Israel Defense Tech Israeli Defense Technology: Success Thesis

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Israel Defense Tech

Israeli Defense Technology: Success Against All Odds

When the full extent of the horrors of the Holocaust had become apparent to the global public, the movement for Israeli independence took center-stage. Upon the world's revelation that more than 6 million Jews had been sent to the gas chambers, the campaign to make Israel the Jewish national homeland earned the full sympathy and support of the United Nations, the United States and Great Britain. In 1948, Israel declared itself independent with the backing of the world community and, conversely, the outright condemnation of the Arab nations which surrounded it. Upon its independence, Israel was promptly invaded by its neighbors. Led by its first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, Israel emerged victorious against its aggressors and gained an even greater expanse of land for its statehood. Israel's existence would continually be subject to territorial dispute from there forward, setting in motion the establishment of one of the most technologically advanced and sophisticated of military and defense industries in the world. The research here identifies Israel's uniquely situated geographical and political circumstances as the imperatives driving its focus on military technology development, the enhancement of communication systems and the extension of its defense contracting industry around the world.

Israel's Military Outlook:

At the end of World War II, when it became eventually apparent to the world that Hitler's death camps had been the cite of a genocidal crusade against the Jewish people of Eastern Europe, longstanding Zionist movements finally achieved the sympathy of the world's powers. In 1948, the newly established United Nations granted statehood to Israel and its founders designated it the Jewish National Homeland. Its founding immediately sparked war on its fledgling borders, with Arab countries such as Egypt, Lebanon and Syria posing strenuous objection to its existence. The reasons for such conflicts are manifold and have come to define Israel militarily, geographically and politically. One of the dominant points of contention, then and today, is the fate of the Palestinean population therein which, like the Zionists, had fought to gain the recognition of statehood from the international community.

Israel, however, had been the beneficiary of American and British support. The Western allies viewed Israel as a valuable strategic ally in the global struggle for ideological hegemony against the Soviet Union. This has contributed to a deep-seeded resentment amongst regional neighbors whose cultural and ideological divergences from American policy have denied them the same favor. The support which Israel enjoyed was crucial to its early survival. It emerged victorious from its 1948 War of Independence as well as the series of regional struggles that would dominate its first few decades. "In the Arab-Israeli wars in 1967 and 1973 and in other Middle Eastern crises, the two superpowers contended by proxy. Israel's power was increased dramatically by American aid and support." (Rabinovich, 7) in 1967 particularly, such power even enabled Israel to expand its borders to where they stand at present date.

This, however, was a mixed blessing as Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, primarily inhabited by displaced Palestinian, became an even greater point for conflagration. This would occur regularly from outside of Israel's borders at first, and eventually from within. Today, while Israel has active treaties with some of its neighbors and hostile relations with others, it grapples with the Intifada, a Palestinian uprising which has claimed the lives of countless civilians on both sides and is Israel's single greatest political and security challenge. In many of the conflicts which have occurred since, this has either been the point of origin or the stated motive for aggression taken against Israel. Additionally, by policy, many of its neighbors and most vocally of late such states as Iran have renounced Israeli existence and cited total commitment to the destruction of Israel.

These conditions have together produced a military outlook that drives an Israel highly conscientious of the evolving threats pointed in its direction as a result of Palestinian political action; aggression from neighbors; the strategic, resource and diplomatic support of terrorists from neighbors; the infiltration of espionage; the development of nuclear technology amongst hostile neighbors and the brokering of stability in a Palestinian territory shadowed by divisions of leadership. In its military outlook, Israel is unique, both in its region and in the world. As Potter (2009) observes, Israel "is a special case with significant threats both internally and externally. The new government has come in after what has seemed a failed attempt to deal with Hamas in the Gaza Strip it is not surprising that the military budget would grow." (Potter, 1)

And this was the case across the last year of budgetary development for new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has responded to failures on the part of Iran to submit to international demands on its nuclear program, to continued aggression from Hamas out of the territories and re-emergent aggression from Hezbollah out of Lebanon by instigating further deficit spending on the back of a significant defense spending increase. (Potter, 1) Much of Israel's defense spending would be dedicated toward the assumption of large communication grid contracts with domestic military technology producers.

In fact, it is no longer possible to speak of Israel's defense technology without acknowledging that it has also come to host some of the most advanced and respected defense technology contractors on the international market. This is to say that as it has achieved a degree of technology independence from the patronage of the United States and its European allies, Isreal has also come to stake out its own reputation as a seller of arms, missile technology, communication networking and other central elements to a defense, military and security strategy. Indeed, the impression of Israel as a satellite to the United States may be rebuffed by the great success that Israel has experienced in exporting its technology to other nations. This is demonstrating the small Middle Eastern nation to have achieved its own thriving industry, where the vast majority of its own tanks, arms and software innovations are domestically produced. Indeed, Pike (2008) reports that "Israel produces a wide range of products from ammunition, small arms and artillery pieces to sophisticated electronic systems and the world's most advanced tank. Having to fight five major wars in its first four decades, Israel built a comprehensive standing army -- the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) - and furnished it with an arsenal of highly advanced military hardware." (Pike, 1)

This has helped to make Israel both one of the most formidable and one of the best armed fighting forces in the world, let alone in its region. This distinguishes Israel from many of its neighbors, and particularly from many of the Arab states which maintain hostile relations with Israel. For many of these states, weapons technology has historically been infused by the presence of foreign occupiers, military invaders or Cold War proxy-combatants. The result is that many Arab states continue to wage war with outdated American and Russian technology, which has detained many of such states from making the leap into modern technological war-making. This has placed Israel at a distinct advantage to many of its neighbors in the practical regard of engaging combat and has become a powerful deterrent to any real full-scale invasion by an Arab neighbor. Though Israel's history is detailed by invasion or at least the attempt at invasion at the behest of those around it, its relative independence and success as a military and defense technology designer has made Israel that much less vulnerable to an invasion-style attack. This justifies that eventual tactical shift which now sees the majority of Arab states allowing the loosely organized activities of terrorist organizations or guerilla militias to define a long-term strategy of resistance.

This contrasts and Israeli defense industry that has actually come to wield considerable influence even outside of its region. A number of powerful nations have sustained their weapons technologies through large-scale contracts with the Israeli defense technology industry, with some of Israel's most successful and resource-rich contracting companies functioning in a host of foreign markets. As Potter would denote, "its indigenous defense industry which is starting to see significant gains overseas with sales to India and Russia for example. High level so funding will allow greater development of new products that will also lead to more foreign sales subsidizing internal defense spending. Every item sold overseas makes the price paid by the Israeli government lower due to production efficiencies and helps pay for the development costs." (Potter, 1)

This has become an important part of the defense strategy for the military state, which must dedicate no small portion of its annual budget to maintaining, strengthening and extending the fortitude of its military. It is thus that the strategy of aiming for overseas markets in the sale of arms has proven a valuable root to supporting Israel's own needs and ambitions. Quite in fact, the recent hike in defense spending was enabled by this pattern in Israel's private military… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Israel Defense Tech Israeli Defense Technology: Success."  Essaytown.com.  October 15, 2009.  Accessed February 19, 2019.
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