ISRAEL’S MILITARY EXPENDITURES AND MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX – OVERVIEW AND DYNAMICS

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

 South Front

20.11.2017

Over the course of decades, the US and Israel have maintained close bilateral relations based on long-term, stable pro-Israel US policies. Traditionally they have rendered strong support to Israel, since the two countries are allies, have shared strategic interests in the Middle East (concern with Iran, Assad regime in Syria, and Islamic extremism), and adherence to a shared definition of democratic values. US aid helped Israel transform its military into one of the most technologically advanced in the world. Since the Jewish state is heavily limited in its human, territorial, and material resources, it had to emphasize qualitative superiority in the region, and US aid did much to sustain that superiority.

The biggest element of US-Israeli military-technical cooperation is military aid. Israel is the main recipient of US military aid in the form of grants and direct deliveries of equipment on advantageous terms. Since 1976, Israel has been the biggest recipient of annual US aid, and since 1987 of US military aid. In addition, by some estimates Israel receives $1 billion a year in the form of charity contributions, and a similar sum through short- and long-term funds. US provide aid to Israel in various forms: Foreign Military Sales, Direct Commercial Sales, Excess Defense Articles, and also funds to support research and development. Moreover, the Foreign Military Financing program implemented by the US Department of State has become, over the years, the largest of all such programs implemented by the US. One should note that, for example, out of $5.7 billion budgeted for this program in 2014, $3.1 went to Israel, In other words, Israel obtains more military assistance through this program than the rest of the world combined. This sum does not include the financing for Israel’s ABM programs, which are estimated at another $500 million. Unlike other programs, FMF allows Israel to spend up to 25% of US-provided funding on own military programs. All other countries receiving military aid must spend it only on US weapons and equipment.

The US military assistance annual totals are presented in the following table.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

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One should note that the true amounts of US aid are unknown, since the value of financing, services, and military equipment are provided only for FMF and DCS (Direct Commercial Sales) Programs.

The long-term US-Israel treaty on military assistance deserves separate treatment. The new agreement concluded in September 2016 states the US will provide Israel with $38 billion of aid between 2018 and 2027. This agreement will enter into force upon the expiration of the current one in December 2017, under which the US gave Israel $3 billion every year ($30 billion over 10 years).

US National Security Advisor Susan Rice noted the deal “will represent a significant increase of support and provision of means to modernize most of its fighter fleet, increase land unit mobility, and strengthen ABM capabilities.” This is a record sum in the whole history of US military deals, but Israel was forced to make concessions in order to get it. For example, Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu demanded an increase to $4.5 billion/year. But in the end Israel not only got a lower sum but also had to give up on additional assistance from US Congress and transition to buying only US military equipment within six years. Moreover, Israel’s leader promised not to turn to members of Congress to ask for more, even though he used to have that right, to the tune of up to $500 million/year.

The increase of aid and the new agreement a year before old one’s expiration is surprising, because Obama-Netanyahu relations were complicated. It’s very likely the hurry in reaching new deal was motivated by desire to use it as a campaign prop for Hillary Clinton. It’s no secret Israel’s government circles would have preferred to sign a deal with Trump who is an open supporter of Israel. The new deal was one way or the other supposed to compensate the Jewish state for the lifting of sanctions on Iran and push Israel toward more concessions in the Palestinian question. US and Israeli experts believe that even of Obama and Netanyahu failed to reach an agreement, the aid would have been provided, only through a different venue. Both parties in Congress have good relations with Israel, US has a large Jewish diaspora and a much larger Christian Evangelical community which also has strong influence and supports warm relations.

As far as relations with Trump’s administration are concerned, it’s too early to draw conclusions. It’s possible the agreement will be revisited and aid increased on the condition Israel buys more US equipment. One has to keep in mind the new president actively defends interests of own MIC and could damage relations with Netanyahu and Israeli MIC. But irrespective of who is in the White House, military aid and cooperation are a priority matter since both sides are interested in access to the other partner’s technologies and markets, and Israel moreover wants US financial aid.

But there are also foes of such deals in Israel, including its MIC. They are strongly opposed to spending 75% on US equipment. A senior MIC official, the head of the Manufacturer’s Association of Israel (MAI) Shraga Brosh, said: “Adopting Obama’s plan (the 2016 deal) would be a death blow to Israel’s defense manufacturing and loss of thousands of jobs to the Americans.” MAI data states Israel’s MIC employs 15% of the country’s workers, and each billion spent supports 2,000 jobs in the MIC and 5,500 jobs in the rest of the economy.

In addition to money, US provides Israel with most advanced weapons. At the top of the list are ABM systems and combat aircraft. Israel closed its own fighter development program, and since the mid-‘80s its fleet consists of F-15s and -16s and their variants. Their gradual obsolescence has motivated Israel’s military leaders to renew the fleet. Israel chose the newest US F-35 multirole fighters. The first Israeli F-35I Adir (Powerful) arrived in the country on December 12, 2016. As of November 2017, Israel has 7 F-35s. By 2020 Israel is to receive 33 fighters and 4 flight simulators, valued at $5.3 billion. The contract calls for a total of 50 aircraft. Ultimately Israeli air force should get about 100 F-35s.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

Israel has become not only the first US ally to receive the newest fighter (as noted on June 19, 2013 by Lockheed-Martin VP Steve O’Brien at Le Bourget), but the only to have the right to mount own systems on the plane (the suffix I means the aircraft are built for Israel and have Israeli avionics). These demands have considerably delayed in the negotiations on procuring the first batch.

This raises the question of this plane’s application. The current F-15/16 are well suited to fighting Hamas or Hezbollah. IDF is not at war with radical Islamists. But Israel’s rhetoric toward Iran has become more and more belligerent in recent years. Therefore it’s logical to assume the 5th generation fighters are supposed to deter Iran’s military, which are seen by US and Israel as the most likely adversary in the region. In addition, Israel’s adoption of F-35 addresses a number of problems for the US. US MIC gets an order that will be partly paid for by Israel. Israel buys aircraft from US, not elsewhere. The potential theater of war receives more squadrons of latest fighters deployed in US interests.

This year’s Israel’s defense budget

Structure, main categories, aims, and goals

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

The most important parts of the defense budget are classified. Only the total sum of defense expenditures is known, and the parts of the budget not related to procurement or R&D. 2017 defense budget was 70.7 billion shekels. Only 15.4 billion are in the unclassified parts. The most important among those are the retirement benefits (7.85 billion shekels), the Disabled Rehabilitation Division (3.42 billion shekels), the Department of Families and Commemoration (1,65 billion shekels). Other available totals are salaries (6.1 billion in 2013), education (250 billion in 2013), fortifications on the border with Gaza strip (380 million in 2013), life insurance, training center construction, the national de-mining agency, financing the work of delegations, etc. Moreover, in the event of combat operations the MOD can obtain additional funding. For example, during the 2006 war with Lebanon the MOD received additional 8.2 billion shekels, the 2014 Immovable Rock operation received 7.2 billion. The defense budget has one additional peculiarity. Some programs are financed not only by MOD but also other ministries. For example, Gaza fortifications, training centers, the Libi Fund (a charity organization supporting the IDF).  Here one should note US aid accounts for 25-30% of defense budget. Israeli defense expenditures have shown a trend toward becoming a lower share of state budget. In 2010, defense accounted for 23.2% of all spending, in 2015—20.4%, in 2016—19.8%.

IDF modernization plans

The IDF currently represents a unique combination of nuclear weapons and delivery means, weapons produced in the 1960s, and ultra-modern weapons on a par with leading world powers. This combination is its minuses, and therefore IDF leadership is undertaking measures to ensure it can oppose modern threats.

The five-year Gideon Plan adopted in 2015 and stretching to 2020 was described in “Israeli Defense Forces: Military Capabilities, Scenarios for the Third Lebanon War” (https://southfront.org/israeli-defense-forces-military-capabilities-scenarios-for-the-third-lebanon-war/).

In August 2015, IDF General Staff issued a report titled “IDF Strategy” outlining its aims concerning vital national interests and national security concepts it adopted. The Strategy asserts that WMD threats to Israel have decreased due to the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal and the shuttering of chemical and nuclear weapons programs in Iraq and Libya. Israel is instead threatened by the growing power of non-state actors such as ISIS and other terror groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra. The Strategy also perceives Hezbollah and Hamas as dangerous foes possessing an arsenal of almost 100,000 rockets that could hit early every military or civilian target in Israel.

IDF also plan a range of technological modernizations and structural reforms in all three branches of service. IDF are trying to adapt to a new reality. Its tank fleet has decreased by 75% since 1985 and obsolete fighter fleet by 50%. It is investing heavily in expanding its submarine fleet (six Dolphin/Tanin boats instead of current five) which can launch nuclear-capable missiles this becoming Israel’s second nuclear strike force. In the last 20 years the IDF increased its drone fleet by a factor of 5 and enhanced intelligence-gathering capabilities, including in cyberspace.

Starting in 2013, IDF began withdrawing US M16 rifles from all land forces units in favor of own Tavor. IDF is replacing obsolete M113 APCs with new ones (which actually are something between an IFV and a tank) of the Namer and Eithan types, and is modernizing existing Achzarits. The core of IDF artillery corps, M109 howitzers, will be gradually replaced with ATMOS 2000 produced by Elbit. Israeli air force plans to buy 100 F-35 fighters equipped with Israeli avionics. They will use Israeli radars, guided bombs, and air-to-air missiles. IDF also plans to withdraw all manned aircraft and use only strike UAVs. Israel’s navy is expanding its submarine fleet. Of the current five boats, two most recent ones entered service in 2014 and 2016. The sixth is expected in 2018. The IDF is also modernizing its surface fleet by modernizing automated combat systems of its Sa’ar 5 and Sa’ar 4.5 corvettes and missile boats. It will order four Sa’ar 6 and three Sa’ar 72 corvettes, the latter being enlarged and improved Sa’ar 4.5 boats.

One may draw the conclusion that military and political leaders are mainly concerned with rearming its air and naval components. The IDF of the ‘60s-‘80s, armed with masses of tanks and aircraft and consisting of 10% of population is fading into the past. It is being replaced by a relatively small professional army armed with heavy IFVs, 5th-generation fighters, and lots of UAVs, including strike ones, indigenous ABM systems capable of competing with anything else in the world. This military will be able to resist modern threats and pose a challenge to regional powers. The latter priority is becoming more evident in the recent rhetoric concerning Iran and Syria. Thus it can’t be ruled out the military won’t shift from words to deeds. Layered air and missile defense systems apparently are giving Israel’s leaders a sense of security and impunity. Which is a deceptive sense. No ABM system can give 100% security, which was demonstrated during the Gaza strip conflict in November 2012. Tests of these systems took place in near-ideal conditions, in order to demonstrate capabilities and secure a contract, rather than against a mass launch of rockets.

Israel’s Military Industrial Complex

Israel’s military industrial complex (MIC) is the leading component of the country’s economy. It concentrates the country’s high-tech R&D, production, and economic potential. The defense industry produces weapons for own military and for export. Israel, which is only 95th in terms of population and 148th in terms of territory, is one of the top 10 exporters of arms. Israel’s MIC is peculiar in that it is export oriented—nearly 75% of its products are for foreign customers. This is due to the prolonged US-Israeli military, technological, and scientific collaboration, Israeli firms’ access to modern US technologies, long-term US financial aid to Israel’s civilian and defense economies, the mass staffing of the MIC with highly qualified cadres from among immigrants from former USSR.

Israel currently has state organizations engaged in R&D at the national and ministerial level, and also research institutions, universities, and other private and state entities. National-level state institutions include the Ministerial Science and Technology Committee (the central state organization dealing with R&D) and the Ministry of Science and Development.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

Defense industry includes missile/space, aviation, armored vehicle, small arms and artillery, ship-building, and radio-electronic branches. The most developed are the military radio-electronics, missile weapons, armored vehicles and aviation equipment (though not aircraft or helicopters), artillery and small arms. In these realms, Israel has firms controlling the full technological cycle and does not need to import components.

R&D is well-funded, benefits from conflict experience, and is based on futuristic concepts of combat operations. Israel currently has the largest per-capita concentration of start-ups. In 2014 Israeli start-ups set a record in attracting investment, at $3.4 billion, which exceeded 2013 by 46%. In 2015 the market grew by another 30%.

The core of defense industry are two state firms: Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and Israel Military Industries (IMI), as well as the Rafael Armament Development Authority of Israel.

IAI was founded in 1952, is headquartered at Lod, employs 16,000, and has annual sales of about $4 billion (2014). It consists of several departments: Electronics Division, Technology Division, and Aircraft Division. IAI has subsidiaries and affiliates (ELTA Systems Ltd which develops radars, communications, EW; Bedek Aviation Group, which services aircraft, engines, and components). IAI conducts research, development, production, servicing, and sales of aviation equipment, mainly drones, missile and space systems, air-defense systems, electronic, optical, and electro-mechanical equipment. Affiliates develop and produce Shavit space-launch vehicles, Jericho-1 SRBMs and Jericho-2 IRBMs, Gabriel SSMs, rocket artillery, electronic components, navigational systems, ballistic missile and SLV engines, telemetry systems, inertial navigation and guidance systems, gyrostabilized platforms and tools, and also the production of mechanical, electronic, and electro-mechanical equipment. IAI also develops and modernizes aviation equipment and Israeli naval warships.

IMI was founded in 1933, is based in Ramat HaSharon, employs over 3,000. In April 2014 an agreement was signed on privatizing IMI. However, several strategic production lines which the state wants to preserve under its direct control due to secrecy and security will be transferred into the specially formed Tomer state company. IMI conducts R&D, produces small arms and artillery equipment, armored vehicles for land, air, and naval forces, all types of munitions, rocket launch systems, composites, inertial guidance systems, radioelectronics, shipboard management systems, and other products.

 

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. Was founded in 1948, employs about 7,500, including 1,500 engineers and technicians, and has gross income of over $2.3 billion (2016). It is a specialized scientific organization serving Israel’s MOD which conducts R&D, modernization, development and production of new types of weapons and equipment. Rafael deals with the whole spectrum of modern technologies, including: guided and unguided rockets, EW, protection of communications lines, armor active defense systems, optronics, night vision, computers, fire direction, telemetry, and training range equipment. The firm also researches and produces solid rocket fuel for ballistic missiles and SLVs, fuselages for such rockets, nozzles, coverings, state separation systems, rocket launchers, ballistic missile warheads, detonators, thrust control mechanisms, high-temperature burn chambers, thermal-resistant and composite materials, development and testing of Jericho-2 warheads. It also conducts research on future composites, and on ballistics and aerodynamics. Currently its attention is focused on perfecting Iron Dome and David’s Sling ABM systems, and on Trophy active defense for tanks and IFVs.

In recent years, mergers in defense industry meant the number of firms has decreased, and individual firms have broader areas of responsibility and political influence. This is particularly applicable to Elbit.

Elbit was founded in 1967, is based in Haifa, and has a gross income of $3.3 billion. It employs about 13,000. It is the biggest privately-owned defense firm in Israel. It includes such formerly big firms as Soltam (artillery), Elisra Group (military communications, missile attack warning systems, active jamming, laser and IR detection systems for aircraft and ships). It develops and produces UAVs, avionics, radars, artillery fire direction, automated battlefield command systems, military communications. Elbit’s subdivisions develop and produce electronics and components, IR and laser systems, flight data collection and processing systems, computerized diagnostics stands for complex systems, test stands imitating outer space, communications, space and land tracking and telemetry systems. Elbit also conducts research into digital technologies, aerodynamic forms, thermal-resistant and composite materials, and analytical work on high and low pressure, ultra-high and –low temperatures, testing of space systems, equipment, materials, and components for reliability.

The firm also produces training simulators for land and air forces. It was particularly successful in modernizing obsolete Soviet equipment.

Israel Shipyards is one of the largest ship-building and –repair firms in the country. Founded in 1959, it employs over 300 workers. It produces missile boats, patrol boats, tugs, multi-purpose boats and cranes. Its facilities are located in the Haifa harbor.

Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd. It was founded in 1997 and is based in Yavna. Its gross income in 2015 was $150 million. It specializes in military and commercial UAVs.

Main achievements in arms manufacture

The biggest successes were achieved in UAVs and ABM systems.

UAVs

IAI Heron. Long-range UAV. One of the most exported Israeli UAVs. First flight 1994, top speed 200km/h, operating radius up to 1,500km, endurance up to 46h, take-off weight 1150kg. A single UAV can track six targets at one time and designate them for fighters, helicopters, and missiles. Sold to Brazil, India, Turkey, and others. France’s EADS Harfang is based on the Heron.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

IAI Eitan. Further development of Heron, the largest military UAV in the world. First flight 2004, top speed 370km/h, flight radius of up to 7,400km, endurance of up to 36hrs, max T/O weight 4650kg. This UAV is equipped with radioelectronic reconnaissance systems, there are reports it can be equipped with guided weapons. There are reports of its sale to India.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

IAI Bird-eye 400. Mini-UAV. First flight 2003, 10km flight radius, 1hr endurance, T/O weight 5.5kg. Used for target reconnaissance fire spotting and correction, discovering UAV and airplane crash sites. It may be stowed in two backpacks and carried to launch site by two individuals.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

Hermes 450. Developed by Elbit. First flight 1994, 170km/h top speed, 200km radius, 14h endurance, 450kg T/O weight. Made of composites, which makes detection more difficult. The UAV is equipped with optronic, IR, and laser sensors and datalinks capable of providing real-time imagery to ground control stations. Delivered to Azerbaijan, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, and other countries.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

Hermes 900. Developed by Elbit. First flight 2009. 220km/h speed, 1500km radius, 36h endurance, 970kg T/O weight. Includes satellite comms, optronics, moving target detection radar, EW systems, laser rangefinder/designator, and a datalink allowing real-time image transmission. The UAV is modular, allowing quick change of components and sensors. Delivered to Chile, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, Switzerland.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

Hermes 1500. Developed by Elbit. First flight 1997, 300km/h speed, 200km radius, 40h endurance, 1650kg T/O weight. Resembles a light aircraft. It is intended for observation, patrol, reconnaissance, and maintaining communications during combat operations.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

Silver Arrow Sniper. Developed by Elbit. First shown in 1998. Top speed 176km/h, 200km radius, 6h endurance, 170kg T/O weight. Intended for battlefield reconnaissance, artillery fire correction, and data collection for special ops troops during day or night.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

IDF anti-ballistic missile systems

Iron Dome tactical ABM. Developed by Rafael. Short-range ABM layer of the country, used for protection from unguided tactical rockets with ranges of 4-70km. The first battery became operation in March 2011. During the November 2012 Operation Pillar of Cloud Iron Dome inercepted 421 rockets fired from Gaza strip. Israeli specialists estimate its effectiveness at 85%.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

Battery composition

  • Elta EL/M-2084 mutlirole radar to identify targets and determine their trajectory. Since nearly 75% of Qassam rockets miss their targets, the radar permits trajectory analysis in order to avoid launching at rockets that will hit unpopulated areas. This greatly reduces the cost of using this ABM system.
  • Fire direction center.
  • Three or four launchers with 20 Tamir missiles each. Each rocket is 3m long, has 160mm caliber, and weighs 90kg. Active radar guidance. Non-contact fuse.

David’s Sling (also known as Magic Wand) ABM System. Joint development by Rafael and Raytheon. Israel’s medium-range ABM defense. Used to intercept aircraft, SRBMs, unguided large-caliber artillery rockets with range of 70-300km, and subsonic cruise missiles. Ceiling of 50km with missile speed of up to M 7.5. The missile is a two-stage system with two orientation and guidance systems (radar and optronic sensors). The first two batteries became operational at the IDF Hatzor airbase in April 2017.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

Arrow-2 ABM system. Jointly developed by IAI and US Missile Defense Agency. Work began in 1986. The first battery was deployed in 2000. Since 2009, IAI and Boeing have been working on the new Arrow-3 which will use a kinetic-impact warhead instead of blast-fragmentation of Arrow-2. It will also have a thrust-vectoring rocket motor. Arrow-3 is supposed to intercept ballistic missiles with ranges of 400-2,000km.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

The mobile Arrow Weapon System includes:

  • EL/M-2080 Green Pine early warning active phased array radar (Arrow-3 will have Super Green Pine or Great Pine).
  • Golden Citron/Citron Tree command point manufactured by Tadiran Telecom.
  • Communications center.
  • Brown Hazelnut/Hazelnut Tree launch control point, manufactured by IAI.
  • Four mobile vertical launch systems for Arrow-2 missiles (6 missiles each, in individual transport/launch containers).
  • Support equipment, including power generator and radar cooling system.

The radar can detect and track up to 12 discrete targets at one time, and engage one of them with two Arrow-2s. Detection range of 800-900km. Maximum intercept radius is up to 100km, ceiling of 50km (Arrow-3—100km). Arrow-2 has a speed of 2-3km/s and its interception probability is estimated at 90%.

Iron Beam tactical ABM. Developed by Rafael, first shown in 2014, and described as adopted into IDF service in 2016. This system is supposed to supplement Iron Dome and is used to intercept very short range rockets, drones, artillery shells at range of up to 7km. The system uses a laser as its kill mechanism. It includes a radar, a command post, and two laser weapons. It was reported as successful in tests against artillery shells.

Export contracts and future prospects

In 2016, Israel’s defense exports reached $6.5 billion, distributed as follows:

  • 20%: modernization of aircraft and helicopters.
  • 18%: observation and monitoring systems, optronics.
  • 15%: missile and air defense.
  • 13%: land forces weapons and munitions.
  • 12% radars and EW
  • 8% : cybersecurity and intelligence-gathering
  • 7%: UAVs.
  • 4%: communications.
  • 1%: naval systems.

Most of the orders went to the Asia-Pacific region, totaling $2.6 billion, then Europe at %1.79 billion, North America $1.26 billion, Latin America $550 million, and Africa $275 million.

By way of comparison: In 2015 the largest export sectors were modernization of aircraft and helicopters and delivery of munitions, each with 14%. Radars were 12%, UAVs, observation systems and optronics each at 11%. Communications accounted for 0%, ABM and air defense for 6%, satellite systems 5% and naval systems 2%.

In 2015, the largest market for Israeli military products became Asia-Pacific, which bought $2.32 billion of Israeli weapons. Europe signed contracts for $1.63 billion, North America $1.02 billion, Latin America $577 million, and Africa $163 million.

Contracts

The following is media-provided information about Israeli defense firms foreign contracts.

IAI

Some of the wings (some assessments claim up to 1/3 of total volume) for F-35 fighters are produced at IAI plants. The contract was signed in the first half of 2013, was prolonged several times, and currently is expected to run until 2034. The contract with Lockheed Martin is worth $2.5 billion. As of July 2016, IAI delivered 10 wings, 8 more were to be supplied by the end of the year. IAI is supposed to produce about 800 wings total under the contract. IAI also wants to obtain a contract to service engines, and in this it is supported by IDF air command because currently F-35s supplied to Israel must undergo servicing at Pratt&Whitney facilities.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

On March 27, 2017, IAI obtained a contract to supply aircraft direction finding and observation systems for an air force of an unspecified state in Asia. The value of the contract is $630 million. Other details are unknown. On the same day IAI signed two contracts with two unidentified Latin American states. Under the first, IAI will deliver border monitoring systems which include Bird-Eye 650D, Bird-Eye 400, and HoverMast 100 mini-UAVs, and static and mobile land-based monitoring equipment. These systems will be used for early detection of threats in the border zone. The second contract obligates IAI to build a national cyber-center. Elta will coordinate work on this project which will enable the buyer to repel cyberattacks, train personnel, and establish venues for information exchanges. The first contract’s value is unknown, the second one is worth about $50-60 million.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

On April 6, 2017 IAI signed a contract for MRSAM medium-range SAMs and control systems for Indian Navy. IAI will also deliver long-range SAMs, with missiles being manufactured in India. MRSAM was developed jointly by IAI and India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), with assistance from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd, IAI’s own ELTA, and various Indian firms including  BEL (Bharat Electronics Ltd), BDL (Bharat Dynamics Ltd), and others. Each MRSAM system consists of command post, tracking radar, and missile launchers. Missiles have range of 70km and maximum speed of Mach 2. The contract is worth $2 billion and is the largest in the entire history of Israel’s MIC.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

On May 21, 2017 IAI signed a contract to supply fire control and guidance systems for shipboard Barak-8 SAM. The contract was signed with India’s BEL, which is to build four warships for India’s navy. This agreement supplements the naval SAM contract signed on April 6, 2017. This contract is worth $630 million.

In October 2017 IAI delivered an improved satellite communications system (ELK-1891 SATCOM) to an unnamed country. The contract covers several dozen onboard and ground terminals for helicopters. The system allows voice and transmissions and consists of an antenna, high frequency amplifier, modem, and avionics interface. No further details are available.

In October 2017 IAI delivered a 3D air surveillance radar to an unnamed NATO country. The contract includes several mobile radars integrated into the national air/missile defense system of the NATO country. These radars can identify a wide range of targets, including low-flying and high-speed targets. Contract’s value is unknown.

Elbit Systems

In November 2015 Elbit won a contract to deliver six Hermes 900 UAV worth $200 million to the Swiss armed forces by 2020.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

In February 2016 Affinity Flying Services Ltd, a joint enterprise based in the UK (50% Elbit and 50% US firm Kellogg, Brown, and Root, or KBR) obtained a contract from UK MOD worth about 500 million pounds to train RAF personnel. The contract covers training systems and infrastructure, as well as technical servicing and maintenance.

Elbit and its US partner Rockwell Collins produce helmets for F-35C fighters. The three-year contract for 54 helmets was signed in 2009 and is worth $54 million. Elbit is responsible for night-vision cameras, target trackers, and data processing and presentation on helmet display.

In January 2017 Elbit signed a contract worth $100 million to deliver remotely controlled combat modules armed with 7.62 or 12.7mm machine guns to Brazil to arm VBTP-MR Guarani APCs.

On February 16, 2017 Elbit Systems of America signed a contract worth $102 million with the US DOD to deliver mortar fire control systems. This system consists of a portable and vehicle-mounted components, and a lightweight ballistic computer. The contract is to be fulfilled in 5 years.

Israel's Military Expenditures And Military Industrial Complex - Overview And Dynamics

On July 5, 2017 one of Elbit affiliates signed a two-year contract worth $35 million with an unnamed European country to deliver optronic systems for individual soldiers.

On August 29, 2017 Elbit signed a contract worth $9 million with an unnamed Asia-Pacific country (possibly Thailand, Singapore, or Taiwan) to modernize F-5 fighters. The three-year contract will upgrade cabin equipment, on-board radar, navigational and bomb aiming systems, and other components.

On September 26, 2017 Elbit signed a $240 million contract with an unnamed African country to deliver military electronic systems. The two-year contract includes electronic anti-ATGM systems, UAVs, communications, troop command systems, and helicopter modernization.

On September 27, 2017 Elbit signed a $300 million contract with an unknown Asia-Pacific country to supply command and control systems. No additional information is available.

Israel’s MIC therefore has certain specific characteristics. The mainstay of its export is high-tech equipment, which countries from all over the planet want to procure. Moreover, even insignificant contracts are fulfilled with tight cooperation among state and private firms. MIC’s evolution so far entailed the merger of smaller firms and organizations into several large entities. This process allows them to be an effective competitor.

Conclusion

Israel currently has an effectively functioning, multi-faceted high-tech defense industry which, in the face of a general decline of expenditures on defense and of state orders in the 1990s, has undergone a restructurization that placed the emphasis on own scientific and technological capabilities and concentrated on producing advanced weapons and equipment, modernizing aircraft, warships, and armored vehicles, as well as dual-use electronics.

Considering the saturation of the domestic market with indigenous MIC products, Israel’s leaders place their hopes in exporting military equipment and dual-use products, and this export is an important component of the country’s foreign policy and military strategy, accounting for 70-75% of all military production.

In comparison with other branches of industry, radioelectronics industry is the most developed one, has the best prospects for the future, and is highly competitive. There is a steady trend toward amalgamation of Israeli radioelectronics firms with the intent of concentrating their efforts, increasing investments, developing new types of products, expanding range of products, increasing the volume of exports, and developing new markets in Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, and Far East.

To sum up all of the above, one may say the role played by US military and financial aid is hardly unambiguous. The contract with Israel to purchase latest US F-35 fighters is a clear example of that. On the one hand, Israel is receiving sizable military assistance from the US and is guaranteed to be among the first to obtain the latest US technologies. On the other hand, this aid comes with severe limitations and, in reality, it is a means of subsidizing the US MIC. Moreover, collaboration with the US greatly limits the geography of export of Israeli weapons if they utilize US technologies or capital, or if they might affect the balance of power in the world and endanger US security. For example, Israel is extremely interested in China’s defense market, and China’s PLA and own defense industry want access to advanced military technologies. Therefore military technological cooperation between the two countries has long taken place through either front firms or through sending weapons to another country which then resells them to the PRC. However, as noted above, US can exert political pressure on Israel on such matters, and influence decisions on contracts. Furthermore, in spite of all the negative aspects of such collaboration, Israel can’t refuse to collaborate with its main ally and is forced to make all possible efforts to maintain its relationship with Israel on a high level.

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HEZBOLLAH – CAPABILITIES AND ROLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST (FULL DOCUMENTARY)

South Front

Hezbollah is a social and political movement with a strong armed wing. It was formed in 1980s. Hezbollah’s creation was conditioned by the aspiration of the Shia population of Lebanon to meet the challenges of Israeli expansion and Western “new-style” colonialism.

The Hezbollah (“Party of God”) movement was formed in 1982 in Lebanon by a segment of the Shia community displeased with the secular, in their view, nature of the Amal moderate Shia party. There were also disagreements concerning whether Israel should be confronted using new organizational forms and methods of warfare. According to its General Secretary Hasan Nasrallah, since its formation, Hezbollah was a purely intra-Lebanese creation, relying on the support and aid from the Palestinian and Lebanese parties, while the support from Iran and Syria came later.

Since the very beginning, Hezbollah’s activities have been based on three principles. First, Islam is declared an ideological, doctrinal, and practical basis for the organization’s functions. Secondly, its main aim is the struggle against Israeli occupation of Lebanon and Palestine and against Zionist domination. Third, it recognizes the Iranian Shia thesis concerning the necessity of Vilayat-e-Fakih. This Shia doctrine asserts that during the era of the 12thGreat Reappearance of Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi the leadership over the Shia is transferred to high-ranking Shia clerics.

Structure and Decision Making

Hezbollah, as an organization, has a structure based on certain ideological principles and exists within the framework of a state, that has no actual influence on the movement’s activities. The party is led by the Shura Council consisting of 7 members (six spiritual leaders—ulemas—and one secular leader). The members are elected by the Central Council (Al-Majlis al-Markazis), consisting of the 200 most authoritative members of the movement. Shura Council elections consist of three phases. The first is the candidate selection (usually 70-80), both clerics and secular individuals who satisfy the criteria set by the top leaders. Those who pass this stage have the right to participate in the second stage. In other words, they become candidates for the Shura Council. As a rule, 10-15 people make it to the second round. The final phase consists of the direct election of the 7 Shura Council members.

Council decisions are final and religiously binding for all party members. They are adopted either unanimously or by the majority of votes. If there is a deadlock or a split within Shura Council, issues are decided by the party leader, whose decisions are final and obligatory on all administrative institutions, and cannot be challenged. This is how the principle of Vilayat-e-Fakih is observed and splits within the ruling elite are averted.

The actual operations of the party are conducted by the administrative executive apparatus, known as Shura Tanfiz. It consists of five councils:

  1. Executive Council (oversight over political and organizational matters, including social, cultural, and educational activities);
  2. Politburo (addresses intra-movement matters);
  3. Parliamentary Council (concerns itself with Hezbollah activities in the Lebanese legislature);
  4. Judicial Council (issues religious resolutions and carries out arbitration on matters of disagreement, relying on Islamic law); and
  5. Jihad Council (directs the movement, including oversight, recruitment, training, equipment, security).

Each council is usually headed by a Shura Council member.

The movement General Secretary is Hasan Nasrallah, who is also the supreme commander of its armed formations. Leadership also includes his deputy, a spiritual leader who is also the supreme judge, some Lebanese legislators, the military formation commander for Southern Lebanon, and regional leaders of the organization. The Executive Council has various departments responsible for specific areas of activity: welfare, healthcare, information, press, finance, external communications, coordination.

Armed Formations and Their Peculiarities

Assessments of Hezbollah’s armed strength vary. Iran’s FARS news agency data from October 2016 put Hezbollah’s armed strength at no less than 65,000 troops, including reserves. Of them, 21,000 are professional soldiers with constant training. According to the 2017 Military Balance, currently 5-8 thousand Hezbollah troops are fighting in Syria.

Bekaa Valley: the commander’s responsibilities include control over arms shipments from Iran through Syria for the “Sheikh Abdallah” military camp that’s under joint command by the Hezbollah and the Syrian army. According to various sources, this region’s forces consist of at least 7 infantry battalions with 252 people each. Three of them are motorized.

South Beirut: according to various sources, this region includes at least two battalions of 252 troops, one of them motorized.

South Lebanon: after the Taif treaty of 1989, Hezbollah formations were reorganized and placed under a unified command. The current commander is responsible for Hezbollah military and Special Security formations and may also command Lebanese Army units in South Lebanon. This region includes at least 7 battalions of 252 troops each, five of them motorized.

Moreover, one should note the nontrivial fact of the existence of a full-scale, by Iranian, NATO, and Russian measures, tank regiment. In November 2016, near the city of al-Quiseir (Homs province, Syria), there was an inspection of Hezbollah equipment. The photos showed T-55, T-62, and some T-72 tanks, some 2S1 Gvozdika howitzers, BMP-1, and -2, M113 APCs with 14.5mm machine-guns, ZSU-57-2 SPAA. Most of this equipment apparently came from SAA arsenals and was obtained from the Lebanese Army and possibly Iran.

Of most interest are the hybrids assembled using Kvadrat (SA-6) SAM tracked chassis and Soviet-era KS-12 85mm and Ks-19 100mm AA guns. While their effectiveness against modern aircraft and drones is doubtful, they are useful as direct fire support against land targets. Other interesting weapons are the modern Kornet ATGMs mounted on quadricycles. These self-propelled ATGMs are able to effectively fight any modern tank, including Israeli.

By all appearances, this unit was formed to prosecute the war in Syria, where thousands of Hezbollah fighters are constantly on the front lines. The absence of direct fire support such as tanks and artillery undermines the success of operations. Therefore it’s logical to assume that Hezbollah decided to assemble an arsenal of its own armor and accompanying artillery to ensure battlefield success.

Being a fully-fledged political and military organization, Hezbollah understands that it is surrounded by enemies such as Israel and radical Sunni Islamists. Therefore having a tank regiment with experienced crews is of vital importance, as the unit represents a serious force by the standards of Lebanon and the adjacent countries. The prolonged civil war in Lebanon, the permanent stand-off with Israel, and now also the struggle against Sunni Islamists, in other words, the constant balancing on the edge between war and peace, makes the movement flexible in its command arrangements and able to quickly and appropriately react to emerging problems.

One can also draw the conclusion that the paramilitary wing of the Hezbollah, in spite of external attributes of a partisan movement, which it was 20-30 years ago, is gradually becoming a fully-fledged army with a training establishment, a command structure, and a logistical segment.

Cadre Selection and Training

The preparation of a future fighter starts at a very young age. Kids aged 6 are involved in discussions and as they grow, they receive more advanced political and religious preparation. A sample training regimen includes: Studying Koran, A day at the mosque, I love my country, How to run a household, Summer camp, I submit to my leader. Younger kids’ uniform, as a rule, includes blue shirts with epaulettes, white scarves, and pins with the image of Khomeini.

Older boys spend several weeks during the summer in camps in the south and in Bekaa Valley, where they train and acquire survival skills while obtaining more in-depth religious preparation and studying their native language and culture.

Then they transfer to the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts. One of the scouts’ missions is helping the poor. According to the Scouts head, if kids who lost their father or their brothers were left to their fate, they would withdraw inwardly and develop psychological problems such as aggression.

At the age of 17, those who excelled at the Scouts become members of Taabia, or the reserves.

At the same time, education does not seek to promote absolute hatred toward Israel, despite what Western journalists love to depict. The education system is first and foremost based on developing a national and religious identity, the context in which the Shia community of Lebanon exists.

In an interview provided by a Hezbollah fighter, it was noted that those who choose political independence become social pariahs. Such people can’t even visit their villages, given that the family and the society hate them.

Cadre troops are focused on combat training, and each receives a specialty such as an ATGM gunner, a sniper, or demolitions. Regular Hezbollah fighters undergo training in specialized camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Iran (under IRGC officer leadership). They conduct training for the rank and file and select outstanding individuals for special units. Some of them become commanders, others are selected for the Special Security Apparatus.

Taabia reservists are engaged in protecting villages and are selected from the Scouts. Cadre fighters and reservists undergo service in one of the districts: Israel-Lebanon border and the Litania river area—Nasr Brigade, north of Litania—Badr Brigade, Bekaa Valley—Haidar Brigade.

Each Hezbollah brigade in south Lebanon has a sector in northern Israel that it is supposed to occupy. Combat and special training in each brigade take into account local geography. One should also note that border terrain is fortified: there is a large-scale network of tunnels, bunkers, minefields. Using the tunnels, Hezbollah can concentrate large number of troops on the needed attack sector without being spotted and attacked from the air

Due to fighting in Syria, Hezbollah opted to conduct training courses with reservists lasting 60-90 days. Commanders are also sent to the battle zone to obtain experience. Intensive operations and unavoidable losses have forced commanders and troops to remain in the war zone (murabata) for longer than their rotation periods. For the reservists, it was 15 days a year. Before the Syrian war, the border with Israel was considered such a zone. Currently, the rotation period in the Syrian war zone is 20 days and may be increased if the situation demands it. This is considered optimum, as it allows for having trained and rested troops available in case of any escalation on Israel border, and in Syria.

Here’s an example of a news report regarding deployment of Hezbollah units from May 20, 2017. The Radwan special unit and others were fully withdrawn from Syria and replaced by the Badr Brigade which is stationed in the eastern and northern part of the Aleppo province. Aziz Brigade was withdrawn from the outskirts of Palmyra and al-Qaem Brigade temporarily replaced it there.

Moreover, the Radwan unit was brought to an elevated alert level and sent to south Lebanon (Litania river and Shebaa farms on Israel border). Al-Jalil Brigade, intended for operations in Galilee in case of war with Israel, remained on its permanent positions in south Lebanon. Nasr Brigade, which is directly under Hasan Nasrallah, remained in reserve.

The Radwan unit was named after the head of Special Security department Imad Mugniyeh (pseudonym al-Hadja Radwan) who was killed in 2008. The unit has much experience in raids and is the most prepared for urban warfare, which makes it irreplaceable in Syria. If there is a new war between Hezbollah and Syria, it will be in the first line of attack.

Military Doctrine. Specifics of Fighting in Syria

Hezbollah leadership reviewed its concept of operations after the start of the Syria war. Before the war, the emphasis was placed on defensive ops in built-up areas with small units to inflict maximum troop and equipment losses on the IDF while simultaneously shelling Israel using large numbers of short- and medium-range rockets.

In Syria, Hezbollah realized that it had to wage offensive ops in cities. Therefore it reconsidered its training system, increased its rocket arsenal, and provided more heavy weapons and recon systems.

The first operation where Hezbollah took offensive using large units was the battle for el-Quseyr in April-June 2013. Some 1200-1700 best-trained Hezbollah troops took part in the battle. They were divided into 17 detachments, with later division into teams of 3-5 troops. Prior to the attack, the command performed recon of the city and its approaches, then divided the city into 16 sectors, one for each detachment. Each region had its codename. During the battle, this allowed for command of forces using open channels of communication without the enemy being able to take any countermeasures. Hezbollah command undertook the direction of SAA tank and artillery units near the city. Considering that the city was in the Islamist hands for over a year and was well-fortified, the ratio of losses was nevertheless 5:1 in favor of Hezbollah. The battle showed that with proper organization, a fortified city can be effectively attacked by a small force.

As far as the military direction of Hezbollah units in Syria by Iran is concerned, it seems probable that Iran directs Hezbollah units down to battalion level (sometimes down to company) using IRGC specialists from the al-Quds Force. It can’t be ruled out that IRGC specialists coordinate Hezbollah and local self-defense forces like the Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl al-Haq. Units smaller than a battalion don’t warrant the provision of specialists. There is a need for a large number of trained cadres able to command and provide assistance. One of the factors influencing cooperation in this instance is the language barrier—Arabic in Lebanon, versus Farsi in Iran.

Hezbollah became one of the factors which allowed to turn around the war in Syria, since its troops were able to fight in cities. The SAA, in 2011-12 was organized along 1970-80 lines to fight combined arms battles mainly against Israel. New realities have shown that this army was unable to fight as small units in the cities. Moreover, the SAA has not fought for a long time. Its last significant operations took place in 1982. Therefore it had no commanders with urban warfare experience. Hezbollah, on the other hand, has constantly fought Israel since the moment of its creation. Generations of commanders have honed their skills in the years of clashes and battles with the IDF, causing it serious losses during the 2006 war. Israel was forced to retreat from south Lebanon, and Hezbollah’s reputation has risen to unprecedented heights.

Israel’s military command is worried about Hezbollah’s operations in Syria, since its paramilitary wing will now be able to wage offensive ops using heavy weapons and a huge number of short-, medium-, and long-range rockets.

The fact that Hezbollah has become akin to a regular army is confirmed by IDF’s rethinking of its approach to the fight against it. First, IDF is preparing for fighting big formations, up to a brigade, whose task will be invading Israel and capturing villages or military bases. Second, it is paying special attention to combating tunnels, including technical and psychological preparation of its troops to fight in tunnels.

Rocket Arsenal

The movement’s distinguishing characteristic is the enormous rocket arsenal which, by various estimates, contains between 50 thousand and 120 thousand weapons. And not merely an arsenal, but a whole system, from rocket part and fuel factories to storage facilities and camouflaged launch sites.

The existing land-based arsenal includes various short-range ballistic missiles, surface-to-surface missiles and multiple rocket launchers.

The existing land-based arsenal is reflected by the following table:

Hezbollah – Capabilities And Role In The Middle East (Full Documentary)

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* –depending on the specific variant.

MRL – multiple rocket launcher

SSM – surface-to-surface missile

SRBM – short-range ballistic missile

Most of the weapons come from Iran and Syria. The possession of Scud-Ds is doubted, including doubts of the Western media. This system requires qualified personnel and specialized equipment, since the rocket uses liquid fuel.

To assess Hezbollah’s effectiveness, let’s look at the shelling of Israel in 2005. At the start, according to Nasrallah, there were over 12 thousand rockets. Official Israeli police reports noted 3770 rocket strikes on the country, including 901 strikes in the cities. Thanks to civil defense, only 44 were killed and 1384 were wounded. One is also tempted to note that Hezbollah mostly used rockets with ranges under 100km and small warheads, as no SRBM strikes were noted. This was due the small number of SRBMs and Israeli effort to destroy them, which was partly successful. Hits by 600-980kg SRBM warheads would have had catastrophic consequences on cities. The presence of SSMs proved a surprise for Israel. On July 14, 2006, Israeli corvette Hanit was hit by a Chinese-made C-802 SSM launched from the short. The ship’s air defense was turned off since nobody expected an SSM attack. 4 sailors were killed and the corvette was incapacitated for 3 weeks. The 165kg warhead most likely failed to explode, otherwise, the corvette would have sunk.

Having a large rocket arsenal made in Iran, PRC, and Syria, raises the question of whether Hezbollah has its own factories of rockets. If it does, they manufacture certain numbers. It’s been a long time since the last war with Israel. Launching a rocket after lengthy storage could be dangerous to its launch crew. It would seem that the war in Syria is being used to use up old Russian and Chinese rockets of which it has large numbers. The situation is more complex with SRBMs. They are very expensive to make. It would make no sense to establish their production on territory which at any moment could be bombed by Israel. With proper servicing, such rockets can be stored for up to decades. It’s likely that some assistance here is provided by Iranian civil and military specialists.

Building a rocket plant on the territory of another country is a whole different matter. In August 2017, Israeli media reported that Iranians are building a ballistic missile plant in north-west Syria. It is built near the coastal city of Banias, tens of kilometers from Tartus where the Russian base is located, and south of Hmeimim where Russian aircraft are based, protected by S-300 and S-400. Therefore the factory can be protected against Israeli strikes. According to experts, the plant will produce Fateh-110 rockets for the SAA and, possibly, Hezbollah.

The rocket arsenal has been modernized and expanded. At the start of the next war, Hezbollah will be able to launch 1500 rockets a day, instead of 200 in 2006, covering the whole territory of Israel and not only the border regions. There are reports that Hezbollah has Russian Yakhont SSMs obtained from Syria, instead of the unreliable C-802.

Therefore Hezbollah rocket arsenal is not a network of warehouses full of artisanal rockets, dangerous to own crews. It’s a whole range of industrially produced weapons capable of destroying land and naval targets at various ranges.

All of the above does not mean Hezbollah seeks war with Israel, whose leadership should be aware that if there is another war in south Lebanon, Israel’s civilians will face unprecedented threats.

Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence

Hezbollah’s Special Security department is responsible for both intel and counter-intel, and implements several missions, one of the most important being professionally carried out operations abroad at the behest of Shura Council. Imad Fayez Mughniyeh was a head of Special Security department until 2008 when he died in a car bomb blast in Kafr Sousa neighborhood of the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Responsibilities of the department’s head in Shura include overseeing the following departments:

  1. National preventive security apparatus, which provides personal security to high-level spiritual leaders.
  2. Internal security and intelligence apparatus, which tracks political and religious reliability of the Hezbollah members.
  3. National central security apparatus, which observes, tracks, infiltrates, and if necessary eliminates military or political individuals or groups seeking to interfere with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
  4. Foreign combat cells and intel apparatus. This department partly overlaps with the central security council, depending on types of requests received by cell leaders.

Imad Mugniyeh is the individual who made this department one of the most powerful secret services in the world. He was born in 1962 in the Tayr Debba village in south Lebanon. He started his career in the mid-1970s in the FATH organization. In 1977-82 he was a member of its intelligence and special units (Force 17, Unified Security Directorate, etc.). After an advanced course under IRGC instructors at the Imam Ali base in Bekaa province, he headed the personal security team for prominent Shia cleric Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah.

Before 2005, Hezbollah was to a large extent integrated into Lebanese intel services, including Amn al-Amn Main Directorate for Common Security which expanded its ability to carry out intelligence and counter-intelligence ops. After Hezbollah was accused of being complicit in the death of former Lebanese PM, Rafik Hariri in February 2005, Hezbollah members were forced to leave Lebanese secret services, which affects the movement’s intel work.

The Special Security department studies Iranian and Israeli experience. According to Israeli intel members, Hezbollah has a large agent network in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and AMAN military intelligence. This opinion is supported by the presence of limited access Israeli MOD maps, manuals, and documents on captured Hezbollah members.

The movement’s intel successes are largely based on exploiting familial and criminal ties between Israeli and Lebanese Arabs, and the well-oiled cooperation between Hezbollah intel and Palestinian Authority armed formations. Moreover, Hezbollah intelligence often uses interrogations of captured officers and soldiers, and data obtained through recruitment of senior Israeli officers. For example, Hezbollah was able to recruit IDF Lt. Col. Omar el-Haiba, a Bedouin. This officer occupied a high post in the Western district HQ. He was one of the most capable Bedouin officers in the IDF. After a serious wound, he was disabled but nevertheless returned to the IDF and earned awards for his agitation among the Bedouins. This officer was arrested on suspicion of giving Hezbollah secret information on IDF forces on Lebanon border and the schedule of patrols. On June 18, 2006 a court martial sentenced him to 15 years in prison for espionage, contact with enemy agents, and drug trade.

Due to the secrecy regime in Special Security Apparatus, little is known about foreign terrorist and intel cells. As a rule, they become known only after major events. Hezbollah selects people for special ops from among its own special units. These people are believed to be well trained and prepared to die for the sake of the mission. Some of them are from Arab and Islamic organizations that have ceased to exist. All of Hezbollah’s special ops are handled by Special Security apparatus, with support from Iranian and Syrian intel and special ops forces, and from the IRGC.

Members of the overseas cells are thoroughly trained. They have knowledge and information about the country where they work. They speak the language of the country. This attracts less attention from civil and military authorities.
Infiltration unit equipment in includes Israeli or other military uniforms, depending on the mission. Units infiltrating Israel speak Hebrew, use Israeli weapons and equipment as camouflage, and are familiar with all types of weapons used in the region. Members of special infiltration units and members of the suicide units differ, among other things, by their uniforms. For example, Jihad Detachments wear green or black clothing, carry Semtex, C-4, or C-9 charges, and usually wear masks on operations.

The following Jihad Detachments are known:

  1. Islambula Brigade: assassination of political activists.
  2. Al-Quds Brigade: two units of suicide bombers consisting of 56 each, the Fathi Shkaki Company and the Ihye Ayasha Company.

On Imad Mugniye’s initiative, in the early ‘90s a special unit of Hebrew-speaking Lebanese Palestinians was formed. It had the task of eavesdropping on IDF army frequencies. Later, SSA sought to improve their language and professional skills at the Center of Islamic Science and Culture and its branches in Iran, Cyria, and Lebanon.

One should note that the Hezbollah units and controlled territories are targets of Israeli human intelligence efforts. Israeli Border Police (MAGAV) includes the YAMAS unit which camouflages its members to look like Arabs. During the 2006 war, Hezbollah counterintelligence located and destroyed an Israeli agent network in south Lebanon and Beirut. The network conducted espionage in Hezbollah HQ and transmitted this data to the IDF. Agents from among local population set up equipment to monitor Hezbollah military installations and used GPS devices to guide munitions, spread glow-in-the-dark powder around buildings and command centers, rocket warehouses and launch sites. Still, IDF and Israeli intel was not able to kill or capture a single senior Hezbollah official or destroy the command system, since the shelling of Israel continued no matter what.

The Media: Agitation and Propaganda

Hezbollah places particular importance on the media. It owns a satellite TV channel (al-Manar), four radio stations, and five newspapers. Without any doubt, Hezbollah’s image was to a large extent formed by al-Manar, which has been broadcasting since June 1991, and has gone satellite in 2000. It has become Hezbollah’s face to the world. The channel is unique, before its existence Arab media consisted of newspapers and radio stations. Experts believe its audience is second only to al-Jazeera. Al-Manar became the official channel of the movement, demonstrating accomplishments, particularly in the realm of fighting Israel. Its broadcasts consist mainly of news and political programs, broadcasts dedicated to the memory of martyrs, informational and entertainment shows. It is also unique in that it broadcasts in Hebrew for the Israeli population. While Western media depict the al-Manar as propaganda for a terror group, the channel does not broadcast any information on making bombs, executions of Israeli soldiers, blowing up of checkpoints, and other forms of cruelty.

Hezbollah radio stations al-Nour and al-Iman broadcast from southern Beirut. Al-Islam broadcasts in south Lebanon, and Sawt al-Mustad’afin broadcasts in the area of Bekaa river valley. There are also newspapers: Al-Bilad, al-Ahd, al-Muntalaq, al-Sabil, and Baquitou Allah.

The movement has a website, www.moqawama.org. Its content includes the most important news from Lebanon and the world, video addresses by movement leader, respecting the memory of martyrs, opinion polls, and memorable dates in the movement’s history. Agitation video broadcast by TV and web channels are of high artistic and directorial quality and take into consideration the preference of the audience and Arab mentality not only in Lebanon but the world.

Social Work

Even though the Hezbollah is known in Western media as a terror organization, it defies that label by the multifaceted aspect of its activities. Apart from fighting in Syria and against Israel, it is part of Lebanon’s legislature, provides education and medical services to the Lebanese. In 2000-2010 Hezbollah spent several billion dollars on humanitarian efforts in Lebanon. The organization builds kindergartens and schools, hospitals and clinics, and even supermarkets. Its fighters and their family members can take advantage of many services with major discounts. Education in Hezbollah-built schools is cheaper than in public schools. The poor obtain stipends. Of course, the education focuses on the Arabic language, Islam, and Shia traditions. But English language and physical sciences are also taught. These schools provide a very high level of instruction by ME standards.

The media also focus on those who fell for the freedom and independence of Lebanon. As a sign of respect for the martyrs, which is how Shia community views them, the funerals are attended by senior officials. They also participate in any funerals of people who perished in battle or in other circumstances. This is apparently due to Hasan Nasrallah’s having suffered a personal loss. His eldest son Hadi became a martyr during fighting in south Lebanon.

If the killed fighter had children, they are taken under care, receive education or jobs. In spite of financial problems, providing money for cadre soldiers and for the families of the dead is the top priority.

Mu’assasat Jihad al-Bina’ or the Fund for Sacred Struggle was founded by the Hezbollah in 1988. It quickly became one of the most visible NGOs in Lebanon. Although it is autonomous, its activities fall under the purview of the social services department of the movement. Its main aim is to “lessen the burdens faced by the poor families by relying on God’s aid in fulfilling their moral and Islamic obligations.” The Fund operates in southern districts of Beirut, Bekaa Valley, and south Lebanon. The fund provides more than half of population of those regions with water, helps farmers with procuring livestock, fertilizers, fuel. It carries out electrification of the most backward villages.

Mu’assasat al-Shahid, or the Martyrs’ Fund, supports the children of killed or captured fighters and civilians. It provides housing, jobs, and support for widows and runs a job placement office for the youth.

Lujnat Imdad al-Khomeini, or the Khomeini Support Committee, was formed right after Israeli aggression of 1982. It helps poor families, particularly those which suffered from Israeli occupation. The aid includes monthly benefits, food parcels, basic necessities, clothing, health services, and education. The committee provides medical assistance, including through medications, diagnoses, surgeries, and rehabilitation, to tens of thousands of patients a year. The financial and technical incapacity of the Lebanese government, particularly the Ministry of Health, forced the movement to take under the control of the Islamic Health Unit the hospitals of south Lebanon.

Hezbollah education department is headed by an office titled al-Ta‘bia’ al-Tarbawiyya, or the Education Directorate. It provides financial aid to needy Hezbollah members. Its expenditures are extremely important to the movement, because public schools suffer from lack of funds for construction and education technology.

The education department also provides needy students higher education in applied sciences, and religious studies in various institutions such as Technical Institute of the Great Prophet, the Technical Institutes of Sayyid Abbas al-Musawi, the Institute of Sayydat al-Zahra’, the Institute of Shaykh Raghib Harb, and the Islamic Shari’ah Institute.

Other types of aid include paying for textbooks and school materials, and part of the tuition in public and private schools.

Economic and Financial Activities

A variety of sources of funding—donations, business, and Iran’s support—ensure the party’s independence and economic stability. Its assets are held in the Saderat Bank of Iran or in other banks in accounts of front individuals, to prevent the US and the West from freezing its assets. The party is a huge corporation whose assets belong to the whole party, not just specific individuals.

The main sources of funding are:

  • Direct subsidies from Iran, no more than $100 million per year, though $200 million before the fall of oil prices.
  • Contributions by Shia community in and outside of Lebanon
  • Profits from economic and banking activity.

Income from smuggling, illegal sale of weapons and drugs, are not taken into consideration in this context

According to Pew Research Center and the World Factbook (CIA), Shia Muslims represent a high percentage in about 25 countries.

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Total: approx. 200 million worldwide.

One should keep in mind that Pew data have often been criticized by Western experts and Shia diasporas for underestimating Shia numbers.

According to World Labor Organization, average salaries in these countries in 2016 were:

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The Islamic concept of Zakat states that when it comes to deeds performed in God’s name, including supporting warriors waging jihad, the poor, or people propagating Islam, the average worker should contribute 2.5% of theirsalary.

Considering the multi-child families which are the rule in Muslim countries (one does not consider non-working wives and children), zakat may be paid by up to 10% of the community.

In this case, contributions by country look as follows:

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Thus, the Shia diaspora may contribute no more than 1/5, or 120 million USD, for financing Hezbollah.

This calculation does not include income tax, since each country has a different tax law. One should also keep in mind that not all Shia in the West and Persian Gulf are supportive of Hezbollah’s military aid to Syria. For example, NGO surveys of Shia in the Persian Gulf states in the second half of 2013 suggests that the percentage of supporters fell to 30-50%. This is apparently due to the Hezbollah being given an image of the aggressor by the media of these countries, which can’t help but influence financing. After IS was proclaimed in 2014, India’s Shia issued a statement proclaiming readiness to send 30,000 volunteers to Iraq to fight radical Islam. There is no information concerning the Shia of India or neighboring countries providing aid for Syria.

More than 100,000 Lebanese have permanent residence in African countries, including 60,000 in Cote d’Ivoire, 25,000 each in Senegal and Sierra Leone, 16,000 in Nigeria, 6,000 in DRC, 5,000 each in Gabon and Cameroun. The majority of Lebanese in Africa are not Christians but Shia. They have concentrated control of much profitable business, which allows them not only live well but support their historical motherland. In 2008 alone, money transfers from African Lebanese exceeded $1 billion. It is difficult to assess Lebanese Shia affluence in Africa due to the never-ending financial crisis. Since it is Hezbollah that runs active social programs in Lebanon, one can assume the majority of remittances ends up on the organization’s accounts.

Overall, the movement collects no more than $500 million a year. It’s not much, considering it is waging a war in Syria and is financing the social sector of the whole country.

Why Hezbollah became a Middle East powerhouse and its transition to a quasi-state

After the IDF withdrawal from most of Lebanon in 1985, Hezbollah with active support from the IRGC began to create its own weapons arsenals, and the January 1989 Damascus-Tehran agreement allowed Hezbollah to restore its military infrastructure and resume operations in south Lebanon. Thus by 1991 Hezbollah became the leading Lebanese resistance force, operating in the country’s south against the IDF.

Starting in early ‘90s, Hezbollah began a transition away from being a purely paramilitary formation. In the summer of ’92, Iran’s leaders recommended Hezbollah transform itself from an openly extremist organization into an active Lebanese political force. Hezbollah reached an internal compromise between the “moderates” and “radicals”, established a ceasefire with Amal, and began active preparation for parliamentary elections. Hezbollah today acts as the leading political force in Lebanon and as a major Shia social and humanitarian organization (Lebanon has an estimated 2.5 million Shia out of 6.2 million total population). IDF withdraw from south Lebanon in 2006 was a huge victory in the eyes of the Arab world. Hezbollah has truly become a significant regional factor. Growing its influence in Lebanon and Syria and the region with Iran’s help, Hezbollah has become a base for recruitment, training, and preparation of volunteers for battling Israel and radical Sunni organizations. Hezbollah units often fight like regular army nits.

One of the reasons for the rise of Hezbollah’s regional influence is the strategic coordination between the Lebanese and Iraqi Shia, and also Syrian Alawites due to the continuous war in the Middle East. It’s important to note that the organization has proved its worth even in the darkest hours of Lebanon’s history, such as the many years of almost uninterrupted slaughter, but also during the perennial clashes with its external adversaries, even dangerous ones like Israel.

Opinions of Iran’s influence vary. Some experts claim Iran’s aid is so important that it fully affects all aspects of Hezbollah’s decision making process. Naturally, Iran’s authority as the leader of the Shia around the world is near-absolute. It also provides Hezbollah with tremendous military aid. Moreover, the movement has suffered losses in Syria, it’s most professional and best trained fighters have perished there, which weakens the organization. Therefore Hezbollah leaders have to show more flexibility and care in its dealings with Iran if differences of opinion arise.

The most likely explanation is that Hezbollah maintains considerable independence due to its exceptional political standing in the country, and of its nature as a strike force against Israel and Syria’s Sunni. Since the start of conflicts in Syria in 2011, Nasrallah tried to maintain neutrality. Hezbollah became involved only in 2013 when the situation grew out of control and there was a danger of combat spreading to Lebanon. Nasrallah stated in one of his announcements that” Iran should be viewed as the center of strategic influence in the region, as the model of a sovereign state which supports nations in their search for independence and as a force which helps countries and nations of the Middle East become stronger. Syria and Iran can’t force Hezbollah to act against its own plans. They can only argue with us and try to convince us.”

Since its independence, Lebanese government paid little attention to the problems of the southern parts of the country. Therefore Hezbollah has assumed the role of helping the poor and developing infrastructure not for self-promotion, but because it was an objective necessity. Practically since birth, a Lebanese Shia is under Hezbollah’s care. Kindergartens, clinics, schools, and institutions—all of that has been built and is financed by the movement. So it’s no surprise that the movement is hugely popular and service within its ranks is considered honorable.

One should especially note that today Hezbollah is more than a movement. Even though it has not declared sovereignty over part of the country, it has every attribute of a state. It has legislative, executive, judicial authority, institutions for the collection and distribution of taxes, its own education system, a military, intelligence and counter-intelligence, media—all of that exists and functions within the movement’s framework. Moreover, it has control over its subjects, the totality of information about them and, most importantly, it relies on their good will to work with the movement in some form. The concept of citizenship is not after all defined by a passport but by the individual’s willingness to associate to a state or a movement and be loyal to it.

Here’s what is written about it by one of Hezbollah’s ideologues and the deputy general secretary, sheikh Naim Kassem: “From the theoretical point of view, we are calling for an Islamic state, we are drawing others into that process, since only an Islamic state may facilitate the maximum of human happiness. But on the practical level this question depends on the free human choice, in addition to the Quran Ayat 2.257: There is no compulsion in religion. The correct way is quite separate from the false one. Whoever does not believe in idol worship but believes in God, has found a reliable foundation which cannot be crumbled. Verily, God is all-hearing and all-knowing.”

The victory of radical Sunni groups in Syria would mean the possibility of merciless annihilation of all other religious groups, following the Iraq scenario. After the US invasion of Iraq triggered a civil war and later the appearance of ISIS, which proved unspeakably cruel toward all other beliefs, it sent the message that in these conditions of ethnic and religious warfare, only paramilitary organizations like the Hezbollah can ensure their own survival.

Conclusion

Hezbollah’s popularity among Lebanese Shia is based on several factors: its military campaign against Israel, its wholly Lebanese nature, its role as a defender of the historically repressed Shia community, its religious nature and its wide range of social services.

Hezbollah has done more for the Shia community in Lebanon than the official government. Since the very start of its involvement in the war in Syria, the movement leaders that its fighters are defending Lebanon, Lebanese Shia, and Shia holy sites from the spread of extremist Sunni Islam, represented first and foremost by Jabhat al-Nusra and IS. According to Nasrallah, this was not a war of choice but of necessity.

Lebanese NGOs which carried out a survey in 2015 noted that 57% of respondents view the threat of radical Islam to Lebanon as real, and 80% view Hezbollah as making the life in Lebanon calmer. Lebanon today, just as the Middle East as a whole, is experiencing renewed inter-religious and inter-communal slaughter.  People living in unstable and unpredictable countries are trying to find protection and support among their own national or religious community. Therefore it is no surprise that Hezbollah enjoys such unconditional support among the Shia of Lebanon and Syria, even if they don’t fully support the movement’s aims and mission.

ترامب يتجرّع كأس السمّ على بوابات حارة حريك وبعبدا وقد يلجأ لتغيير حصانه السعودي

محمد صادق الحسيني

نوفمبر 17, 2017

لا أهمية لا للحريري ولا للجبير. هؤلاء أدوات في أيدي السيد الأميركي.

الهدف من كل ما يجري الضغط على إيران ومحاولة ضرب حلف المقاومة من خلال ذلك.

المخطط أميركي والأدوات إياها، ولكنها فشلت.

لقد قطعت تصريحات رئيس الأركان «الإسرائيلي»، الجنرال غادي ايزينكوت، الشك باليقين حول عمق العلاقات بين نظام آل سعود و«إسرائيل»، عندما قال في مقابلة مع موقع إيلاف السعودي أمس 16/11/2017، إنّ هناك تفاهماً تاماً بين إسرائيل والسعودية، وإن السعودية لم تكن يوماً عدواً لـ «إسرائيل» ولم تقاتلها قط.

كما أنه، وفي المقابلة نفسها، قام بإيصال رسالة واضحة لا لَبْس فيها لمحمد بن سلمان، حيث أكد أن لا نية للجيش «الإسرائيلي» بشنّ حرب ضد حزب الله. مما يعني:

أولاً: إن توسّلات ولي العهد السعودي لـ«إسرائيل» بأن تشنّ حرباً على حزب الله في لبنان لن تلقى قبولاً «إسرائيلياً» على الرغم

من استعداد المغامر والمقامر السعودي بتحمّل كامل تكاليف الحرب التي يتوسل شنها.

ثانياً: انّ الجيش «الإسرائيلي» غير قادر، من الناحية الفعلية، على أكثر من إجراء مناورة أركان، أي مناورة افتراضية تشارك فيها مختلف صنوف القوات المسلحة، كتلك التي أجراها في أيلول الماضي وشارك فيها أربعون الف جندي نظرياً. إذ ان مناورة الأركان لا تعني وجود القوات المشاركة فيها في الميدان، وإنما تُفترض مشاركتها في مثل مناورة كهذه. وهذا يعني ان الجيش «الإسرائيلي» لا يجرؤ حتى على إجراء مناورة حية كي لا يستفز حزب الله مما قد يؤدي الى رد عسكري من قبل الحزب ليس لإسرائيل طاقة على تحمّله. وما يؤكد معلوماتنا هذه، وليس قراءتنا فقط، هو تصريح وزير الحرب «الإسرائيلي»، ليبرمان قبل ذلك بأيام بأن الجبهة الداخلية تعاني من ثغرات كبرى وأن من الواجب اتخاذ الإجراءات اللازمة لسد هذه الثغرات وخاصة على الجبهة الشمالية.

ثالثاً: أي أن هذه التصريحات وغيرها للمسؤولين «الإسرائيليين» تؤكد شيئاً واحداً، ألا وهو:

– فشل مخطط تفجير الوضع الداخلي اللبناني بهدف ضرب حزب الله من دون الدخول في حرب مكلفة وغير مضمونة النتائج ضد هذه القوة الأساسية من حلف المقاومة. وهذا يعني إعلان الفشل الذريع للمخطط التآمري الذي اضطلع محمد بن سلمان بتنفيذه خدمة لأهداف الولايات المتحده و«إسرائيل».

– كذب غلام آل سعود، عادل الجبير، عندما يقول في تصريح له عند الساعه 15,45 بتوقيت فلسطين، أنه «يتشاور» مع حلفائه لدراسة ما يمكن عمله ضد حزب الله.

أنت لا تتشاور وإنما تتلقى أوامرك من السيد الأميركي، وتقوم بتنفيذها من دون النقاش، ولكن السيد الأميركي كلّف خادماً آخر من خدمه في المنطقة، ألا وهو رئيس الأركان «الإسرائيلي»، بأنكم أنتم وحدكم من يتحمّل مسؤولية الفشل في تفجير الوضع الداخلي اللبناني، وبالتالي عليكم تحمل التبعات والمسؤوليات الناجمة عن ذلك خاصة في ظل العجز عن القيام بأي عمل عسكري ضد حلف المقاومة، كما أشرنا أعلاه.

رابعاً: كما تؤكد تصريحات رئيس الأركان «الإسرائيلي» أن موضوع الحريري لا يعدو كونه إحدى حلقات مسلسل الفشل الذي تعانيه مملكة آل سعود في «سياساتها» الخارجية، أي فشلها المتواصل في تنفيذ مخططات السيد الأميركي، بدءاً من فشلها في ضرب الثورة اليمنية عام 1962 مروراً بفشلها في مواجهة الثورة الإسلامية في إيران عام 1979 وصولاً الى ملك السعودية السابق، عبدالله بن عبد العزيز، الذي طلب من الولايات المتحدة مرات عديدة «قطع رأس الأفعى» أي ضرب إيران عسكرياً، حسب ما ورد في برقيات السفارة الأميركية في الرياض والتي نشرها موقع ويكليكس عام 2010 وأعادت نشرها صحيفة نيويورك تايمز في حينه.

وفي الإطار نفسه، فإننا نرى من الضرورة بمكان تذكير الغلام عادل الجبير بأن تآمره على إيران وحزب الله وسورية لم يحقق إلا الخيبة وراء الخيبة. فها هي إيران تصبح قوة نووية معترفاً بها دولياً وها هي سورية وبالتعاون مع حلفائها تفشل أكبر حملة عسكرية ضدها بعد سبع سنوات من الصمود الأسطوري والمواجهة البطولية.

هذا الغلام المدعو، عادل الجبير الذي كان سفيراً للسعودية في واشنطن، قد أصرّ على تحريض الأميركيين، خلال اجتماع عقد سنة 2008، بين الملك السابق عبد الله بن عبدالعزيز والجنرال بترايوس قائد القوات الأميركية في العراق آنذاك، ومعه السفير الأميركي في بغداد ريان كرومر ومجموعة من الأمراء السعوديين، حيث كرّر قوله لهم: لقد قال لكم الملك اقطعوا رأس الأفعى. وكذلك فعل الصبّي المسمّى ملكاً في البحرين خلال اجتماعه مع الجنرال بترايوس في مقر قيادة الأسطول الأميركي الخامس في البحرين سنة 2009.

خامساً: وبناء على ما تقدّم فإن العمل الإجرامي الذي أقدم عليه محمد بن سلمان، باحتجازه رئيس وزراء لبنان. ليس وليد الساعة وليس من بنات أفكار هذا المغرور، وإنما هو إحدى حلقات المواجهة الفاشلة التي تقودها الولايات المتحده و«إسرائيل» ضد محور المقاومة وعلى رأسه إيران.

وسواء غادر الحريري الرياض السبت او الأحد او بعد ساعتين أو أسبوعين، فأن فصول التآمر على محور المقاومة لن تتوقف. أي أن الهدف الاستراتيجي الأميركي ثابت لا يتغيّر ويتمثّل في ضرب كل القوى المعادية للهيمنة الاميركية في العالم بما في ذلك روسيا، وما المتغير سوى التكتيكات المستخدمة من قبل الأميركيين والأدوار التي يتم إسنادها لأذنابهم في المنطقة من «إسرائيلي» الى رجعي عربي هي التي تتغير حسب متطلبات كل مرحلة من مراحل المواجهة.

سادساً: وانطلاقاً من نتيجة فشل محمد بن سلمان الحالي في لبنان، فإن مصادر استخبارية عسكرية غربية تؤكد أنهم قد يلجأون الى تنفيذ سلسلة من التفجيرات وعمليات الاغتيال العشوائية في لبنان، وذلك باستخدام خلايا داعشية موجودة في مناطق مختلفة من لبنان، وتحت إشراف مباشر من المخابرات السعودية، علما ان هناك شخصيات لبنانية عدة محسوبة على السعودية تشارك في تقديم خدمات لوجستية لهذه الخلايا.

أي أن الطرف السعودي مصرّ على الاستمرار في تنفيذ مخطط ضرب إيران من خلال ضرب حزب الله في لبنان والمقاومة الفلسطينية في غزة، وذلك خوفاً على مصداقيته عند سيده في البيت الأبيض.

وقد أكد المصدر الاستخباري نفسه أن مجموعة كبار مسؤولي البنتاغون والخارجية الأميركيتين قد خاطبوا الرئيس الأميركي مطالبين إياه بالكفّ عن إعلان دعمه لمغامرات محمد بن سلمان والتي ستلحق أضراراً كبيرة بالمصالح الأميركية في «الشرق الأوسط»، حسب ما ورد في رسائلهم والتي جاء فيها أيضاً أن مَن يريد أن يُحدث تغييرات في دولة كالسعودية تعاني من نقص هائل في الموارد المالية لا يمكنه تطبيق سياسات داخلية تؤدي إلى إبعاد المستثمرين الأجانب عن الاستثمار في السعودية.

ويتابع هؤلاء تعليلهم لموقفهم بالقول إن موازنة السعودية قد بلغت 737 مليار دولار في العام 2014 بينما لم تزد عن 415 مليار للعام 2017 وذلك نتيجة للهبوط الحاد في أسعار النفط. مما يؤكد على أن سياسة قانون الغاب التي يطبّقها محمد بن سلمان حالياً لن تؤدي الى النجاح في تنويع مصادر الدخل في المملكة السعودية عن طريق تقليل الاعتماد على النفط وتشجيع الاستثمارات في قطاعات اقتصادية أخرى. كما أن هذه الإجراءات الدراماتيكية التي اتخذها ابن سلمان لن تساعد في عملية طرح أسهم شركة أرامكو في البورصات الدولية. وذلك بسبب تخوّف المستثمرين المحليين والأجانب من الإجراءات التعسفية التي قد تتخذ بحق ممتلكاتهم في السعودية، وذلك بسبب غياب الحماية القانونية لرجال الأعمال وممتلكاتهم هناك. وخير دليل على ذلك هو استيلاء محمد بن سلمان على أموال كل هؤلاء الأمراء ورجال الأعمال الذين يحتجزهم منذ أسبوعين.

وهذا يعني أن لبنان قد صمد في هذه المواجهة، وأثبت أنه أكثر أمناً من السعودية، كما أثبتت إيران أنها تمتلك قاعدة قانونية صلبة تؤمن الحماية الضرورية لكافة المستثمرين الأجانب، اتفقت معهم او اختلفت، بدءاً بشركة توتال الفرنسية مروراً بشركة سيمنس الألمانية وصولاً الى الشركات الروسية والصينية الموجودة في الكثير من القطاعات الاقتصادية الإيرانية.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

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The national forces of Syria, Iraq, and Egypt الجيوش الوطنية في سورية والعراق ومصر

 The national forces of Syria, Iraq, and Egypt

نوفمبر 7, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,حرب سعوديّة أم حرب «إسرائيليّة» بواجهة سعودية؟

It was clear and certified that there is a plan that aims at destroying and dismantling the national forces especially in Syria, Iraq, and Egypt. For those who want to ask about the future of the Israeli project in the region, have to measure the outcome of what has happened at the level of the future of these armies, and to measure as well the future of the disintegration projects from the most important gate which is represented by the separatist attempt of the Kurdistan region in Iraq.

A look at the situation of the armies in Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, especially because the Syrian and the Iraqi armies have been exposed to systematic dismantling projects and have suffered from serious losses in their structure, armament, and geographical control, shows that these armies got out of war stronger than what they were before, more cohesive, and have more experience, number, steadfastness, morale, armament, and skill.

In Syria and Iraq we are in front of two armies of one million  soldiers and officers who have the most modern military weapons that were tested in the fields, they got out of battles which last for years victorious contrary to many armies in the world, these armies are surrounded by about two million  people in similar fighting organizations as the national and the popular defense in Syria, and the popular Crowd in Iraq, in coordination with a resistance that can mobilize  a quarter of a million fighters led by an elite of fifty thousand fighters who master all kinds of wars and have all kinds of weapons. While in the strategic depth which is represented by Iran there is an army of million soldiers surrounded by five million of Revolutionary Guard and mobilization forces who participated in the wars of Syria and Iraq. So it is not hidden that in Lebanon and Egypt some of that also, moreover, in Palestine there is a resistance that is recovering after the plight of the wrong positioning of some of its factions in the war of Syria.

The Israeli leadership looks from this perspective to its future in the region, but it finds it black, it commemorates the centenary of Balfour Declaration as a one hundred year non-renewal promise, as the British 99-years lease contracts, where Israel has completed it in 1946. Many predictors and soothsayers ensured its end before that date, while the seculars and the scientists said depending on facts and figures that Israel will not withstand till that date, maybe the next decade will be the date of its demise, so if it does not go to war to accelerate the historic confrontation others will drive it to, otherwise why do they accumulate arms and expertise and spend money for that?

I have asked three leading figures of active influential countries in the wars of the region, who have relation with the security and the military act about if there is a final conception of the formula of settlements in the region, their answer was the same; almost everything is clear and decisive but what is delaying is the complex of the American insistence on ensuring the security of Israel and the impossibility of getting this guarantee, therefore the settlements will take place gradually as well as the combination between the understandings and the imposing of the fait accompli and linking the ongoing conflict about the security of Israel till something great happens, they added either to indulge in a war that is difficult to stop or Israel has to accelerate to accept the comprehensive withdrawal till the line of the fourth of June of the year 1967 and the establishment of real Palestinian state, then there will be card shuffling that will change the rules of engagement.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

الجيوش الوطنية في سورية والعراق ومصر

نوفمبر 3, 2017

حرب سعوديّة أم حرب «إسرائيليّة» بواجهة سعودية؟ناصر قنديل

– كان واضحاً وموثقاً أنّ ثمة مخططاً يستهدف تدمير وتفكيك الجيوش الوطنية، خصوصاً في سورية والعراق ومصر، وللذين يريدون التساؤل عن مستقبل المشروع «الإسرائيلي» في المنطقة، أن يقيسوا حاصل ما جرى على مستوى مستقبل هذه الجيوش، وأن يقيسوا بالتوازي معها مستقبل مشاريع التفتيت من بوابة المشروع الأشدّ أهمية وجاهزية، الذي مثّله المسعى الانفصالي لإقليم كردستان في العراق.

– إنّ نظرة نحو حال الجيوش في مصر وسورية والعراق، خصوصاً في سورية والعراق، وقد تعرّض الجيشان لمشاريع تفكيك منهجية، وتلقى كلّ منهما إصابات بالغة في بنيته وتسليحه وسيطرته الجغرافية، تفيد بأنها جيوش تخرج من هذه الحرب أشدّ قوة مما كانت قبلها، وأكثر تماسكاً وخبرة وعديداً وثباتاً ومعنويات وتسليحاً ومهارة.

– في سورية والعراق نحن أمام جيشين من مليون جندي وضابط يملكون أحدث العتاد الحربي وقد اختبروه في الميدان، وخرجوا من معارك لم يعِش مثلها جيشُ في العالم لسنوات ويخرج منتصراً، محاطين بحوالي مليوني منضوٍ في أطر رديفة للقتال كالدفاع الوطني والشعبي في سورية والحشد الشعبي في العراق، وبالتنسيق مع مقاومة تستطيع تعبئة ربع مليون مقاتل تقودهم نخبة من خمسين ألف مقاتل يتقنُون أنواع الحروب كلها ويملكون أنواع السلاح كافة، وفي العمق الاستراتيجي الذي تمثله إيران جيش من مليون جندي وحوله خمسة ملايين بين حرس ثوري وقوات تعبئة، وقد شاركوا في حربَيْ سورية والعراق، وليس خافياً، أنّ في لبنان ومصر بعضاً من هذا، وفي فلسطين حال مقاومة تتعافى بعد محنة التموضع الخاطئ لبعض فصائلها في حرب سورية.

– تنظر القيادة «الإسرائيلية» بهذه الحسابات لمستقبلها في المنطقة فتراه أسود، وهي تحتفل بمئوية وعد بلفور، كأنه وعد مئة عام غير قابلة للتجديد، كحال عقود الليزينغ البريطانية سقفها تسعة وتسعون سنة، ستتمّها «إسرائيل» عام 1946، فيكثر المتنبئون والمنجمون بزوالها قبل هذا التاريخ، وينظر العلمانيون والعلميون بعيون أخرى تقول بالوقائع والأرقام إنّ «إسرائيل» لن تصمد حتى ذلك التاريخ، فربما يكون العقد المقبل موعد الرحيل، فإنْ لم تذهب هي للحرب لتسريع المواجهة التاريخية، سيأتيها بالحرب الآخرون، وإلا فلماذا يكدّسون السلاح والخبرات وينفقون عليهما الأموال؟

– ثلاث شخصيات قيادية ذات صلة بالعمل الأمني والعسكري من دول فاعلة ومؤثرة في حروب المنطقة، سألتهم السؤال ذاته، هل من تصوّر نهائي لصيغة التسويات في المنطقة، كان جوابهم واحداً، كل شيء تقريباً واضح ومحسوم، والذي يؤخّر هو عقدة الإصرار الأميركي على ضمان أمن «إسرائيل»، واستحالة الحصول على هذه الضمانة، ولذلك ستتمّ التسويات بالتدريج والمزاوجة بين التفاهمات وفرض الأمر الواقع، وربط النزاع المستمرّ حول أمن «إسرائيل» حتى يحدث شيء كبير، وعن هذا الشيء الكبير قالوا، إما الانزلاق لحرب يصعُب وقفها تكتبُ هي الجواب، أو مسارعة «إسرائيل» لقبول الانسحاب الشامل حتى خط الرابع من حزيران من العام 1969 وقيام دولة فلسطينية حقيقية، عندها سيحدث خلط أوراق يغيّر قواعد الاشتباك.

’Israel’s’ Coming War with Hezbollah


04-11-2017 | 12:06

Analyzing a possible future ‘Israeli’ war with Hezbollah, Thomas Donnelly cited Willy Stern’s in his “Missiles Everywhere,” as saying that an ‘Israel’-Hezbollah conflict would be nasty and brutish but not short.

Israeli vehicle on fire


Ever since its 2006 clash with ‘Israel’, Hezbollah has been stockpiling hundreds of thousands of rockets, missiles, and mortars capable of reaching not just border areas but deep into ‘Israel,’ Donnelly wrote for The Weekly Standard.

“This arsenal includes hundreds of ballistic missiles capable of carrying chemical warheads as well as substantial conventional explosives,” he further noted.

More important is their improved accuracy; Hezbollah might actually hit something for a change, and not just large cities like Jerusalem [al-Quds] and Tel Aviv but military bases and airports. Despite ‘Israel’s’ development of the “Iron Dome,” “Arrow,” and “David’s Sling,” it’s unlikely that an all-out or sustained series of attacks could be fully blunted.

According to the author, Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in June that the resistance men would be reinforced in battle by “tens.  .  . or even hundreds of thousands” of fighters from Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. In parallel, ‘Israeli’ intelligence assessments put the likely strength of such forces at about 40,000.

Jeffrey White of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy has long argued that the next ‘Israel’-Hezbollah conflict would be quite unlike the 2006 edition of this “forever” war or any of the recent ‘Israeli’ campaigns against Hamas. The numbers of missiles, including anti-ship cruise missiles, would dwarf previous Hezbollah salvos and, including upgraded versions of the ubiquitous Scud, could be launched from deep within Lebanon at targets deep within ‘Israel’. And ‘Israel’ could well confront its nightmare scenario-a two-front war in the form of simultaneous attacks launched from the Syrian part of the Golan Heights.

‘Israel’ has not faced such a powerful threat since the 1973 war, and confronting the Iran-Hezbollah-Assad coalition will tax the ‘Israeli’ Occupation Forces [IOF] heavily. While the ‘Israeli’ air force has long ruled the local skies, the proliferation of advanced Russian-made air defenses calls into question how rapidly-and at what cost-the IOF can establish or sustain the kind of air supremacy it will need. The best way to remove the Hezbollah missile threat is to seek and destroy the launchers or to deny use of customary launch sites. The ‘Israelis’ have worked very hard to improve their mobile-missile-hunting abilities, but this would be a risky mission.

‘Israel’ has worked to improve the survivability of its mechanized infantry and armored forces and the responsiveness, lethality, and accuracy of its artillery.

For its part, Hezbollah, which showed considerable tactical skill in defending southern Lebanon in 2006, has added advanced anti-armor weaponry and new layers of defenses. The terrain in southern Lebanon and on the Golan is well suited for such purposes; ‘Israel’ will have to pick its way forward cautiously, through ambush after ambush, and ultimately it may have to go farther north and east than in 2006, the writer concluded.

Source: The Weekly Standard, Edited by website team

سقوط مذل لهيبة طائرة اف 35 .. الروس يكشفون السر ويتحدون (اسرائيل) باظهار صورة الطائرة التي أصابها السوريون؟

بقلم نارام سرجون

بعد مأساة الميركافا التي مرغ أنفها في تراب وادي الحجير على يد مقاتلي حزب الله الذين أقاموا حفل شواء شهير من لحمها الحديدي .. يبدو ان افضل مقاتلة في أميريكا تعرضت للاهانة والاذلال على يد رجال الدفاع الجوي السوري الذين اطلقوا عليها صاروخ اس 200 واصابوها فوق لبنان يوم 16 تشرين الأول الماضي .. ولذا فان مستقبلها انتهى قبل أن يبدأ ..

وادعت اسرائيل يومها أن طائراتها عادت الى قواعدها سالمة بعد أن ضربت منصة اطلاق صواريخ سورية وحذرت السوريين من تكرار التجرؤ على جولات الطيران الاسرائيلي السياحية الروتينية في المنطقة ونفت اي مزاعم سورية باصابة أي من طائراتها .. ولكنهم في اليوم التالي قالوا ان طائرة من طراز ف 35 – التي تملك اسرائيل سبعة منها فقط حتى اليوم وتنتظر وصول بقية الصفقة المكونة من خمسين طائرة – قد اصطدمت بطائر وتعرضت لخلل فني وانها لن تحلق الآن حتى اصلاح الخلل .. الا أنه في ذلك اليوم الذي قيل ان طائرا اصطدم بالطائرة الأفضل في العالم وصل وزير الدفاع الروسي سيرغي شويغو الى “اسرائيل” وكان ذلك مفاجئا وغير مفهوم في العلاقات الدولية لأن الزيارة لم يتم الاعلان عنها قبل ذلك كحدث روتيني .. ويبدو ان ذلك لم يكن مصادفة على الاطلاق لأن الاسرائيليين والاميريكيين عرفوا أن الفضيحة ستكون كبيرة جدا .. فأفضل طائرة في العالم كما يدعون أصابها صاروخ روسي قديم .. وهم قرروا ابلاغ الروس أنهم لايريدون التصعيد مع السوريين ولكن لديهم مايجب سماعه من قبل الروس .. فحضر شويغو ليقيس مدى الغضب الاميريكي الاسرائيلي من صدمة المواجهة مع السلاح الروسي ..

والبعض قال بأن الاسرائيليين أبلغوا الروس غضبهم لأن هذا الحادث تم بموافقة روسية رغم اتفاق التنسيق بين الطرفين .. وان “اسرائيل” تنظر للأمر على أنه تحرش روسي .. وخرق للاتفاقات .. وأن شركات السلاح الأميريكية سترد على ذلك بتزويد المعارضين السوريين بصواريخ تحمل على الكتف .. تصيب الطائرات الروسية .. وحسب مصادر روسية فان الروس هدؤوا من روع الاسرائيليين الذين هزهم هذا السقوط لطائرة المستقبل الجوي لاسرائيل في الأيام الأولى لتحليقها .. وكان شويغو يدرك حجم المأساة الاسرائيلية لأن الكابوس لم يعد هو صاروخ اس 200 بل صاروخ اس 300 الذي امتلكه السوريون .. وهذا يعني أن السوريين في أي مواجهة قادمة سيفرضون حظر طيران على كل المجال الجوي لفلسطين المحتلة .. فصواريخ اس 300 قادرة على اسقاط الطائرات بعد اقلاعها من المطارات الاسرائيلية وهي لاتزال في المجال الجوي “الاسرائيلي” ..

ولكن تهديد الاسرائيليين للروس لقي استخفافا من شويغو لأن التكنولوجيا الفضائية الروسية تجاوزت مرحلة القلق من الصواريخ المحمولة على الكتف .. كما أن هذا التهديد سيعني ان الروس سيعطون حزب الله اسلحة تهز اسرائيل كعقاب لها .. بتهديد على التهديد .. وقال شويغو بأن على الطرفين الروسي والاسرائيلي ألا يستدرجا الى لعبة التحدي والاستفزاز .. وأن اصابة الطائرة لايد للروس فيها لأن من أطلق الصواريخ هم ضباط سوريون لايخضعون للأوامر الروسية كما أن على الاسرائيليين ألا يغامروا بطائرات “غير ناضجة تقنيا” وقد صار لدى السوريين تكنولوجيا اسقاطها ..

القصة كادت تموت ولكن الاعلام الغربي صار يسرب بعض الحقائق والاعترافات المرة قطرة قطرة .. فقد بدأ الاعلام الغربي يتحدث بقلق عما نشرته مواقع عسكرية روسية منها موقع ساوثفرونت (الجبهة الجنوبية) العسكري الروسي والذي تحدث لأول مرة عن السر الذي تخفيه اسرائيل .. اي أن طائرة ف 35 قد تعرضت لأكبر محنة وهزيمة منذ أول مواجهة مع السلاح الروسي .. والفضيحة هي أن صاروخ اس 200 هو من موديل الستينات في الترسانة الروسية العسكرية .. وسخر الموقع الروسي من حكاية “الطائر” الذي اصطدمت به الطائرة .. وعلق بنوع من التحدي: لماذا لايرينا الاسرائيليون صورة الطائرة التي أصابها الطائر لنعاينها ونكشف صحتها من زيفها؟؟ أين هي هذه الطائرة التي لن تحلق الا بعد اصلاح الخلل؟؟ هاتوا لنا صورة كي تسكت الشائعات ..

يبدو ان السر الذي حاولت “اسرائيل” أن تخفيه لم يعد سرا .. وأن الطائر الذي أصاب الطائرة ليس له ريش بل هو جسم معدني مصمم على شكل صاروخ .. واسم هذا الطائر هو اس 200 .. وأطلقه الجيش السوري .. وبدأ تحضير الجمهور الغربي له بأخبار عن شائعات روسية .. وعدم يقين من الأخبار السيئة ..

حسب خبير روسي صديق فانه لايستبعد أن الروس لديهم تصوير الحادث كاملا .. وأن الاسرائيليين يخشون النفي الصريح لانهم وقعوا في ذلك الفخ قبل ذلك عندما كان حزب الله يصرح عن عملية كبيرة وينتظر أن تنفي “اسرائيل” بشدة لأنها تظن أن لاشيء يثبت كذبها .. واذ بحزب الله بمجرد النفي الاسرائيلي يخرج الفيديو للعملية لاحراج “الجيش الذي لايقهر” .. الذي يتعرق مسؤولوه وتصفر وجوههم وهم يتابعون الفيديو الذي لم يعرفوا به ..

أتمنى من صديق الثوار العرب أفيخاي أدرعي أن يطمئن ثواره وأصدقاءه أن سقوط هيبة ف35 هو (مجغّد خادث عاغض .. وأن اسغائيل كويّة وستغدّ على التجغؤ السوغي على اسغائيل) ..

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ISRAELI MEDIA CLAIMS NEW WAR AGAINST HEZBOLLAH INEVITABLE

Israeli Media Claims New War Against Hezbollah Inevitable

A Hezbollah fighter stands at a watch tower at Juroud Arsal, the Syria-Lebanon border. Photo: REUTERS

High Level Military Group, a project of the Friends of Israel Initiative comprising former generals and high-ranking officials from NATO and allied countries, released a report on October 25 assessing Hezbollah’s current state.

They claim Hezbollah has stockpiled roughly 100,000 rockets and missiles since its last conflict with Israel in 2006; acquired anti-tank and unmanned aerial equipment; trained its men in combat alongside Bashar al-Assad forces in Syria; and spread its military assets among virtually every Shi’ite town in southern Lebanon.

The Israeli media jumped at the opportunity, claiming the report as proof of an inevitable full-out war between Israel and Hezbollah. The report claimed that, according to “Israeli policymakers”, “any war would be the result of a miscalculation by Iran and Hezbollah, forcing a response on Israel’s part.”

Although the report notes that Israel’s defense forces faced broad international criticism for their conduct in 2006, it claims that “the international environment has changed since the previous war,” and that “a defensive assault on Hezbollah, a terror organization now strongly associated with Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, will generate initial support not only from the United States, but also from other Western countries, in addition to tacit but increasing support from the Sunni Arab world.”

Israeli officials have warned that the next war will escalate quickly because Israel will be  “forced” to preemptively strike at Hezbollah’s rocket stockpiles before facing retaliation.

Considering the fact that the Israeli military has deployed thousands of air, sea and land personnel to the Lebanese border in September for its biggest military drill in almost two decades, Israel’s intentions seem obvious. The last time the IDF held a drill of this scale was in 1998, when it simulated a seven-day war with Syria. The two countries have been in a state of conflict for decades.

Israeli Defense Forces: Military Capabilities, Scenarios for the Third Lebanon War

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