Weekly Commentary: Israeli Civilians Better On Strategic Security Decisions
Dr. Aaron Lerner 22 September, 2018
With the serious security challenges we face today on many fronts it is
important to keep in mind the vital contribution that civilians can make to
a successful decision making process.
Consider a few examples:
Brass opposed building spy satellites: Ehud Barak and others senior brass
strongly opposed Israel building its own spy satellites - this even though
it was already clear that the US could not be relied upon to fill the gap.
Civilian Menachem Begin overruled the brass. The brass only truly
understood why this critical equipment was needed when the first satellite
photograph flashed up on the screen.
Brass opposed acquiring second strike capability: Ehud Barak took the lead
in quashing plans to purchase German subs featuring launch tubes with an
extra large diameter for Jericho missiles. Israel only received this
strategic capability when Germany supplied the first subs for FREE after
German equipment played a key role in the Iraqi missile attacks against the
Brass opposed opening the Second Lebanon War by destroying Hezbullah’s long
range missiles: The brass wanted to first punish Lebanon by destroying
infrastructure but civilian DM Amir Peretz insisted that the IAF take out
the long range missiles before they began hitting Tel Aviv. This move was
essentially the only correct Israeli decision in the entire war. To hear
Peretz in his own words: http://youtu.be/SM_LMb10qsQ
Civilian DM Liberman has been pushing through arming the IDF with an ample
supply of precision ground to ground missiles of various ranges to
dramatically enhance our ability to address many challenges without relying
on piloted platforms. This includes top of the line systems that Israel is
already supplying to other armies but the local brass wasn't interested in.
And there are more examples.
In each case civilian "common sense" trumped decades of military training
Today the military presses for perpetually postponing addressing the threat
in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
In the case of Lebanon we are in the bizarre situation that the very same
military that supports an extremely pro-active approach towards preventing
the transfer of advanced equipment from Syria to Hezbullah in Lebanon
declines to promote destroying equipment once it passes into Lebanon.
It is time for the civilians in the Security Cabinet to call the shots.
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