"Military threat against Israel is growing"

IAF Brig. Gen. Hagai Topolonsky talks about the IAF’s role in defending Israel from its enemies

Date: 24/05/2012, 12:53 PM     Author: Yael Livnat

“The military threat against Israel is growing in terms of arenas and capabilities,” Israel Air Force Brigadier General Hagai Topolonsky said earlier this week at a Fisher Institute conference.

“Recent events in the Middle East are a historic circumstance that represent a change on a strategic scale,” Brig. Gen. Topolonsky said. “There are risks and possibilities in this process. The risks are greater than the possibilities in the long-term.”
“The chance that we will be required to operate in more than one arena is growing. The nature of war is changing. We have to assume that the next war will not be like the last one and not like past wars.”

Brig. Gen. Topolonsky talked about the missile threat facing Israel, saying that Israel’s enemies are developing longer range and higher quality missiles.

“The threat is moving from the frontline to the home front. Those who possess these missiles and rockets are not just states. Terrorist organizations have arsenals that can harm Israel and this is the most significant trend in the past 20 years and this is the big challenge facing Israel and the IDF (Zahal).”

Brig. Gen. Topolonsky also discussed aerial defense developments.

“We have seen in recent years our enemies dramatically develop [their air defenses] and this challenges our aerial superiority. They understand that the main threat to them is the IAF and they are investing in advanced aerial defenses.”

“The influence of the media and international law and the legitimacy of the IDF (Zahal) to operate is a matter than occupies us,” Brig. Gen. Topolonsky said. “We examine this issue day-by-day, hour-by-hour. The IAF operates in a moral manner, based on the faith and values derived from being part of the army of the Jewish people. We make extraordinary efforts to minimize harm to innocent civilians and not to harm the environment.”

Brig. Gen. Topolonsky said that deterrence is the main component of the IAF’s doctrine.

“Our enemies have avoided entering into conflict with us in recent years due to the strength of the IAF. There is also the component of decisiveness, the ability to operate at the frontline and behind the lines, with power and precision against large and small targets.”

“The IAF is the main defensive force of the State of Israel. The Arrow, Iron Dome, and other systems of that kind, will give the State of Israel protection from missiles, large and small.”

“The nature of war has changed and we face a different Middle East in a time of uncertainty and change. The IAF will need to continue to adapt to remain relevant. We’ll continue to develop the long arm and be at the cutting edge of technology and capabilities. The IAF will continue fulfill its purpose and make every effort to do this in the best way.”