Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why Israel's Secure Borders Are Imperative--Even In The Age Of Modern Warfare (Israel: Why Land Matters, Part III)

Israel: Why Land Matters, Part III

by Yedidya Atlas

It is an undisputed fact that Israel’s army reserves are the backbone of the IDF in times of war. The question, therefore, is: how does Israel buy the 48 hours she must have to fully mobilize and deploy her army reserves?

Israel’s citizen army naturally mobilizes her reserve troops where they live. This means primarily an “L” shaped land mass, from Jerusalem at one end and Haifa at the other with Tel Aviv in the middle. Along this short and narrow strip resides some 70 percent of Israel’s population (and 80 percent of her industrial base) and therefore, about 70 percent of the nation’s reserve soldiers (as well as 70 percent of her labor force).
Even before Israel has the opportunity to field the full complement of her army, including its reserves, in time of war, Israel must prevent this area from being overrun by an invading enemy. Should the enemy forces succeed in cutting into the “L”, the damage to Israel’s mobilization and deployment process might well be beyond repair. Worse, if the invasion force cannot be stopped before the fighting reached the main cities, Israel would have lost the war.

This grave situation is recognized by Israel’s military, even if not fully grasped by all its politicians. In 1952, IDF Chief of Operations General Yitzhak Rabin ordered IDF Chief of Planning Colonel Yuval Ne’eman (who helped organize the IDF into a reservist-based army, developed the mobilization system, and wrote the first draft of Israel’s defense doctrine) to conduct an exercise to test the IDF under conditions of a surprise attack, under the then-prevailing 1949 ceasefire lines, i.e. the pre-’67 lines known today as the “Green Line.”
Read the whole thing.

At the very least, as Yedidya Atlas has pointed out in the first 2 parts of his 3-part article, while there are those who claim that modern armaments make land and borders a minor concern for Israel's security, those people are simply not taking the facts into account. The borders that Israel currently has directly impact its security, its ability to mobilize effectively and ultimately its ability to defend itself in times of war--making secure borders imperative even in these days of modern warfare.

Read: Israel: Why Land Matters Part I
Read: Israel: Why Land Matters Part II

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