As Iran continues to threaten Israel, as Hezbollah continues to build up its arsenal of rockets and terror tunnels, and as Hamas keeps on its own acts of incitement and terror, it would seem Israel is in a hopeless spot. Not so, a longtime friend and ally of the Jewish state says. JNS' Israel Kasnett spoke to retired general and CIA director, David Petraeus, who lauded the deterrent effect of the mighty IDF:
With Hezbollah pointing thousands of missiles at Israel and digging tunnels under the border, and with Iran threatening every day to annihilate the Jewish state while Hamas maintains the capability to attack Israel again with rockets and mortars, one would hope that there are experts worth their salt losing sleep over these threats so that civilians can sleep soundly. The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) conference in Tel Aviv proved that brilliant minds are indeed at work.
David Petraeus, retired U.S. Army General and former CIA director who has been known to say, “Deterrence is founded on an adversary’s perception of your capabilities and your will,” agreed that Israel has both the capabilities and the will to defend itself.
Discussing Israel’s deterrence in facing the aforementioned threats, he told JNS, “I think Israel has a very substantial deterrent posture, and it is based on a number of different factors. One is, just don’t forget the sheer punishment that was meted out to Lebanon when you had the last war [the 2006 Second Lebanon War]. I think we have reassessed in more recent years how devastating the damage done to Southern Lebanon was during that war, and I don’t believe that Hezbollah, much less anyone else in Lebanon, would want to see a replay of that particular experience. They’re still repairing infrastructure that was damaged, and I think Israel has been very clear, rightly, about what would happen if this took place once again.”
“Second,” Petraeus continued, “Israel has dramatically improved the capabilities of its comprehensive missile- and rocket-defense system.” Petraeus pointed to the fact that the Jewish state has improved its defensive capabilities such as Iron Dome, David’s sling, the Patriot batteries and more. “There is a very increasingly sophisticated array of defensive and early warning systems that I think would do a very impressive job against a certain level of threat, after which, of course, it would again devastate whoever it was that sought to penetrate that particular system.”
“I think the deterrent posture is very strong. … The advances with Israel’s capabilities to respond—whether it is by some means of indirect fire, missiles, rockets, artillery or certainly with the Israeli air force, which is now flying the most sophisticated aircraft in the world, the F-35”—all add to this posture, he said...