In his piece for Aviation Week, David Eshel looks at Israel's new multiyear defense plan, which covers such emerging concerns as potential threats from the Arab Spring, BMD and cyberwarfare.
With much of the Middle East in turmoil, new realities are emerging for Israel and her neighbors, reshaping the strategic environment that has remained nearly constant for more than 30 years, since the 1979 peace accord with Egypt.
Israel is responding to this uncertainty, and to other regional challenges, through its new multiyear defense plan. Designated “Halamish” (firestone), the plan covers such emerging concerns as potential threats from the so-called “Arab Spring,” ballistic missile defense (BMD), cyberwarfare, the strategic necessity of protecting offshore natural gas fields and an expanding role for the navy, as well as conventional issues of tactical mobility, force projection and maneuver warfare.
The former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, remarked at the annual Herzliya global policy conference near Tel Aviv in February that Israel's defense doctrine must change to meet the challenges of the Arab Spring. A major influence on the new IDF multiyear plan is the dramatic change in Egypt. As events unfold there, the possibility that the Muslim Brotherhood or more radical Islamic elements might gain influence in any Egyptian government threatens the peace treaty with Israel.