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February 13, 2020 2:04 pm

New IDF Multi-Year Master Plan Includes Establishment of Special ‘Iran Directorate’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

IDF soldiers sit next to artillery shells in an area near the border with Gaza, in southern Israel, Nov. 13, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

The IDF released on Thursday a new multi-year master plan for reforming and improving its capabilities — including the establishment of a special unit to deal solely with the threat from Iran.

Codenamed “Momentum,” the plan will be implemented within five years and was presented to the interim government by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi despite the ongoing political turmoil in Israel, where next month there will be Knesset elections, the third round since last April.

The Israeli news site Mako reported that Kochavi emphasized the urgent nature of the threats Israel faced as the reason for the decision to put the plan out now, saying they “will not wait for us.”

“Implementation of the plan will enable the IDF to increase its capabilities significantly,” Kochavi added, pointing out that it would significantly expand the IDF’s combat effectiveness and decrease the duration of large-scale military operations.

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Along with the complete overhaul of the army’s technological and combat abilities, “Momentum” includes the establishment of an “Iran Directorate” of the IDF General Staff that will deal exclusively with the threat from the Islamic Republic, which has repeatedly issued genocidal threats to destroy Israel.

The new directorate will deal exclusively with surveillance, readiness and planning of operations related to the Iranian nuclear program and Iran’s military presence in Syria, including in the cyber and satellite fields.

Among the reasons for implementing the plan now is the IDF’s assessment that Hamas and Hezbollah are currently deterred, but are building up their capabilities and acquiring more sophisticated weapons.

This gives the IDF a “window” in which it can use the prevailing but deceptive calm to build up its own capabilities and increase the “quality gap” in weaponry between the IDF and the terror groups.

In particular, the IDF wants to deny the terror groups any way to plausibly declare victory over Israel by causing immense damage in as short a time as possible. This is to be achieved by increasing the army’s combat effectiveness, the deadliness of its weapons and its technological ability to identify and destroy high quality targets as quickly as possible.

The goal is to force Israel’s enemies to call for a halt to hostilities within four to five days, effectively surrendering in the face of the massive damage caused by IDF operations.

“Momentum” also features defensive measures. In particular, the Iron Dome aerial defense system will be expanded, eliminating the need to move batteries around the country in order to face threats on various fronts. The batteries will be deployed to certain positions permanently, allowing an immediate response to any threat.

Other defensive measures are being beefed up as well, including interceptors of larger and longer-range missiles and a new laser-based system that has proved effective against missiles and drones.

The plan was approved this week by Defense Minister Naftali Bennett and presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It will be presented to the cabinet for a vote next week.

“The plan will allow the IDF to strike the enemy faster, more intensely, with a stronger destructive capacity, thus overcoming the enemy and bringing victory,” Bennett said after approving the plan.

“The plan puts the principle of victory back at the top of the list of priorities,” he added.

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