volatilities, socio-politico-economic uncertainties, the complexities from ‘development’, and ambiguities that unfold in modern day events. The Israel Defense Forces or simply the IDF was found following the establishment of the State of Israel by virtue of Prime Minister David Ben- Gurion’s order on May 26, 1948. The directive called for the abolition of all other Jewish armed forces which allowed for the integration of existing forces provided that the internal affairs, including purchases of arms would be centrally made. (Ben-Gurion, 1971) Although the IDF keeps its force strength at concentrated numbers, leading security analysts attest that the IDF ground forces are highly mechanized, with heavily armed personnel and armored vehicles with modern antitank capabilities and guided missile systems situated in all strategic points outnumbering the combined armies of potential aggressors along the mid-section of Asia. With almost 9 percent of its budget allocated for military spending in 2007, Israel continues to fuel innovation into the defense sector not only for the advanced capabilities but also to sustain the fiscal security of the Defense forces and safeguard their morale. (Figure 3) In terms of public-private partnerships as part of national policy, domestic as well as international firms thrive in the Defense sector. This ensures the continued development and innovation of the technology, strategy, and capability of the IDF.
Global Security.org provides an elaborated discussion of how the IDF managed to survive notwithstanding the economic deficiency.
Page | 11
Figure 8 Israel’s military spending (% GDP)
18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0
15 0 .4 1 .30 5
1 .90 2
12 0 .5 11 0 .3 1 .60 1
9 0 .9 9 0 .2 8.50 8 0 .7 8.60 8 0 .4 8.3 0 7 0 .9 8.20 8.60 7 0 .8 7.70 7 0 .9 8.60
Source: CIA Fact book, 2009
Consistent with the previous discussions, the IDF was organized by the government to respond to external threats and to mitigate heavy casualties in Israel during the Arab-Israeli war when Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Trans-Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen declared war on Israel. These events led to the rise of Israeli defense industry, which reaped appreciation and praise in terms of military capability and as an effective national instrument in upholding the most significant national policy for all defense forces- to safeguard the peace and security in the nation state. Without an option to lose in any war, the Government continues to put its defense sector in the front lines as its main instrument in upholding national policies and meeting national objectives while diverting most of its national budget in aid of defense sector development. Upon the end of the 1948 war, the IDF shifted into low intensity conflict against the previous aggressors. This trend resulted mostly from the widespread call for peaceful negotiations in view of the International laws which proscribes war and armed conflict. With the IDF reaching its height, the strategic acumen is mirrored in the successful military feats such as 1948 War of Independence, the rapid conquest of the Sinai in 1956, the daredevil capture of Adolf Eichmann in 1960, the stunning Israeli triumph at the beginning of the 1967 Six Day War, and the intrepid hostage rescue at Entebbe in 1976 against a larger backdrop of bloodstained failures such as the Gaza assault. As such, Israel Defense Force as it appears from its current activities is focused on restoring its “deterrent” nature.
Page | 12
The examination of military capability as a vector of national policy is patterned analogously to the larger framework for assessing national power. It identifies the following variables of interest:
Figure 9 Evolution of Israel’s military strategy
strategic resources a military receives from the government it serves, which include defense budgets, manpower, military infrastructure, combat RDT&E institutions, the defense industrial base, and the war fighting inventory and support; The national government of Israel puts prime in ensuring the fiscal sustainability and capability development of the Israel defense force. This strategy is justified by the significant role of the IDF encompassing various sectors and the safety of its citizens. Given this stature, it is the responsibility of the IDF to ensure the fiscal support is maximized effectively and that cost-effective measures are observed in the procurement and development of its capabilities to ensure peace and security in and along the borders of Israel. Moreover, it is in the core function of the IDF to build a comprehensive defense army that will effectively and efficiently respond to the call for peace and national security of the bureaucracy. (2) The variables bearing upon the means by which these resources are converted into effective capabilities, for example, the threats facing a country and the strategy developed to cope with them; the structure of civil-military relations, the density of foreign military-to-military relations, the nature of doctrine, training, and organization, and, the potential and capacity for innovation; and Keeping in mind that the Israel’s defense sector was created as a necessity to respond to the rising hostilities in the Middle East, the IDF plays a critical role in proper implementation and enforcement of national policies, maintaining a strategic direction to further its defense capability. Consequently, the role of the military in the development of national policies is to ensure the consistency and complementarities of its military capability plans, programs, and strategy.
Page | 13
(3) The capabilities of the combat force itself, understood via a spectrum of war fighting competencies that may be attained to a greater or lesser degree and which may be compared across countries. In a national scenario, the IDF’s role in combating the existing and emerging threats adheres to the Rules of engagement of Israel as well as the internal rules of war. Given its advanced weapons industry, it is of the Government of Israel’s interest to safeguard the rights of its citizens through a capable and responsible defense force. It is therefore imperative that the IDF maintains direct and transparent dealings that are deemed appropriate and prudent by the Defense ministry and the Parliament. (4) The Group recognizes a basic asymmetry between Israel and the Arab/Iranian world.3 This asymmetry concerns attitudes toward the overall desirability of peace; the absence of democratic regimes in the Arab/Iranian world; the acceptability of terror as a legitimate weapon by the Arab/Iranian world; the zero-sum conception of conflict vis-à-vis Israel held by some states of the Arab/Iranian world; the overwhelming demographic advantage of the Arab/Iranian world; and the greater tendency of the Arab/Iranian world to make mistakes in strategic calculations. Taken as a whole, these asymmetries point toward an intemperate Arab/Iranian plan for protracted war against Israel that is wedded to an unquenchable desire by some to develop Weapons of Mass Destruction for use in this war. In view of the above-mentioned asymmetries, non-conventional exchanges between Israel and adversary states in the Middle East must be avoided. It is not in Israel’s interests ever to engage in WMD warfare with these adversary states. Therefore; Israel must maintain conventional supremacy in the region. This will be indispensable to maintaining the threshold of WMD warfare at the highest possible level. The classic paradigm of war between national armies is becoming less relevant in the present Middle East. In time, it can be made more efficient for Israel to increase the emphasis on high-tech solutions (thereby expending fewer resources).Traditionally, short-range threats (terrorism) and long-range threats (ballistic missiles and WMD) have been under-evaluated. The strategic paradigm for Israel must now shift to meet the expanding threats from terrorism and long-range WMD attacks. In doing so, of course, there must be a corresponding reduction in the resources Israel can devote to classical war fighting. Modern technology should allow Israel to reduce its defense expenditure while maintaining or even enhancing effectiveness and lethality in classical war fighting. Critical to this transformation in war fighting doctrine are a range of new technologies such as a drastic increase in weapons’ lethality (ton x miles per target destroyed) achieved through increased range, precision, warhead efficiency; EW and other defenses; reduced IR and RF signatures and on course + final percussion (data link) feed-back. Efficient use of sophisticated weapons is only possible if pre- and poststrike, real time intelligence, both tactical and strategic is available and accurate, and
Israel’s Strategic Future, The Final Report of Project Daniel, Louis René Beres.. April 2004
Page | 14
if strike command, control & communications are computer interfaced with real time intelligence (C4I).
Page | 15
Ben-Gurion, David (1971) Israel: A Personal History. New York: Funk and Wagnalls. Beres, Louis René (2004). Israel’s Strategic Future, The Final Report of Project Daniel Boswood, Kate (2007). Linking governance and security: Defence’s role in South East Asia. Eschborn (2005) Promoting Good Governance in Post-Conflict Societies. Division State and Democracy Project on Democracy and the Rule of Law Gelber, Yoav and Yad Ben Tzvi (1986). Nucleus for a Standing Army. Herzog, Chaim (1982). The Arab-Israeli Wars. London: Arms and Armour Press. http://milexdata.sipri.org/result.php4 (2009) http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2002/6/Facets%20of%20the%20I sraeli%20Economy-%20The%20Defense%20Industry Jordan, Jarrett D. (2000) The Trinity in Balance: Israel’s Strategy For Victory In The Six Day War. Kessel, Jerrold and Pierre Klochendler (2009) Mideast: Israel at Crossroads Between Ceasefire and Occupation. Klieman, Aaron (1987) Israeli Military Exports. Journal of Defense Democracy Vol. 5 No.12. Lucas, Noah (1974). The Modern History of Israel. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson. Mobekk, Eirin and Stuart Freedman (2006). BINUB: Good Governance, Security Sector Reform and Enhancing Human Rights Establishing Priorities. Ostfeld, Zehava (1994). Shiftel, Shoshana. ed. An Army is Born. Israel Ministry of Defense. ISBN 965-05-0695-0. Peri, Yoram (2002) The Israel Military and Israel’s Palestinian Policy: From Oslo to the Al Aqsa Intifada. Rosenthal, Donna (2003). The Israelis. Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-7035-5. SIPRI (2001) SECURITY SECTOR REFORM www.adb.org (2009) www.globalsecurity.org (2009) www.worldbank.org (2009) Yehuda Shif, ed (1982). IDF in Its Corps: Army and Security Encyclopedia (18 volumes). RevivimPublishing.
Page | 16
Index of figures
Figure 1 Map of Israel was adopted from mfa.gov.il.................................................................................4 Figure 2 Israel’s victory over Arabian countries was adopted from mfa.gov.il............................................................4 Figure 3 The Bureaucracy and instruments of national policy was formulated by LE Milo-Picar, Ph.D and Prof. Danny Reyes, Ph.D...........5 Figure 5 Israel’s economy at a glance data were consolidated by the authors from the World Bank World Development Indicators Report (2008), ADB, UNDP.................................................................................................... ...7 Figure 4 Israel’s defense capability was adopted from mfa.gov.il ......................................................................7 Figure 6 Israel’s Domestic defense spending was adopted from mfa.gov.il.............................................................8 Figure 7 Casualties near Gaza strip illustration was adopted from Kessel, Jerrold and Pierre Klochendler (2009)...........................9 Figure 8 Israel’s military spending (% GDP) data used were adopted from CIA facts 2009..............................................10 Figure 9 Evolution of Israel’s military strategy as proposed by Louis René Beres......................................................11
Page | 17