Many changes have taken place in the strategic environment in recent years, which have led to changes in the nature and potency of the threat facing the State of Israel, spreading outward from the first circle to more distant threats. The doctrine as formulated here is based on an understanding that the conventional and sub-conventional threats in the first circle are on the decline while there has been an increase in nonconventional threats (terrorist organizations, subterranean infrastructure, high trajectory weapons, etc.) and cyber threats. At the same time, we are aware that underlying the multi-year plan is the need to build the IDF's might both in multi-theater and in multi-dimensional defense and for simultaneous attacks on a number of fronts in preparation for D-Day.

The "IDF Strategy” document presents the changes the IDF needs to undergo in light of the future challenges and changes in the characteristics of the enemy, such as reinforcing and improving the effectiveness of ground maneuvers, diversifying operational capabilities in campaigns between wars, strengthening the cyber dimension, and preserving intelligence, aerial, and naval superiority. As to the use of the force, the strategy is based on unchanging principles - deterrence, early warning, defense, defeating the enemy, and victory. In addition, the approach sets out the command and control doctrine for combat with the aim of enabling the effective use of the IDF's capabilities in the entire war theater.

Dealing with the IDF's Strategy has been part of the IDF's operational activities for many years. The approach as formulated in this document will be the basis for the processes that the IDF will lead within the framework of the "Gideon” multi-year plan and will be the compass for building and operating the force with the aim of realizing its capabilities while studying the changes in the enemy's characteristics and being conscious of the IDF's might.

Formulating the strategy is not the supreme test; the proof lies in the implementation of the task in Routine, Emergencies, and War (REW). The IDF will succeed in facing each and every task and challenge and in carrying out its mission: to defend and to be victorious.

Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot, Chief of the General Staff
Av 5775
August 2015


1) The IDF Strategy document is the basis for guiding and building up the use of force and deals with the following issues [1]:

A. How the IDF analyzes the domestic and external operational environment.

  1. Describes the State of Israel's security doctrine (as reflected in earlier work and the way in which Israel operates.)
  2. Describes the IDF's operational environment - international, operative-strategic and domestic.

B. Strategy for the use of the force focusing on the common foundations of the various operational arenas in which the conflict is fought against a substate enemy (such as Hezbollah and Hamas). The unique context of the area of operation needs to be developed in a parallel process, the main point being to impose the general principles in various situations to the unique operative challenge in a particular theater.

C. The command and control doctrine and preparing the IDF for combat by defining the roles of the General Staff and the headquarters of the operational theaters, defining the Chief of the General Staff as the IDF's sole commander of the campaign and the principles of command and control.

D. Principles for building up the force and the capabilities needed by the IDF with prioritization in principle derived from an analysis of the operational environment and the principles guiding the use of force.

2) These are the next steps as derived from this document:

A. Formulate an overall approach to the use of force and approaches for using the force in the theaters of operation and having these principles written up by the commanders of the operating force headquarters.

B. Formulate and write up concepts for building up the force in the divisions and branches.

C. Continue to prioritize the capabilities needed by the IDF and the plans to fortify it as derived from the IDF Strategy - a process that should be led by the Planning Division and the Operations Division in collaboration with the branches and the divisions within the framework of their preparations for the "Gideon" multi-year plan.

[1] This document is the unclassified version of the IDF Strategy document formulated within the framework of the "Gideon" multi-year plan.

Chapter I. The Strategic Framework

1. The IDF Strategy is the conceptual and practical foundation for all basic military documents. As such, it is based on vital national interests, the basic assumptions of national security, and the principles of military thinking and action. It guides us on how to incorporate the basic assumptions of national security into the principles and rules of military doctrines.

National Objectives
2. These are the national objectives of the States of Israel: [2]

A. Secure the existence of the State of Israel, defend its territorial integrity and the security of its citizens and inhabitants.

B. Uphold the values of the State of Israel and its character as a Jewish and democratic state and as the homeland of the Jewish people.

C. Ensure the State of Israel's social and economic strength.

D. Strengthen the State of Israel's international and regional status while striving toward peace with its neighbors.

3. The threats facing the State of Israel are the following: States - distant (Iran) and nearby (Lebanon), failed states and states in a process of disintegration (Syria); substate organizations (Hezbollah, Hamas); terrorist organizations without links to a particular state or community (Islamic Jihad, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, ISIS, and others).

Principles of the national security doctrine
4. The military aspect of the security doctrine - deterrence, early warning, defense, and decision - find expression in these principles:

A. Reliance on a defensive security strategy based on assuring Israel's existence, creating effective deterrence, neutralizing threats as necessary and avoiding confrontations.

B. Offensive military concept - the basic assumption is that the enemy cannot be defeated through a defensive posture. Therefore, it is necessary to use force in an offensive posture to achieve clear-cut military results. The use of force will be carried out with resolve in order to achieve the political goals while operating in accordance with the rules of international law with an emphasis on the rules of war, [3] and safeguarding the State of Israel's legitimacy.

C. Strategic cooperation - strengthening the relations with the United States and developing strategic ties with other key states in addition to establishing and reinforcing centers of support around the world.

D. Strengthening Israel's regional status - reinforcing the peace accords and maximizing the potential for cooperation with moderate elements in the region.

E. Maintaining the relative advantage based on human quality, advanced technological capabilities (weaponry) and various types of intelligence.

5. Premise underlying the security concept is:

A. Maintaining long periods of security calm to enable the development of society, science and the economy, and to improve the preparedness for Emergencies and War.

B. Creating deterrence in the regional environment and against elements that could become threats based on augmenting a strong and relevant military force and resolving to use the full might of the military force when required.

C. During Routine - implementing, enhancing, and maintaining deterrence by building the force and creating a credible threat relative to our willingness and readiness to use it. At the same time, using all the defense organizations in coordinated action to impede the enemy's capabilities to build up its force.

D. In Emergencies and War - speedily removing the threat while minimizing the damage to the State of Israel and enhancing Israel's deterrence in the region.

The link between national goals and the use of force
6. When the political echelon finds it must use the army it should draft the guidelines as follows:

A. What are the goals and strategic conditions necessary to end the conflict?

B. What is the role of the army and how is it integrated into achieving these goals.

C. In what contingencies force would be employed.

D. Defining the additional efforts (political, economic, media, social) and the IDF's role in relation to them.

7. Instructions from the political echelon require clarifications and ongoing dialogue between the senior military echelon (Chief of the General Staff) and the political echelon. The guidance from the government is the basis for strategic thinking processes in the General Staff but is also influenced by them - there is reciprocal impact.

[2] From the staff work to develop a national security doctrine (Meridor document, 2007-5767)
[3] Rules of war are founded on basic principles whose implementation depends on the context: military necessity, judgment, proportionality, and humanity.

Chapter II. The Strategic and Operational Environment

1. In recent years there has been a change in the threat against the State of Israel. Previously, the enemy sought to advance a vision stressing Arab nationalism and aspired mainly to defeat Israel using regular armies, while today the enemy carries a local, ethnic and religious banner and has switched to actions that combine military activities, guerrilla actions, terror, and "soft" warfare.

Characteristics of the international and strategic environment
2. In the environment outside Israel the following strategic logic can be observed:

A. The enemy aspires to impose Islamic rule in the Middle East, including inside Israel. It works to erode and exhaust Israeli society on the assumption that its steadfastness is low.

B. The "resistance" Islamic movements aspire to replace the regimes in the states and try to establish themselves in outlying areas where governance is weak.

C. Problems with Western states which impact Israel's international legitimacy.

3. In Israel's domestic environment:

A. Israel is a peace-seeking nation that aspires to avoid confrontations.

B. If a confrontation is forced on Israel, it will concentrate its capabilities and will win.

C. The changes in the national order of priorities lead to a reduced investment in defense in favor of social and economic development. At the same time, the expectation remains that there will be a speedy resolution of conflicts and defense against all threats.

Characteristics of the operational environment
4. The characteristics of the enemy's use of force have changed and pose new challenges for the IDF:

A. Decline in threats from regular national armies and a rise in threats from irregular or semiregular substate organizations supported by Iran which aspire to become governmental entities (a decline in the threat of maneuvers into our territory with a limited threat of infiltration to carry out hostile terrorist activity or for propaganda purposes).

B. Increased threat of fire on the home front (volume, pace, accuracy, size of the payload, survivability) and an attempt to create a strategic threat against national weak spots and the national economy. This is in addition to an ongoing endeavor by the enemy to assure the survival of its firepower through decentralization, camouflage, protection and the use of the civilian environment to provide it with a
bargaining chip and "victory photographs."

C. The enemy is deployed and integrated in inhabited civilian areas in order to make it more difficult for the IDF to fight it, to increase the attacks on noncombatants, and to hinder the IDF's freedom of action.

D. Combat capabilities (explosive charges, conventional warheads, short-range missiles, anti-tank weapons, surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, electronic warfare, sub-conventional warfare) are aimed at deterring and disrupting the IDF's efforts on the ground, in the air and at sea, offsetting its technological advantages, maximizing civilian and military losses, and intensifying the strategic pressure on Israel.

E. A multi-dimensional approach during a campaign and between campaigns, including cyber-attacks, public perception and legal efforts, and terrorist activity in Israel and abroad, such as kidnapping civilians and soldiers for bargaining purposes, etc.

5. In the context of operational capabilities:

A. The IDF's costs for weapons, intelligence and defense escalate because of the operational challenges posed by the enemy which has significantly lower costs.

B. Ensuring the IDF's continued technological advantage is being put to the test due to the availability in civilian markets of some of the technologies that used to be available exclusively to state defense industries.

6. In its counter-fire campaigns against substate Islamic organizations, the IDF will have to:

A. End the warfare with a victory and dictate the conditions for ending the fighting.

B. Significantly reduce damage to the home front.

C. Create an improved security situation after the fighting that makes it difficult for the enemy to regain strength.

D. Preserve the legitimacy to use force.

7. On the military level, the confrontation will require a decision on the best ways to integrate and prioritize the various means - defensive, offensive, special operations, and the other support endeavors - in order to conduct a battle that best supports the political and strategic goals and corresponds with the resources allocated to it.

Other outlines that are not the focus of the doctrine
8. When assessing all the risks and opportunities, possible shifts due to the high level of uncertainty in the region must be taken into account.

Chapter III. Deploying the IDF's Force

1. In this chapter, we will present the general principles for the use of force by the IDF during Routine, in War, and in Emergencies; the principal political and strategic goals required of the IDF; the IDF's basic functioning situations; and the operational characteristics and their rationale.

General principles for deploying the IDF's force
2. The following are the general principles for the use of force by the IDF:

A. Prevent confrontation and deter the enemy:

    1. Campaigns to weaken negative forces, harm the enemy's capability, and demonstrate a high and immediate level of readiness to carry out the army's mission - to defend and to win.
    2. Expand and deepen regional and international cooperation against the enemies.

B. Early warning and intelligence [4] on the enemy's capabilities and intentions:

    1. Maintain intelligence superiority that will provide sufficient early warning on the enemy's capabilities and intentions.
    2. Maintain early warning on states, substate military organizations and terrorist organizations, including identifying shifts at all levels: strategic, system-wide, and tactical.
    3. Intelligence that enables operational planning and qualitative harm to the enemy.

C. Defense and protection:

    1. Defense in all four dimensions (land, sea, air, and cyber).
    2. Defense of Israel's citizens and inhabitants, infrastructure, and its physical integrity (securing its sovereignty).
    3. Prevent the enemy from making any territorial gain at the conclusion of a confrontation and reduce the enemy's achievements in all other dimensions.

D. Victory and defeat:

    1. Use military superiority to achieve the objectives of the operation as defined by the political echelon in order to improve Israel's strategic situation.
    2. Maintain the continuity of the economic and war efforts through effective and multi-dimensional defense (land, sea, air, cyber).
    3. At the tactical level, defeat the enemy at every encounter.

The purpose of military deployment in the IDF's functional situations

3. A number of key political and strategic goals can be defined for the use of force:

A. Defer the next confrontation by using force in Routine.

B. Maintain or improve the strategic situation after the enemy has started a hostile action characterized by a change in the modus operandi and intentions.

C. Radically change the situation until there is a shift in the strategic balance which finds expression in neutralizing players or in a significant change in their capabilities or status.

4. Alongside the range of operations there is a defined continuum of military functional situations which differentiates between three situations: Routine, Emergency, and War (REW). The functional situation is defined by the Chief of the General Staff depending on the military situation being faced. This definition helps to express an understanding of the confrontation on the battlefield, to conduct a dialogue with the political echelon, to define the basic political situation, and to make decisions on enlisting state resources:

A. A Routine situation refers to ongoing security, a limited and ongoing confrontation, and the campaign
between wars (CBW).

B. An Emergency situation refers to campaigns and limited operations that are not within a war framework.

C. A War situation.

5. IDF Strategy is based on operations that enable it to achieve what it has set out to do. This is accomplished by organizing the tasks, the resources, and the command authority in a way that permits optimal action and achievement of the defined goals.

6. The IDF will respond to sudden initiated moves and will operate to find strategic opportunities in the region.

7. Characteristics of actions in the various situations and their operational rationale:

A. In a Routine situation - defensive and offensive activities, creating legitimacy and nonmilitary actions aimed at reducing the enemy's freedom of action and increasing Israel's freedom of action. [5]

B. In an Emergency situation - using limited military force (compared to a War situation). The purpose of the use of force is to show the futility of using force against Israel and returning to a situation of quiet and calm without aspiring to an immediate strategic change. Disruption to daily life on the home front will be as limited as possible. In addition, the campaign will focus on a limited/circumscribed achievement. [6]

C. In a War situation - use of the force in war is characterized by a significant mobilization of military and state resources for action together with a readiness to take high risks, and using force at a continuous high level in order to achieve victory.

Campaigns in Emergency and War situations
8. The basic scenario to which this section refers is a confrontation with substate military organizations (such as Hezbollah and Hamas, with the characteristics as described above). Despite the focus of the scenario, the response to it - approaches to the use of force and capabilities that will be developed to build the force - is usually also appropriate for campaigns waged against armies and states.

9. Any use of force is carried out in context, using logic and unique operational patterns. Presented here will be two main patterns with a rationale that is clear but different both politically and militarily, on the basis of which concrete operational approaches can be developed for the different battle zones.

10. At the strategic level, in all types of campaigns, we must strive for victory, which means achieving the political goals decided on for the campaign in a way that will lead to the improvement of the security situation after the confrontation.

11. The IDF will provide answers to two types of requirements from the political echelon: First - to achieve a complete and clear-cut military victory against the military organization on the other side. [7] Second - to strike at the enemy in a limited and circumscribed manner.

12. A campaign to achieve a victory

A. At the strategic level in the rationale for this operation is the aim is to strive for victory by creating a situation in which a cease-fire or political arrangement can be forced on the enemy from a position of strength, based on its military defeat or on its inability or lack of desire to continue fighting. A victory based on defeat makes an important contribution towards creating or restoring deterrence.

B. In the operational theater and when using force a clear tactical defeat is necessary, which will be
defined by eliminating the enemy's desire and ability to continue fighting and operating against
our forces. The main achievements in defeating an enemy like Hezbollah and Hamas will be:

  1. Eliminating the enemy's capability by destroying its forces.
  2. Reducing the effectiveness of the enemy's capability against the Israeli home front.
  3. Achieving goals that the enemy regards as being valuable.
  4. Crushing the enemy's desire to continue fighting.

C. Furthermore, in an offensive operation significant weight will be given to the defensive component and protecting the borders as a central element aimed at minimizing the enemy's achievements and increasing the IDF's freedom of action.

D. The IDF's principal approach to achieving victory is the maneuver approach. [8] This approach is based on components of pin-pointed offensive actions against the enemy's weak spots, while exploiting the relative advantages with emphasis put on momentum, speed of action, and initiative, the combination of which achieve shock and awe. These are designed to harm the enemy's decision-making process in order to disrupt the effectiveness of its operations as early as possible both in time and in relation to the resources at its disposal and while using minimum IDF resources.

13. Limited campaign

A. The IDF will sometimes be required to conduct campaigns in which the achievement sought is limited or circumscribed. In most cases, this type of campaign will result in a limited outcome in the harm it does to the enemy with the aim of returning calm and to serve as a deterrent in the future.

B. The operational rationale is characterized by pinpointed and limited operations against targets of strategic value combined with a defensive effort and the presentation of the potential for realizing a military victory. These actions demonstrate to the enemy the extent of the potential damage it can expect from deterioration in the situation and the limited benefit its action will bring if it does not change its policy, and will exert pressure on it to stop its activity. [9]

C. The operational achievements of this campaign are based on a combination of:

  1. Partially neutralizing specific abilities of the enemy.
  2. Significant damage to targets of strategic value and government institutions which contribute to the war effort.
  3. Reducing the effectiveness of the enemy's capability against the home front.
  4. Restraining the enemy from making a decision to employ combat means or methods - preventing escalation by threatening a response to an escalation.

D. To demonstrate the expected damage if the enemy continues to fight it will be necessary to incorporate public perception methods to change the enemy's expectations.

Principles in the use of force in Emergency and War situations
14. The IDF operates according to principles of war and values that embody the IDF spirit, and of these stress will be put on the principle of persevering with the mission keeping the goal in mind, maximizing force, and striving for victory.

15. The underlying principles in the IDF's use of force with an emphasis on Emergency and War situations will be based on:

A. Quality of the commanders' decisions and initiative.

B. Performing missions fully, quickly and with a minimum of resources.

C. Fighting spirit of commanders and forces.

16. In Emergency and War situations, the IDF will operate on the basis of a number of fundamental principles that will guide the planning for the use of force in all circumstances. Nevertheless, there will be differences in the strength and scope in the use of the offensive force (depending on the purpose of the force, whether it is a limited campaign or a campaign to defeat the enemy), while the defensive effort at all levels will be operated fully and completely in all types of campaign:

A. An immediate and simultaneous combined blow using two basic components: First - an immediate maneuver whose purpose is to hit the enemy, conquer territory, reduce the fire from the occupied territory, seize and destroy military infrastructures and attack the sustainability of the enemy's government. Second - use strategic and systems-wide fire based on freedom of action in the air and high quality intelligence.

B. Special operations effort.

C. High quality intelligence to deal the enemy a significant blow starting with the opening of the campaign and throughout the campaign, both in terms of defensive efforts to neutralize the enemy's offensive capabilities, and by supporting offensive countermeasures (fire) and engaging the enemy (maneuver).

D. Effective defense against high trajectory weapons.

E. War economy that permits the IDF to maximize its capabilities throughout all the phases of the fighting in such a way as to assure the execution of the mission in the most effective way.

F. Networking between a very large range of capabilities, resources, and knowledge.

G. Integration between branches to maximize the IDF's capabilities.

H. Flexibility in all aspects of the use of force as a means to enable the IDF to switch effectively between the necessary operational situations and operational theater, and to adapt the activities to developments in all levels of fighting.

Main capabilities and efforts in War and Emergency situations

17. The strategic level is unique in its ability to conduct multi-discipline, multi-theater operations, and a combined effort. [10] The efforts and the main capabilities to be used in wartime and in emergencies for the two purposes and using the two operational rationales described are as follows (not in order of priority):

A. Simultaneous defense in all operational theaters and in all dimensions.

B. Offensive capability on several fronts simultaneously using:

  1. Immediate ground maneuver that is rapid, fatal, survivable, and flexible for transfer between the theaters and fronts.
  2. Use of fire that is effective, powerful and superior, accurate, multi-dimensional, in all theaters of war, at all times, and which includes the element of surprise.
  3. Deep attacks and operations that include weapons fire, focused maneuvers, and special operations.

C. High quality intelligence at all levels for the purpose of formulating a national defense strategy, for designing and planning campaigns, and for the use of force at the system-wide and tactical level.

D. Maintaining a continuous effort in the war and the economy (home front) through a multi-layer defense (intelligence for attack, early warning, blocking and disruption, aerial defense, fortifications, etc.).

E. Total integration on the basis of combat networks among all elements of the IDF force.

F. Logistics response (economic and military) by multiple branches and flexible throughout the entire war theater.

G. Constant investigation and study of the strategic and operational environment while implementing the changeability required of the IDF.

H. Ability to conduct effective public relations and legal efforts during and after the fighting with the aim of generating legitimacy for the operation.

Details of the efforts

18. Intelligence effort for early warning before a confrontation and for planning operations

A. Point to a risk or a threat that might materialize and call for preparation for a response.

B. Provide early warning of a surprise attack on the Israeli home front that uses high trajectory weapons and ground infiltrations across the border, early warning about significant change in the environment, and early warning about technological and perceptual changes that the enemy is preparing.

C. Intelligence for planning and conducting campaigns as required at all levels of operation.

19. Offensive efforts: Maneuver, fire, special efforts, and cyber
Using the offensive force in War and Emergency situations for the two purposes and the two rationales described will be based on an offensive use of force by means of: maneuver, fire, and special efforts simultaneously and immediately while maximizing intelligence, command and control systems, and network capability. The basic components of these operations are:

A. Maneuver effort at the front and deep into the fighting zone: A pin-pointed ground offensive operation will be carried out against the enemy's centers of gravity while aspiring to speedily reach the final lines of the fighting. When these have been reached the forces will operate to stabilize the defense lines and sanitize the area.

B. Firing effort: Using continuous system-wide fire power at maximum capacity from the moment the confrontation starts both deep behind enemy lines and at the front. The use of fire will be tested against the principles of proportionality and ethics, and considerations of legitimacy will be secondary. Conducting "a munitions economy" and using a variety of munitions in various combinations will be a main component in planning the use of the firing effort from the start of the fighting.

C. Special operations effort.

D. Cyber effort within the framework of a War or Emergency situation will support the defensive and offensive efforts at all levels of fighting - strategic, operative, and tactical.

20. Defensive efforts

A. Defense to prevent the enemy from attaining territorial gains in the border areas. [11] Against organizations that are the focus of this approach, this refers to defense against raids, attacks, and complex terrorist attacks, including from the air and sea. This defense capability will be based on:

  1. Flexibility in using IDF forces in the border areas.
  2. Reducing civilian weak spots (including the evacuation of civilians from threatened communities) in the border area.
  3. Collecting intelligence and early warning systems.

B. Protecting the home front (defense): Defense of the civilian home front and the military rear against high trajectory weapons attack together with ensuring continuity of the attack function, in which the order of priorities for protection will be:

  1. Protection that permits the continuous use of military force both for defense and for attack - including core systems in the military rear and the civilian home front.
  2. Protection of vital national infrastructures and governmental institutions in order to maintain continuity of the functioning of state institutions.
  3. Protecting population centers.
  4. In operations that require a limited achievement, a need to give priority to direct protection of the civilian home front will be considered.
  5. The main components in the ability to protect the home front are effective defense, early warning systems, and physical protection.

C. Cyber defense in Wartime and in Emergencies is vital to enable the operation of state institutions in a confrontation and to enable the effective operation of the IDF, which is based on networking.

21. Enabling efforts are supposed to support offensive and defensive efforts, such as logistics and computer technology efforts.

22. National, public perception, and legal efforts to maintain and improve the legitimacy of the operation will begin already in the preparations stage and will continue during the campaign to maintain and improve the legitimacy of the operation both in Israel and in the international community. Use will be made of domestic and external public perception efforts, as well as efforts in the international arena at the diplomatic level, in the media, and in the legal sphere.

Principles underlying the use of force during Routine
23. As stated, the goal in Routine is to maintain security, deter the enemy from operating against Israel, and to delay the next confrontation as much as possible by a combination of covert and overt actions.

24. Use of force during Routine includes the following actions:

A. A continuous defensive effort by Israel that enables the population to lead a normal life (ongoing security, defending the borders and inside the borders, cyber defense).

B. Early warning through an ongoing offensive effort (CBW). This effort is mostly covert and undercover and incorporates a public perception effort.

C. Civilian aid operations.

D. Creating legitimacy that would enable Israel to initiate a confrontation, give our forces freedom of operation while depriving the enemy of freedom of operation during Routine, War, and Emergency situations.

25. Deterrence is created in perception but is based also on physical and concrete elements that constitute part of the enemy's considerations, such as the outcome of previous confrontations, activities during Routine that stress the futility of a confrontation and constant threat of the use of force.

26. Israel's general and basic deterrence which relies on the IDF's advantage and might still exists, but its relevance is more restricted than in the past because the threat has changed.

27. Deterrence must be specific and adapted to each enemy; it must be based on an ongoing analysis of the enemy's characteristics, considerations, capabilities, identity, and decision-making processes.

28. Deterrence against any enemy must be -

A. Without a specific context - generalized and cumulative over time in order to maintain the existing situation and frame "rules of the game" favorable to Israel.

B. In the context of a particular crisis - specific and pinpointed, in order to force the enemy to act or to avoid acting in order to stop deterioration in the situation and prevent war.

C. These are the components of deterrence:

i. A credible threat of severe offensive operations that will exact a heavy toll if we are attacked. This component is based on:

a. Building a force that is partially visible to the enemy, which shows our capability and readiness to cause it damage.

b. Public perception actions that show our readiness to take risks.

c. Limited offensive actions to signal that the "rules of the game" have been broken and there is a readiness to take risks.

ii. Building a force that illustrates to the enemy the futility of continuing to fight (e.g. defensive systems).

iii. Foiling and disrupting capabilities.

29. Many of the actions meant to deter will be carried out within the framework of a campaign between wars (CBW).

Campaign Between Wars (CBW)
30. The rationale behind the use of force in CBW is to maintain and enhance the achievements of the previous campaign in a series of secondary goals and objectives designed to prevent war:

A. To weaken the components of the negative forces.

B. Minimize the enemies' abilities to strengthen themselves.

C. Create optimal conditions for victory in a future war.

D. Create legitimacy for Israeli action and deny a legitimate basis for the enemy's action.

31. Conducting operations in this framework is based on the multidiscipline concept (military, economic, legal, media, and political). In other words, CBW is an expression of the idea of operations based on a single strategic rationale.

32. The basic idea behind the use of an offensive force in CBW is a combination of:

A. Covert and clandestine [12] action in all fronts and dimensions outside Israel's borders; this policy is based on intelligence and is directed at harming the enemy's efforts and initiatives.

B. Overt actions to create deterrence - underlines the limits of Israel's restraint.
All of this - while creating legitimacy for Israel's action and while maintaining an ongoing defensive effort on Israel's sovereignty.

33. These are the guiding principles for the use of force in CBW in the covert and clandestine campaign:

A. An initiated, continuous and controlled operation in which forces operate in a covert and clandestine manner for short periods of time.

B. Inter-organizational cooperation both on the operational and intelligence levels.

C. International cooperation for the purpose of intelligence and to thwart the enemy and to preserve the legitimacy of the IDF's action and to reduce the legitimacy of the enemy's action.

D. Operating in the public perception, economic, and legal areas as part of the effort to reduce the enemy's capabilities and legitimacy.

E. The need for accessible and precise intelligence at all the required levels of operation.

Achieving and maintaining legitimacy
34. The enemy is also active in dimensions that are not military-kinetic and has succeeded in the past to offset the IDF's achievements in these fields. This campaign has both defensive and offensive aspects. It is aimed at creating legitimacy for Israel (including freedom of action for the IDF) and simultaneously delegitimizing the enemy (thereby restricting its moves).

35. Modes of operation in the campaign require us to fully exploit the expertise of the various elements within the IDF and outside it, and to ensure the flow of information and synergy between them. These methods include, among other things, intelligence, public relations, professional information, psychological warfare, diplomatic and political channels, etc. Furthermore, we should take into consideration the state of legitimacy in assessing the overall situation and adapt relevant components from the processes involved in building the force and operating it.

36. The public perception effort will have three secondary efforts on the timeline based on the functioning of the IDF:

A. Effort during Routine is designed to build the ideal conditions for creating legitimacy for the IDF and international support. This effort is fundamental and is meant to have a long-term impact, and changes and improves the IDF's situation and method of operation in light of the challenges posed by the claims of those who want to delegitimize Israel's military action, which are based chiefly on a critical analysis of Israel's actions.

B. Efforts in context include activities that exist during Routine as part of CBW and are directed toward having a medium-term impact. This effort advances legitimacy for IDF operational activity in the field during a specific operation and time frame.

C. Efforts during or after an Emergency or War, accompanying the operation and the efforts after it. This effort is directed at having both a short-term impact - advancing legitimacy during the military operation until its completion under favorable conditions - as well medium and long-term impact - preserving the operation's strategic achievements and freedom of action to use force again in the area when needed.

Operations against states without a common border
37. This type of operation is not in the focus of this approach but appears here because of its uniqueness.

38. The achievement required against states without a common border will be based mainly on a continuous multidisciplinary action in all situations. The purpose of the action will be directed towards a limited concrete achievement aimed at deterring escalation.

39. The underlying idea is based on action within the CBW framework that is supported by continuous and ongoing intelligence and takes place using air power together with special forces. This activity is based on covert and clandestine operations up to the point of attacking the enemy's efforts at strengthening its forces and its offensive initiatives in its territory and on reducing its freedom of operation that will disrupt and foil its capabilities and intentions.

40. These principles guide the use of force:

A. Effective, accessible, and precise intelligence in all necessary operational dimensions.

B. Initiated and controlled action below the war threshold for short periods of time.

C. Offensive action in the target country.

D. Inter-organizational cooperation - operational and intelligence.

E. International cooperation for intelligence purposes.

F. International cooperation to maintain the legitimacy of the IDF's operation and to reduce the legitimacy of the enemy's action.

G. Continuous public perception effort to reduce the legitimacy of the enemy's action and its freedom of action up to the point of foiling and disrupting its initiatives.

[4] National intelligence - intelligence that enables the formulation of a national security strategy, defining the reference threats and reference scenarios for building the force, that allows for optimal utilization of resources at any point in time in accordance with developments on the ground, and enables the shifting of resources between readiness and strengthening, as well as identifying shifts which call for the IDF to change its deployment. This includes an ability to identify such shifts and to respond to the concerns at all levels involving national security (not only in the military context).
Strategic intelligence - intelligence that enables the design and planning of campaigns, the drafting of an achievable strategic goal in military and measurable language, which reflects the goals of the political echelon in the war theater and is coordinated with it.
Systemic intelligence - intelligence that enables the use of force at the system-wide level (following an analysis of the enemy's centers of gravity) and tactical level, in order to maximize damage to the enemy and to achieve a tactical advantage in all dimensions. This intelligence will come from all the collection agencies up to the level of a battalion, a single aircraft or a single vessel (depending on relevance).
[5] Such a campaign would include all the efforts and would be conducted at the national level, and would include legal, economic, and public perception and information campaigns.
[6] Circumscribed - relative to the maximum possible achievement of a decisive victory. The achievement is circumscribed at the strategic and system-wide level. At the tactical level the achievement required from the units will be the full achievement of a tactical victory.
[7] Generally, in order to achieve a clear and obvious political victory or to destroy or seriously damage the military capabilities of an organization or state.
[8] The maneuver approach from the concept of maneuvering the enemy.
[9] This type of activity is known as enforcement.
[10] Effort (see Operations Division Doctrine and Training 1.22 dated 1 October 2014) - (at the campaign and military strategic levels) in the operational sphere this is a term for the temporary unification of forces and resources under a single authority in order to carry out a mission. Effort has three components: mission - the task imposed on the commander of the effort; military resources - means and sources of military force (order of battle, headquarters, and weaponry from various service arms) allocated to the commander of the effort to accomplish the mission; authority - the legal power given to the commander of the effort to assign tasks to his subordinates in order to delegate his authority to them over all the allocated resources.
[11] Preventing a gain will be measured at the end of the defensive combat.
[12] Covert operations - operations whose outcomes are visible to the enemy and are intended and carried out in such a way that the identity of those behind them are hidden or have the possibility of deniability. Clandestine operations - operations conducted in a way that ensures secrecy or concealment. A covert operation is different from a clandestine operation in that the emphasis here is on concealing the operation rather than the identity of the person behind it.

Chapter IV. The Command and Control Concept and Preparing the IDF for Combat

General Headquarters (GHQ)

1. The GHQ is the IDF's supreme headquarters and includes the Chief of the General Staff and the General Staff.

2. The GHQ is the only echelon in the IDF that is in permanent contact with the political echelon, and is the only unit authorized to translate its instructions into military operations.

3. The GHQ is the IDF's multi-armed strategic headquarters (HQ) and its purpose is to command and control the deployment of IDF forces on all war fronts and to build the IDF force.

4. The Chief of the General Staff is the supreme commander of the IDF, and commands all IDF operations through the GHQ. The GHQ is responsible for coordinating and synchronizing all efforts, including those exercised by the main HQs to use force in the war theater and in all the operational theaters.

5. The GHQ also serves as the supreme operational HQ for the operation of ground forces.

6. The GHQ holds operational resources and it allocates them to the main HQs to carry out their missions according to an order of priorities that depends on the missions imposed on them. The GHQ will balance the missions imposed on the HQs with the resources allocated to them.

7. This GHQ responsibility cannot be decentralized or transferred to the main HQs.

Chief of the General Staff as battle commander

8. The Chief of the General Staff commands all IDF battlefields and decides on all the efforts and missions imposed on the main HQs. The Chief of the General Staff determines the concept and the way to achieve the mission, and consequently the efforts to be made by the main HQs and the reciprocal relations between them.

9. The Chief of the General Staff commands the campaign through the main HQs, which exercise various efforts. These efforts could be independent, that is, operated by a single HQ or through a combination of several HQs (multi-HQ). There are reciprocal relations between efforts that are regulated as part of the battle command and control.

10. An appropriate command and control architecture must be built for each campaign. The command and control architecture will be planned in a way that maximizes the use of force. The command and control architecture will make use of the IDF's capabilities through independent efforts and in combined efforts. That is why it should be planned in the standard operating procedure, be decided on at the outset of the event ("transition from plan to order"), be examined during the course of the event, and even be changed if necessary.

Main headquarters (HQs)

11. Campaign arenas are areas of operation allocated to the commanders of the main HQs. These commanders have overall responsibility for achieving the missions in their areas of responsibility.

12. Commanders of the main HQs are required to exercise their authority over the operational arenas under their authorities and the three states of Routine, Emergency and War. Within this framework they are expected to fulfill two basic missions: One, to defend Israel's sovereignty in their (geographic/dimensional) area, and two, to develop operational know-how on the area for which they are responsible in all its aspects.

13. It is the responsibility of the main HQ to develop know-how in wide-ranging connections both for itself and for the other main HQs. The process will be implemented as a collaborative effort by the HQs.

Principles of command and control

14. Mission command - is the basis for the command and control concept and must be maintained despite the multiplicity of means of command and control and information flow processes between the various levels.

15. Uniformity of command - each commander is subject to the authority of one commander at any point in time. Orders will be given according to the chain of command and on the principle that the last order is the decisive one - and the superior officer has the authority to revoke an order of his subordinate.

16. Defining the mission - the command echelon defines: mission, [13] resources, and command authority.

17. Consolidated command and control processes in the IDF - the processes and management of combat procedures will be uniform throughout the IDF and will be based on the basic combat doctrine of the IDF and on a simple and clear common language.

18. Creating optimal conditions - each level of command has the responsibility to create for its subordinate ranks the optimal conditions to carry out the mission by optimal planning of the force and its operation, allocation of resources, and reducing the constraints. Within this framework the area of responsibility of each commander (in the home front and in deep operations) should be limited in order to enable him to focus on fulfilling his missions.

19. Decision-making in the course of the fighting - each commander has the possibility and the duty to make decisions that differ from the initial planning in the course of the fighting.

20. Dialogue between commanders, HQs - great importance is given to a constant process of dialogue between commanders and HQs aimed at developing shared knowledge, war games, study sessions and exercises. All these can create a joint infrastructure that will serve as a basis for D-Day. The dialogue will take place on the principle of transparency of information and hierarchy of command.

[13] Constraints of implementation will always be defined within the framework of the mission, among them time and the borders of the arena.

Chapter V. Building the IDF's Force

1. The purpose of the military force is to defend the integrity of the State of Israel, provide security for its inhabitants, and enable the political echelon to advance its national security policy and the state's vital national interests. In the military sphere, these objectives will be achieved through the IDF's ability to deal with threats, deter Israel's potential enemies, prevent and foil developing threats and defend the strategic and civilian home front.

2. Building the force is aimed at creating the capabilities needed to fulfill the IDF's mission and use it against its enemies, and in that way, building the force contributes to deterrence and shapes the characteristics of the fighting in the future.

3. The goals for building the force are readiness, which is the ability of the forces and units to meet the goals of operation, and buildup, which is the future capability of the force. Building the force is subject to tension between the defense needed and restrictions on the resources, and between slowness of buildup and the speed of changes in the strategic and operative environment.

Guiding principles for building the force
4. The guiding principles for building the force combine the principles for operating the force as stated above, as well as additional principles that are unique to building the force.

Building the IDF's relative advantage
5. In order to develop a capability to overpower the enemy, the IDF needs to develop these components:

A. Maneuvering.

B. Effective use of fire.

C. Maximizing good quality intelligence to cause significant damage to the enemy.

D. Defense against high trajectory weapons.

E. Networking.

F. Consolidated command and control processes throughout the IDF.

G. Maintaining the appropriate order of forces in the IDF.

H. Learning processes in the course of the fighting.

I. Maintaining and developing technological capabilities (basic or preliminary) and infrastructure, which will enable expansion within a short period of time in order to provide answers to unanticipated strategic changes.

6. Building the force must be developed through these actions:

A. Develop an overall concept to operating the force in the war zone in addition to concepts to operating the force in the operational arenas adapted to the rapid changes in the characteristics of the threats and the fighting. [14]

B. Strengthen the ability to identify changes and to change in the course of the confrontation by means of these actions:

    1. Training and exercises to strengthen the independence, initiative, and creativity of the commanders.
    2. Learning processes in the midst of the fighting.

C. Accelerate the rate of development, replenishment and assimilating new technological solutions while taking risks to shorten development time by these actions:

    1. Increasing off-the-shelf procurement of existing products.
    2. Develop technological infrastructures that will enable adapting the solution to the problem over time and not at the outset.
    3. Networking that supports the operation of the force.

D. A high level of capability to change in accordance with developing problems based on a high level of basic fitness and the ability to change directions in development and replenishment in the wake of the development of threats and changes in the order of priorities not foreseen at the outset.

Planning and implementing the building of the force
7. The force will be built on the basis of compatibility between the different fields in building the force and reaching a full operational capability:

A. Concept and doctrine - the cornerstone of each capability required.

B. Weaponry - emphasizing components of the order of battle (ORBAT) and inventory.

C. Infrastructures.

D. Personnel development.

E. IDF organization.

F. Training (exercises and training) - the basis for skills and capabilities.

Utilization of resources
8. The IDF as an organization, and IDF units in all their missions, operate under a permanent constraint on resources, which is accentuated in Emergencies and Wartime. Dealing with this limitation has a number of aspects: Utilization of resources through multi-year planning, creating a basis for inter-organizational and inter-state cooperation in the development of weapons, and the development of weapons with the highest possible number of characteristics. [15]

Critical mass
9. Building capabilities will be carried out by creating or maintaining a critical mass. [16] In addition to the importance of achieving a qualitative and technological advantage, the quantity of means that can be operated is very important. Quantity impacts quality and flexibility in operation. Mass together with flexibility is the way to deal with uncertainty over future challenges on the battlefield.

Prioritization in principle in building the force
10. As a rule, building the force will focus on a War scenario and will be adapted as required to Emergency and Routine. Designated capabilities for a scenario that is not War will be as restricted as possible and will include the essential components to assure normal civilian life in Routine.

11. The force building process presented in this chapter is directed toward a concrete scenario of fighting a sub-state enemy. At the same time, technological infrastructures will have to be developed in order to respond to strategic changes in the arena, which if they take place, will require reprioritization of capabilities.

12. The IDF's order of priorities in principle will continue to be to develop offensive capabilities before defensive capabilities despite the centrality of defense and overcoming threats to the home front. [17]

Core capabilities required by the IDF
For the sake of convenience and coherence of the discussion, we will present the capabilities in this format:


Capabilities needed in the field of defense
13. It is necessary to have simultaneous defense capability in all the operational arenas, in all Routine, Emergency and War situations and in all dimensions (ground, air, sea, and cyber). The IDF's primary mission is to defend Israel's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

14. The order of priorities to deal with the threats on the borders:

A. Prevent the enemy from making a territorial gain at the end of the confrontation.

B. Foiling terror and attacks on the borders.

C. Defense against high trajectory weapons and precision fire, including statistical fire in large numbers.

D. Defend air, sea, and cyber space.

E. Foil mega-attacks.

Defending the borders in Emergencies and War
15. The pinpointed threat in this field is an attempt at infiltration and occupying Israeli territory, on the ground, subterranean, and by air and sea.

Defending the borders in Routine
16. The border area should be considered a permanently threatened area. The threat includes advanced capabilities (anti-tank, ground-to-air missiles, high trajectory weapons, etc.), which make it possible to harm our forces from a large distance. Therefore, preparations must be made to defend our forces and the communities in the area adjacent to the border in a number of ways.

Defense against high trajectory weapons
17. High trajectory weapons are the dominant component in the enemy's offensive capabilities. The threat includes harm to the civilian home front, strategic damage to national infrastructures, and damage to military installations and the deployed military units. Building the force in this field will be based on these actions:

A. Continuous integrated defense [18] capable of dealing with a high flow of threats, which combines "soft" and kinetic capabilities to neutralize the enemy's precision firepower systems.

B. Maximum defense of strategic assets on the ground and offshore.

C. Ability to create operational control over a large area in order to suppress fire directed from it.

D. Pinpointed early warning on launchings.

Capabilities needed in the field of attack
18. There must be an offensive capability on a number of fronts simultaneously.

A. Carry out a simultaneous and highly powerful attack on the ground, in the air and at sea in an integrated manner in the relevant operational theaters.

B. Shifting air and intelligence efforts between the theaters.

Ground maneuvering
19. Ground maneuvering capabilities are required. A distinction will be made between two types of maneuvering.

A. Deeply focused maneuvering to political/governmental centers of gravity.

B. Decentralized and simultaneous maneuvering against the enemy's wide tactical deployment.

20. Building the force will be carried out through coordination between the ground, air, and sea arms and by utilizing maneuvering to expose the enemy and cause damage through the use of accurate firepower. Building the force will focus on lethality, mobility, and survivability of the force. Building the force in this area will be based on these capabilities:

A. Employing a lethal maneuver with a low attrition rate by using advanced defense systems.

B. In terms of ORBAT, time, and depth -

      1. Operating a ground force in any available ORBAT at the outset of the fighting [19] and gathering forces for a full offensive across a time axis while maintaining a logistics capability that allows for action over time.
      2. Use of effective supporting firepower against an entrenched enemy with high availability, operating air support at short ranges and small safety ranges.
      3. Building the force on the ground in a differential manner. Preference will be given to the IDF's vanguard divisions.

System-wide fire
21. It is necessary to have the capability to operate effective system-wide firepower (air, ground, and sea) in each war theater, at full strength, with any force, at any time, and with a capacity to hit thousands of targets in a single combat day, and for the rest of the time - the ability to attack hundreds of targets in a day. Three characteristics for use of fire:

A. Fire at pre-planned targets - building the force will enable an accurate multi-dimensional burst of fire, in the shortest time possible and at a large bank of targets. The objective of building the force in the northern arena: tens of thousands of targets, the objective for building the force in the Gaza arena: thousands of targets.

B. Fire at targets of opportunity - the ability to use intelligence and disseminate it over short periods of time to the fire range. Building the force will make operational processes possible starting with collecting and processing data, setting up the target and attacking it, and damage assessment. This requires a high speed network which combines multi-dimensional fire, ground and air data collection, processing and prioritizing engines, advanced planning tools and wide dissemination in all units.

C. Fire to support maneuvering - synergy must be created between air, ground, and sea firepower and ground forces by means of supporting operational systems, a consolidated network, and joint exercises which will lead to trust between the parties and permit attacks with small safety ranges.

    1. Ability to launch a surprise burst of massive fire within several hours.
    2. Strengthen the planning and control entities and base them on manpower that is available at short time periods.
    3. Use quality intelligence that supports the use of fire against strategic targets.
    4. Joint exercise and getting to know one another in order to create inter-branch trust.
    5. Develop fire capability to damage all the above types of targets.

Infantry ORBAT incursion from the air
22. The ability to parachute or fly in infantry forces for an incursion onto the enemy's centers of gravity will be built. The purpose of building the force includes the following capabilities:

A. Flying a significant infantry ORBAT (helicopters and aircraft with high survivability).

B. Autonomy for the force's activities, without logistics.

Deployment of special forces deep behind enemy lines
23. A capability to carry out special operations deep behind enemy lines and on a wide scale will be built.

A. Planning and implementation of the special operations in the war theaters and in the operational theaters.

B. Carry out an "unplanned operation."

C. Build a "bank" of pre-prepared special operations.

D. Standardize special means, weaponry and combat doctrine (common language), among all special units, in support of implementation of large ORBAT special operations.

Building capability for CBW
24. Building the force for CBW is required in order to give freedom of operation to the existing and developing operation while maximizing the use of the existing capabilities. As a rule, building the force for CBW is included in the building of the overall force in the IDF. In a pinpointed context, it is necessary to act as follows:

A. To set up a coordination center for CBW operations in the Operations Branch, to include inter-organizational and inter-ministerial elements.

B. Develop capabilities for covert and clandestine operations for CBW use.

Building cyberspace capability
25. Cyberspace is another area of combat. Defense, intelligence collection, and assault activities will be carried out in this space. Building the IDF's force in this sphere will be based on these actions:

A. Establish a cyber arm that will constitute the main HQ subordinate to the Chief of the General Staff to operate and build the IDF's cyber capabilities and will be responsible for planning and implementing combat in cyberspace.

B. Develop technological capabilities for cyber defense of all operational systems and defense capabilities of the support systems (manpower, logistics).

Building enabling capabilities
26. Develop a uniform joint language for command and control in all IDF HQs that operate or function in the inter-arm sphere. Building the force in this field will be based on the establishment of the principal school for command and control.

27. Develop the capability to use quality intelligence at all levels of operation: national intelligence, strategic intelligence, and operational intelligence. Building the force in the field of intelligence will be based on these actions:

A. Develop and refine the ability to integrate information from all sensors, in all dimensions and all disciplines, to create information systems communications in large areas and with the required output.

B. Develop the ability to hold onto contiguous territory based on integrating intelligence information from various disciplines that enable the creation of targets with high accuracy and in short time periods.

C. Monitor the enemy's combat doctrine with emphasis on advanced means.

D. Utilize the intelligence, analyze it, and make it accessible (as needed) to all levels: from the GHQ, the district command, to the tactical levels in the battalions and the commands that operate the force.

E. Present a picture of the status of the enemy's formations and measure the effectiveness of the IDF's offensive efforts against them.

28. Maintain continuity of the war and economic effort through multi-layer protection. Building the force for developing capabilities supporting continuity of functioning will be based on these actions:

A. Protection for national and strategic infrastructures.

B. Continuous operation of the economic and war effort through the effective protection of strategic military infrastructures.

C. Protection and maintaining a routine of REW in the home front (few casualties on the home front):

    1. The ability to respond quickly to the site of an incident based on networking all rescue and communications services with civilians and the local authorities.
    2. Selective early warning to the home front that permits the highest focus on the hit area and maintains a normal routine in most of the areas that are out of range.

D. Ability to operate under cyber-attack.

29. Networked combat capability by all firepower elements in the IDF enables lethal utilization of accurate fire and creates synergy between fire and maneuver against various enemies using a range of tactics.

30. Combining information collection networks and simultaneous air, ground, and sea fire to enable the IDF to create superiority even against a concealed enemy. Building the force in the field of network capability will be based on the following:

A. A high-speed network infrastructure that enables multi-arm and inter-organizational sharing of information.

B. Networking that enables rapid integration of information from various disciplines and its processing into targets in short time periods.

C. Make the appropriate information accessible to each level.

D. Manage uniform information databases and geographic infrastructures throughout the IDF, which are continuously being updated in all the operational systems.

31. Maintain a multi-arm and flexible logistic response (economic and military) in all REW situations for all the arms and branches and in all aspects.

32. Logistic capability that enables ORBAT ground maneuver, while overcoming the threat of high trajectory weapons fired at the Israeli home front and the threat of guerrilla warfare threat along the arteries.

A. Speedy organization for maneuvering of vanguard divisions.

B. Logistic supplies.

C. Mobility between the theaters.

33. The ability to impact the shaping of perception in all the circles associated with the conflict is required by using system-wide measures. Focused attention on developing capabilities in the perception-information effort as follows:

A. Develop a well-ordered approach to impacting the enemy's perception in all REW situations.

B. Ability to plan and synchronize the perception effort with the other government ministries (Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, etc.).

34. Ability to manage effective public relations and legal efforts during Routine, and during and after combat in order to enable the IDF to achieve its goals, including legitimization of its actions. Building this force should take into account the power of the media through mechanisms operating in the short term and by planning and synchronization between operations on the battlefield, the perception-public relations effort and the legal effort. Focusing efforts on developing capabilities to achieve legitimacy will include these actions:

A. Operational planning supported by legal knowledge.

B. Strengthen mechanisms for inter-ministerial (Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, etc.) cooperation in order to shorten decision-making and response times.

C. Cooperation with states with similar interests.

Risk management for scenarios that are not the focus of the doctrine
35. Although the concept is focused on a sub-state enemy, the IDF must also consider the capabilities needed in the face of extreme scenarios that are not part of the referenced concept in order to manage risks, which on the one hand will focus building the force on the referred scenario, and on the other - will not expose Israel to unreasonable risks to its existence.

Developing capabilities against states without a common border
36. In the face of the challenge to uphold its qualitative advantage, the IDF will maintain the safeguarding of basic readiness, based on a balance of deterrence, while preserving mechanisms to speed up procurement. [20] Building the force in this context will be based on these actions:

A. Strengthening strategic and tactical deterrence via cyber warfare.

B. Early warning intelligence at suitable periods of time for launching a preventive strike.

C. Preemptive strike capability in accordance with early warning indications in order to foil an attempted attack on Israel.

[14] IDF networking enables it to disseminate learning process insights during the fighting faster than the enemy, which is limited in its ability due to its need to conceal communication.
[15] General development - suitable for a wide range of uses by different consumers.
[16] [TN: Footnote missing]
[17] [TN: Footnote missing]
[18] Integrated defense - defense based on multiple layers and capabilities from various fields.
[19] The purpose of the maneuvering (even if limited in scope and making do with seizing controlling positions close to the border) is to create immediately a situation on the ground that "neutralizes" the obstacles to carrying out a ground maneuver and creates a feeling of pursuit by the enemy, on the one hand, while on the other - makes it possible to retreat to the border line and prevent an escalation in the sector, if such a decision is made. This competency calls for practice, decentralized command and control that will enable the commander to analyze the situation and decide in real time, HQ fitness, and provides enabling instruction to commanders, and the appropriate routine orders (e.g., in a kidnapping incident).
[20] As detailed in the subsection: Principles for building the force.


  1. Developments in the region lead the IDF to deal with a broad range of threats that challenge its operating concept and the processes for building the force derived from this concept. The main change is the development of the sub-state enemy, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and threats from states that do not share a border with Israel.
  2. This document provides the approach in principle to operate the force in contexts that are common to all operational theaters against a semi-state enemy and in the IDF's various functional situations: Routine, Emergency, and War.
  3. The document of principles for building the force is derived from these principles for operating the force. These principles should serve the IDF's force building elements when planning how to strengthen the IDF in the coming years.
  4. This document requires the necessary follow-up action, the main one being the development of special operational concepts in the battlefield and developing operational concepts for the operational theaters and the commands that operate the force.  At the same time, the force building elements must formulate special force building concepts derived from this document.
  5. The IDF has always based its power on the quality of its people and the deep understanding that the IDF is the guarantor of Israel's national existence. Therefore, the IDF will take steps to provide defense for the state in all situations, by utilizing the basic qualities of its commanders and fighters, chief among them being: fighting spirit, initiative and quality of action, and carrying out missions fully and in an uncompromising manner.