Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Israeli Air Force Takes the Lead [with Halutz Appointment Focus On Iran]

Gerald Steinberg, The Jerusalem Post:
The quick appointment of Maj.-Gen. Dan Halutz as IDF chief of General Staff signals important and fundamental changes in emphasis in Israeli security priorities.

Halutz is the first chief of staff to come from the Air Force, and his appointment reflects the centrality of air power in Israeli strategy in the recent past and in the immediate future. From this position, he is often credited with much of the success in defeating the Palestinian terror campaign and restoring Israeli deterrence.

Overhead platforms – manned and unmanned – located terror leaders, detected preparations for the assembly of car bombs, found and mapped the suicide bombing networks, and launched the weapons against these targets. ...

Halutz is an innovator, and, as a senior officer in the Air Force, emphasized long-range planning designed to provide the technologies and tactics for responding to a wide range of threats. ...

From this perspective, Halutz's appointment is also a clear signal to Iran. If necessary, Israel will be prepared to defend its vital interests in response to the expanding existential threat from Teheran.