The Israel Defense Forces on Thursday released, for the first time in 60 years, a document outlining Israel’s defense strategy.
In the introduction to the 33-page document, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot states that the military’s basic operational strategy is based on the “security triangle”—comprising the elements of “deterrence,” “early warning,” and “decisive victory,” with the addition of the new dimension of “defense.”
The strategy has yet to be approved by the Israeli government. A military source told Israel Hayom that while the document is titled “IDF Strategy,” its outline represents the “Eizenkot doctrine.”
The document reviews the changes the IDF has undergone and plans to implement in the future, to meet the challenges posed by Middle East dynamics. Some of the changes include improving the effectiveness of ground maneuvers and enhancing the IDF’s cyber capabilities.
Eizenkot explains that the new strategy is based on the understanding that the conventional and unconventional first-circle threats Israel faces—meaning threats looming on its borders—are decreasing, while the threats posed by terrorist organizations, projectile fire, and cyberattacks are increasing.
The first principle of the national security strategy outlined in the brief is “relying on a defensive security strategy” that strives “to ensure Israel’s existence, generate effective deterrence, defer conflict and, if necessary, neutralize threats.”
The principles of military offensives are also outlined, stating that the IDF’s basic operational premise is that defeating the enemy solely via defensive tactics is impossible. Another principle notes the importance of strategic cooperation, including bolstering defense ties with the U.S. and fostering strategic ties with other key countries.