Steve Kramer – Israel Prepares Itself
Iran, according to the United Nations Security Council resolution (7/20/15) endorsing the Iran nuclear deal, is “called upon” to refrain, for up to eight years, from working on ballistic missiles which are designed to deliver nuclear weapons. Existing sanctions imposed on Iran’s missile program were NOT ended.
But in October, Iran violated this ban and tested a precision-guided ballistic missile. That prompted a US threat to impose more sanctions on Iran, a threat that went unfulfilled. Two months later, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani thumbed his nose at the West by ordering Iran’s missile program to be expanded.
Iran’s commander-in-chief A. Salehi said, ”Iran’s missile capability and its missile program will become stronger. We do not pay attention and do not implement resolutions against Iran, and this is not a violation of the nuclear deal*,”said the semi-official Fars news agency. Not to worry, Iran is not a threat to neighboring and friendly countries, according to General Salehi.
* Correct, one of the deal’s many failings.
He did emphasize, “Our missile program is … a threat against our enemies. Israel should understand what it means.” Needless to say, while Israel is considered by Iran to be the Little Satan, the US is Iran’s Big Satan and fits into the enemies category. The Obama administration reacted to the missile launches on January 6, according to Reuters: “We are fully prepared to use sanctions with respect to this most recent ballistic missile test (and we) are still working through some technical issues there,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said.
With the current administration dithering, how is Israel reacting to the threat from Iran to “wipe Israel from the map,” by a possible Iranian nuclear missile attack, by missile attacks from Iran’s proxy Hezbollah, or by Iranian ground forces across Israel’s northern border? In part, Israel is preparing by upgrading the (Israel Defense Forces) IDF’s Lake Castle system, whose purpose is to ensure that crippling, successive, and accurate strikes are leveled at Israel’s enemies in any future conflict.
According to an article by Yaakov Lappin in the Jerusalem Post (2/7/16), Lake Castle was created a decade ago, but had its last upgrade this past January. The upgrade was done by hundreds of young computer programmers working for the Military Systems for Command, Control and Management. The IDF says that Lake Castle provides much quicker battle insights, giving decision-makers the best information on how to use available firepower most effectively.
The programmers are part of the Lotem-C41 Technological Unit, which also works to make “big data” insights useful for field commanders throughout all military’s branches. This results from, “integrated development teams that bring together members of the unit and officers from the ground forces, intelligence directorate, air force and navy.” Incidentally, veterans of this unit, and other, similar cyber-based units in the IDF, are a mainstay in Israel’s burgeoning digital/cyber industries.
Lappin, in another Jerusalem Post article (2/5/16), described the (Israel Air Force) IAF’s Air Operation headquarters, established in 2014. This unit’s responsibility is to draw up and carry out offensive and defensive missions, with all its ramifications. The organization states that its main focus is Hezbollah in Lebanon, which has about 100,000 surface-to-surface projectiles. That huge quantity means 1,000-1,500 rockets could be fired daily at Israel in the next full-scale conflict, inflicting hundreds of casualties daily (according to the Israeli Home Front Command).
During the (2006) Second Lebanon War, Israel had less than 200 targets ready to be destroyed in its target bank. Today the IAF has, “intimate knowledge of thousands of targets.” The IAF “mass strike machine” could devastate Hezbollah’s efforts, but this scenario is complicated by the fact that the air space in the region is full of Russian, American, and other air craft. Nevertheless, the IAF expects to strike thousands of targets daily, an extremely impressive rate.
Similar to Lake Castle, Air Operations will synchronize offensive and defensive capabilities, working with Israel’s intelligence agencies and the IDF’s regional divisions to coordinate activities. The IAF expects an immediate boost to its capabilities when it acquires its first few F-35 air craft later this year, which will be used for advanced intelligence gathering, if not for strikes.
Coinciding with all these efforts, Israel is worried by the West’s relatively lackadaisical attitude towards Iran’s offensive capabilities. Israel must reserve the right, despite the West’s indifference, to take the offensive to defend itself, should it feel that an attack is imminent from Iran or its proxies, especially Hezbollah (Lebanon) and Hamas (Gaza). Presently, Israel is completing an electronic barrier around its entire perimeter, including many parts of Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley, to receive the earliest alert of ground incursions.
With its entire surrounding region it in turmoil, Israel is in no condition to lower its guard against its Muslim enemies. President Obama and the West consistently declare Islam is a religion of peace and that an deviant, extremist element draws selectively and twists Islamic texts to justify their killing and terror. According to Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes, a more accurate explanation of Muslim hostilities is, “Right now, there is an organized, extremist element that draws on medieval Islamic texts and interprets them in medieval ways to justify their killing and their terror.”
Iran is not peaceful. It is most assuredly working in secret on nuclear weapons development while defiantly working on its ballistic missile efforts to deliver nuclear weapons. In addition, some of the $100+ billion Iran is receiving from relaxed sanctions will increase its support of terror groups, especially Hezbollah. The West may or may not be comfortable with this situation, but it doesn’t seem to have a sense of urgency to combat it. Israel, however, is justified in looking askance at Iran and preparing for an almost inevitable conflict with Iran, or more likely, with Iran’s proxies across our borders.
In open defiance of recent US sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan on late Tuesday (2/9/16) told local media that Tehran will soon be rolling out an upgrade of its nuclear-capable medium-range Emad missiles, which are said to have a 1,700 kilometer range, putting Israel and much of eastern Europe squarely in its sights. (israelnationalnews.com)
Steve Kramer is a freelance writer based in Alfe Menashe, Israel. His works may also be read on the website, www.encounteringisrael.com