The Gaza conflict revealed the need for cooperation between the United States, Israel and their partners

A new assessment of the Gaza conflict in May concludes that the conflict shows why the United States, Israel and others should cooperate against the kinds of emerging threats we saw in May.

The report was compiled by the Gaza Assessment Working Group of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America.

The recent conflict “reveals the need for cooperation between the United States, Israel, and like-minded nations to address the threat posed by the proliferation of advanced and effective low-level capabilities, from state sponsors of terrorism like Iran and North Korea to unconventional countries. adversaries like Hamas, ”the report says.

The report was compiled by the JINSA Gemunder Center’s Gaza Assessment Policy Project. The independent policy project consisted of senior and retired US military officers who were able to travel to Israel to examine the actions of both sides in the recent conflict. Among those involved in the project was the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General. Robert Ashley, former senior defense official in Iraq, Lt. General. John M. Bednarek, former chief of international law for the US Army in Europe, Lt. Col. Geoffrey S. Corn, Former Deputy Commander of Aviation, Lieutenant General. Jon Davis, former deputy director of national intelligence for national security associations, Lt. General. Karen Gibson, and former commanding general of the Lewis-McChord I Corps and Joint Base Lt.-Gen. Stephen Lanza.

The report notes that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad changed their plans significantly after absorbing the lessons of 2014 and advancing their research and development efforts. “In the previous conflict, their objective was to overwhelm the command and control of Iron Dome by launching relatively small rocket rounds towards multiple fronts in Israel simultaneously. With the Iranian stimulus, in 2021 rockets were fired from Gaza in much larger salvoes, up to 150 projectiles at a time, at a single target area in Israel, usually a large city, in a deliberate attempt to dominate a single Iron Dome battery. Overall, however, this was no more successful than the 2014 tactics, thanks to parallel advances in Israel’s air defenses. ”

A long exposure image shows the iron dome anti-missile system firing intercepting missiles as rockets are fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, as seen from the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on May 10, 2021 (credit: EDI ISRAEL / FLASH90).

The report notes that the United States also faces similar threats from Iranian-backed militias in the Middle East. For example, Iran has used drones to attack the Tanf base in Syria recently. Iran has increased the use of drones against the United States in Iraq and also used drones to attack a ship in the Gulf of Oman in July. The authors argue that the processes we see in conflicts here now have parallels in other places where Russia and China also use powers and carry out cyberattacks.

“This strategic background helps explain the IDF’s emphasis on a short and decisive campaign in Gaza that would not bog down Israel or divert attention from its main challenge. By rapidly eliminating as many Hamas and PIJ military assets as it could, it sought in part to deter these groups from reigniting hostilities for the longest period of time possible, thereby maximizing Israel’s freedom of maneuver to address high-level threats from Iran. ” , the report notes. Furthermore, during the May 2021 conflict, when Iran tried to further divert the IDF’s attention through rocket and drone attacks from Lebanon and Syria, Israel clearly chose to minimize the risks of escalation by retaliating limited or not at all. Ultimately, even while attempting to end the conflict quickly, the IDF had to limit operational capabilities and arms stocks due to the possibility of simultaneous or future larger-scale conflicts with Iran and Hezbollah in the north. ”

Iran supplies Hamas with technology such as rockets and drones. The report highlights the importance of these new capabilities, including “electronic warfare” that was apparently used by Hamas in Gaza. “The growth of advanced capabilities among hybrid adversaries, including EWs, UAVs, tunnels, and the ability to employ large-volume rocket salvoes and potentially swarms of drones, reveals the need for cooperation between the United States, Israel, and like-minded nations to monitor and intercept transfers of weapons and dual-use technology. It also requires joint research and development efforts to develop solutions for threats such as large-scale mortar rounds and remotely piloted vehicle (RPV) swarms, including exploring the need for directed energy weapons (DEW) and counter-rockets, artillery. and mortars (C-RAM) ”, conclude the authors.

“Low-flying maneuverable UAVs offered an element of precision that was not available in their arsenals of unguided rockets; Consequently, during the conflict, Hamas fired them at high-value targets such as critical infrastructure in Israel, including an offshore natural gas platform near Gaza. Thanks again to the improvements to the Iron Dome, as well as the use of fighter jets, these UAV attacks were also unsuccessful. “This is important because Israel has increased Iron Dome’s capabilities in recent years. The United States has also acquired two Iron Dome batteries.

The need for greater cooperation between Israel, the United States and other partners stems from the recent conflict. This report helps provide further evidence of the need to view the types of conflicts Israel faces as harbingers of other conflicts the United States may face globally.

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