5 Reasons No Nation Wants to Go to War with Israel
The Jericho III is the most advanced ballistic missile in the region, presumably (Israel does not offer much data on its operation) capable of striking targets not only in the Middle East, but also across Europe, Asia, and potentially North America. The Jericho III ensures that any nuclear attack against Israel would be met with devastating retaliation, especially as it is unlikely that Israel could be disarmed by a first strike. Of course, given that no potential Israeli foe has nuclear weapons (or will have them in the next decade, at least), the missiles give Jerusalem presumptive nuclear superiority across the region.
Israel acquired its first submarine, a former British “S” class, in 1958. That submarine and others acquired in the 1960s played several important military roles, including defense of the Israeli coastline, offensive operations against Egyptian and Syrian shipping, and the delivery of commando teams in war and peace. These early boats were superseded by the Gal class, and finally by the German Dolphin class (really two separate classes related to the Type 212) boats, which are state-of-the-art diesel-electric subs.
The role of the Dolphin class in Israel’s nuclear deterrent has almost certainly been wildly overstated. The ability of a diesel electric submarine to carry out deterrent patrols is starkly limited, no matter what ordnance they carry. However, the Dolphin remains an effective platform for all sorts of other missions required by the IDF. Capable of maritime reconnaissance, of sinking or otherwise interdicting enemy ships, and also of delivering special forces to unfriendly coastlines, the Dolphins represent a major Israeli security investment, and one of the most potentially lethal undersea forces in the region.
The Israeli Soldier
The technology that binds all of these other systems together is the Israeli soldier. Since 1948 (and even before) Israel has committed the best of its human capital to the armed forces. The creation of fantastic soldiers, sailors, and airmen doesn’t happen by accident, and doesn’t result simply from the enthusiasm and competence of the recruits. The IDF has developed systems of recruitment, training, and retention that allow it to field some of the most competent, capable soldiers in the world. None of the technologies above work unless they have smart, dedicated, well-trained operators to make them function at their fullest potential.
When considering the effectiveness of Israeli weapons, and the expertise of the men and women who wield them, it’s worth noting that for all the tactical and operational success the IDF has enjoyed, Israel remains in a strategically perilous position. The inability of Israel to develop long-term, stable, positive relationships with its immediate neighbors, regional powers, and the subject populations of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip means that Jerusalem continues to feel insecure, its dominance on land, air, and sea notwithstanding. Tactics and technologies, however effective and impressive, cannot solve these problems; only politics can.