ISRAEL'S MILITARY BALANCE: 2004
By Emanuel A. Winston
Sometimes we lose focus on the bigger picture as Muslim Jihadists ramp up daily terror in Israel and globally. Israel is fighting two wars. One is the war against well-known terror which occurs every day - called low-intensity war-fare. For the other, the IDF (Israel Defense Force) is preparing for a conventional, area-wide war, waged by the surrounding Arab and Muslim countries, many with hidden weapons of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) - including NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical). Those who belong to any or all of the various terrorist organizations, Hamas, Fatah, Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigades, Tanzim, Islamic Jihad - and all the others connected in neighboring countries, such as Al Qaeda and Hezb'Allah (in Syria and Lebanon, are funded and run by the organization in Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, 'et al').
Although comparing the quantifiable vital statistics in the Military Balance between Israel and her hostile neighbors is an indispensable necessity, there are other leading factors to be assessed which are non-numerical. Warfare has changed in almost every facet. It always had layers to be reviewed but now, those layers include primitive, backward nations and terrorists who have the capability of leveling cities and contaminating vast areas with NBC (Nuclear, Chemical and Radioactive materials). Men and equipment do not move without pre-planning or without having the mind-set to do so. Many nations have armies but in most nations, they exist for security and self-defense. They are not necessarily poised to attack at a time of their leaders' choosing - which cannot be said to describe the Arab/Muslim nations who use their treasure NOT for the benefit of their people but to keep military forces ready in an actionable status. Israel has had to maintain her forces in a quasi-alert status for over 55 years.
Given the prior 7 wars, the Jewish nation did not know when one or more Arab countries would alert their standing armies instantly to a war footing and move from camp to menace Israel's borders. This would require Israel to call up reserves from her mostly civilian forces and move to some pre-positioned equipment and transport equipment to all fronts from main depots. The last example of a standing army moving from camp was Egypt and Syria's secret assemblage of forces and surprise attack during the Jewish High Holy Day of Yom Kippur 1973. Add to that the factor of a pre-planned saturation missile attack from Iran, Syria and, Yes - even Egypt, all of which can occur within minutes. Presently Egypt - with a $60 Billion dollar U.S. investment is a military colossus which could easily represent a vital threat to Israel, especially if the Muslim Brotherhood succeeds in overthrowing the current Egyptian government.
Here the Balance of Counter Force was conditional upon the ability of the enemy to quietly assemble its forces over a convenient period of time. What the enemy is able to accomplish over a year or more, Israel had to do within a 24-48 hour period. Therefore, the Balance of Power was highly skewed in favor of any aggressor(s) who could be triggered by the orders of 'usually' one man, the dictator of that country. Israel's enemy (ies) rely on not being challenged or faced with a pre-emptive strike as they quietly gather their forces. At one time Israel had a doctrine of defense that called for preemption which was dropped due to pressure from the U.S., E.U., U.N., 'et al'. America has since adopted the doctrine of preemptive strikes for themselves, recognizing that threats from WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) leaves little time to negotiate or slowly prepare defensive forces. Israel is still being pressured to restrain herself and NOT conduct preemptive strikes.
The Balance of Power during the first days of any war for Israel rests on a sliding scale of efficiency which, for Israel, begins on the low end and rises exponentially as her reserve forces are assembled and moved to the front(s). It is expected that in future war, Israel's enemies will do everything in their power to impede her civilian mobilization as a vital part of attack planning. This would include blowing up roads, setting ambushes, utilizing the Israeli Arabs and Arab Palestinians as an organized 'Fifth Column', dispensing chemical and/or biologically loaded missiles, both at troops and civilians. For Israel, chaos in the cities will delay mobilization and draw vital forces to the trouble spots. Regretfully, Israeli leaders have not made training civilians, particularly retired soldiers, a priority so they could quickly and efficiently assemble to guard their own neighborhoods and communities. Some may recall the wild confusion when Saddam launched 39 SCUD missiles at Israeli cities.
There was no organization to deal with the confusion or mass exodus out of Tel Aviv each evening before the expected missile strike times. Here again, while equipment can be numerically categorized, it is the non-quantifiable, deceptive mind-set of various Arab Muslim leaders that cannot be added up on a calculator. In term of Balance of Power, it rests on a sliding scale of mixed components - some of which do not lend themselves to actuarial tables.
For example, there is a broad area of psychological motivation which defies numerical evaluation. The Arab Muslims have an accumulation of rage, often driven and stirred up by their religion - Islamic Fundamentalism. There is also the matter of reclaiming what can only be referred to as a macho-driven Pride and Shame for prior lost wars to the infidel 'dhimmi' (low class outsider). Being beaten 7 times on the field of battle by an enemy always discounted as weak and contemptible creates a certain pathological rage - only satisfied with blood conquest. - not political agreements. That is what their leaders tell them, what they sing or chant during huge demonstrations, what they teach their children - to hate and kill the Jews. "In Blood and Fire, we will redeem you, O Jerusalem." is their continual chant. Rage is a highly motivating factor. Capturing Jerusalem is a highly symbolic act which is intended to prove the capability as Muslim warriors which will also 'prove' that Allah supercedes HaShem, the G-d of the Jews. According to Koranic or Shari'ah law, politically-driven written agreements may be used temporarily to regain strength and then re-engage the enemy. Such agreements when accepted by one's adversary are looked upon as indicative of weakness which usually encourages and accelerates the next attack. Yassir Arafat frequently described Oslo as a "Hudabaiya Treaty" in speeches to Arabs in Arabic on September 13, 1993, the day Oslo was signed and often thereafter. (Mohammed signed a 10 year peace treaty with the Jewish Koreish (also spelled: Qurayza) tribe of Jews in order to pray in Mecca, but he returned with a stronger army in 2 years, massacred all the men and sold the women and children into slavery.)
Psychological warfare may be practiced as a science by the West but, within the Arab culture, it is endemic. Myth and hyperbole quickly become fact. At the same time of conventional warfare, it is anticipated that the Mullahs will encourage Arab Muslim civilians to launch massive human wave attacks on Israeli cities and towns and to block the roads to prevent mobilization. This tactic falls within the hysterical willingness to commit ritual suicide which allows a Muslim a "guaranteed entry into warrior's heaven" and other benefits. Here again, the street mobs with shrieking women and men, firing guns into the air are the rule, not the exception.
Conversely, Israel's motivation among her civilian army is that they cannot sustain even one loss. Losing one war means that Arab Muslim soldiers would plunder, kills all the Jews - including women, children and the elderly. They say they will in so many words - declaring this is their "scorched earth" policy. The Israeli soldiers and general population know the Arab tendency to savagely mutilate captured prisoners - cutting off body parts, burning, etc. Israeli soldiers are motivated by the fact that they and their families have no where to retreat to. Unlike the Arab Muslim nations with vast lands which could never be conquered or occupied by the comparatively small Israeli forces, Israel has little strategic depth, militarily speaking - even with Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights. Israelis have long recognized their peril and must follow the philosophy of "Ein Breira" (No Choice). Clearly, the motivation of the fighting soldier is a 'Force Multiplier' in the Balance of Power which cannot be calculated in numbers.
COSTS OF WAR
As a result of 7 aggressive wars by the Arab Muslim nations, Israel has had to use its GNP/GDP to purchase and/or build war making equipment at enormous expense. Unlike such nations as German, Japan or, more recently, Iraq 1991, Israel was never compensated by the aggressor nations who lost each war. Because Israel was never allowed to complete its victory to the point of the enemies' surrender, Israel could neither force a peace nor demand war reparations. Every war in which Israel was forced to fight - including continuous terrorist attacks, she lost the blood of countless dead and wounded soldiers and staggering costs in dollars. Israel's Balance of Power was greatly affected by the nation's single budget which had to counterbalance the individual Arab nations' budgets which were often pooled collectively, funded by oil or given by donor nations - including the U.S. Such nations as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria/Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Libya...who initiated and participated in wars against Israel wasted their nation's treasure on war rather than build a productive society. Each promptly began to rebuild their military after each loss - with more and better equipment. Israel was consequently forced into an endless, expensive arms' race to maintain a credible military balance and deterrence against attack. Arabs respect strength of arms.
This is Israel's best deterrent against major war. Therefore, Israel is forced to rely upon U.S. aid to a great extent, coupled with onerous terms of restraint, thus lowering necessary preemptive action. This destruction of equipment provided a profit windfall to weapons' manufacturers in almost every nation of the Free West - in addition to Russia, China, North Korea, etc. Such sales were in the trillions of dollars and thus considered a profit base for these nations. War was profitable and, therefore, to be encouraged or at the very least not terminated. Most every major nation relies upon weapons' sales as a profit center, both for cash flow and employment. Keeping Israel from total victory in each of the 7 wars initiated by the Arab/Muslim countries, was a policy decision by most of the Free West, including America, to appease Arab oil nations but, this policy also served to keep the arms manufacturing plants in production. An arms race against well-funded and numerous hostile nations is a major factor in considering the Military Counter Balance in the Middle East. If there were an objective World Court with unbiased, genuine authority, Israel's claims against these nations could very well exceed one Trillion dollars as compensation for wars thrust upon her. Clearly, the cost of defense is a compelling factor in assessing the Balance of Power for any nation.
COST OF TERROR
Another phase of a non-numeric view of the Balance of Power comes with Terror -which is defined as "low-intensity warfare". The alert and cost status to keep the military and police in the field continuously is staggering. The cost in lives, killed, wounded and maimed for life in incalculable. Multiple Israel's casualties by the number 55 to calculate the ratior of what such losses would mean in America. For example, since Oslo (September 13, 1993) at least 1500 Israelis have been murdered by Arab Muslim Terror x 55 would be equal to 82,5000 Americans. Plus, hundreds of thousands wounded, many maimed for life. Arab Muslim nations have funded proxy Terrorist organizations which are constantly in motion - always able to choose the times and places of attack. The main bankers, weapons' suppliers, Terrorist Organization sponsors have been Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Iran and (until recently) Iraq. While each of these nations, in themselves remain an armed threat which is quantifiable, they also act as financial enablers of numerous Terrorist organizations. I must note that the U.S. State Department - despite confirmed knowledge of Arab Muslim Palestinian terror - continues to press Congress to fund Yassir Arafat's corrupt Palestinian Authority. One must add to that those funds paid yearly by the so-called donor nations of the E.U. (European Union). All seem to understand that these funds do NOT go to civilian infrastructure and the Palestinian Authority for civilian benefits but, rather to Yassir Arafat to maintain his terrorist organizations. Despite complaints and proofs laid before the E.U. (European Union), they remain political and financial supporters of Arafat's Terrorist organizations.
Here the Balance of Power gets fuzzy because the Terrorists operate amidst the civilians in uncountable numbers. They deliberately use women and children to commit terror acts and to hide behind. They recruit the so-called 'civilian' Arab Muslim Palestinians as suicide bombers, spotters, snipers who are a hostile 'Fifth Column' situated in the heartland of the Jewish State of Israel. It has long been anticipated that, in time of war internally, local Israel Muslim Arabs would move to mine roads and undertake other sabotage intended to tie up Israeli troops and keep them from getting to their staging areas during mobilization. Therefore, Israel must field combat troops from the reserves to interdict Terrorists, which depletes time from proper training for war, in addition to wearing out the reservists and depleting equipment. The cost for each reserve soldier to leave his school or job and family is impossible to assess but it is a cruel price Israel must pay in order to defend her people from Terror and to be prepared for the constantly threatened full scale War. The cost of maintaining a sophisticated army on a war footing is far greater than the expense of maintaining Terrorists within the Arab Muslim civilian population. Here again the Balance of Power tips both ways against Israel - depending on circumstances.
As mentioned previously, we must factor in the Europeans, Arabs, Muslims and America as donor nations. Much publicity has been given to the several Billions of dollars poured into the coffers of Terrorist(s) and Terrorist organizations by the various donor nations. Here the Balance of Power cannot necessarily be measured in numbers of men or armaments. The donor monies allow Terrorist networks to be established on a global basis which penetrates the political establishment via Terror or bribery. It is anticipated that Europe and America will pay a heavy price for not confronting Muslim Terror networks long before 9/11.
This is definitely a 'Force Multiplier' that cannot be physically counted. Perhaps it can be guesstimated, but it is highly effective in draining away forces, thereby tipping the Balance of Power. A stark example is the American forces being worn down by Saddam's Ba'ath Party insurgents, joined by other Muslim Terrorists - euphemistically called "foreign forces" or "mujahadin". Here again we observe the phenomenon of Arab and Muslims voluntarily migrating to a war zone to confront the infidel. It can be anticipated that the same mix of 'Jihadists' who poured into Iraq from surrounding Muslim countries will migrate into Gaza or whatever territory is surrendered to them as another Arab Muslim Palestinian State. Israel will be under constant assault for years with terror launched from territories abandoned or given over to appease not the terrorists but, Israel's friend, America. And it will be the organizational and training center from which to launch global terrorist attacks. Another alliance that represents the Counter Forces is that between Terrorists motivated by religion - namely, radical Islam and other Terrorists who simply wish to overthrow the government in power in their region.
With that, one can add criminal elements such as the Drug Cartels and Counterfeiting rings who connect and ride in with the Terrorists. Syria has been especially active in smuggling drugs and counterfeit currency, in addition to supporting the numerous terrorist organizations. Each acts as a support mechanism for the other - particularly in cash flow operations. For many, being employed as Terrorists is both a salaried job with guaranteed payments to your family if you are 'martyred' and for the young men, it is a thrilling life which they will sacrifice to get to 'martyrs' heaven. It is also a dramatic way to escape the poverty and boredom of backward nations who are held back from modernization by radical Muslim clerics and dictators. Here again, these alliances cannot be numbered - except to estimate their power as a 'Force Multiplier'.
PROPAGANDA'S USE IN THE MILITARY BALANCE
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate Arab Muslim Palestinian Propaganda around 8 - while Israeli Counter Propaganda would barely reach a 2. For reasons that are totally unexplainable, the Arab Muslims seem to understand how to motivate and manipulate world opinion while the so-called "Smart Jews" cannot seem to even grasp the rudimentary elements of Propaganda (in Hebrew called 'Hasbara' - which means 'explanation'). While all major nations have recognized the need for Propaganda, Israelis are generally too late with their explanations, mostly inarticulate in English and resistant to employing professional spokesmen or thinkers. In Israel every officer seems anxious to express his opinion, often admitting or accepting blame for incidents which, on further inquiry, are often proven to be false. By the time they offer a well-researched denial, the story is off the front pages or TV news and the negative impact as told by the Arabs is firmly embedded. (Israel also faces this problem internally, caused by pacifists of the Left who actively subvert Israel's fighting capability and the morale of her civilians and military population. They are one and the same, because Israel must rely on her civilians fulfilling the role of a reserve army.)
Here, the Balance of Power is radically tipped as the Arab Muslim Palestinians and the Arab Muslim nations successfully court world public opinion, causing many governments and their people to turn against the Jewish nation. This results in embargoes, cancellations of contracts (military and civilian - economic and scientific). The willingness to vote sanctions against Israel in world organizations is tremendous - especially in the United Nations. Here we find that words are, indeed, mightier than the sword. Add to that the manipulation of language by the World Media, who still call Terrorists 'militants' when they commit atrocities against Israelis or Jews.
Granted there is always the oil weapon as a persuasive factor but, the Israelis make it easier by literally abandoning the field of pre-emptive Propaganda and failing at an effective explanation of their actions - after the fact. Israel and the Jewish establishment watched passively while anti-Semitism ramped up - especially in Europe - encouraged by Arab Muslim Propaganda. This anti-Jewish attitude (always on a low flame) can easily be placed on the high burner, deeply effects Israel's Military Balance of Power in real numbers. The cutbacks of Military Development programs due to a shortfall of funds did strike at Israel's military readiness and Balance of Forces. Managing insurgency in a restrained manner in order to assuage world opinion raises the costs exponentially. In brief, Israel's Military Balance rests on many factors besides the inventory and cost of tanks, plane, missiles and soldiers.