Gantz: We must prepare in wake of Mideast tumult

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January 18, 2012 17:39

IDF Chief warns NATO: We must be ready "for the worst" due to world-wide proliferation of weapons that reach terrorists.

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IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz

IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz_311. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)

The world needs to “prepare for the worst” in wake of the ongoing upheaval in the Middle East due to the proliferation of weaponry throughout the world and into the hands of terrorist organizations, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz warned on Wednesday.

Addressing a meeting of NATO military commanders at the western military alliance in Brussels, Gantz said that the world needed to “strengthen moderate elements and weaken the radicals.”

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“Only through joint work combining tough and soft power can we deter and in the long term overcome these radical elements,” Gantz said. Earlier in the day, Gantz met with the Canadian and Italian chiefs of staff.

Gantz said that NATO’s decision to establish a missile defense system throughout Europe was a demonstration of the severity non-conventional weapons pose to the world.

“Ballistic missile defense systems need to be the last line of defense and the initiative needs to come earlier by exhausting all of the available means to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” he said.

On Tuesday, Gantz called on NATO military commanders to think up new strategies for dealing with the growing instability in the Middle East and the subsequent increase in threats.

“We are today in a different and more dramatic reality that includes new threats and a period of instability requiring all of us to reassess,” he said during a meeting with General Knud Bartels, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.

Gantz was also scheduled to meet with Britain's Chief of Staff General Sir David Richards, Russia military chief Nikolai Makarov, as well as the chiefs of staff of France, Spain, Australia, Greece and Poland.


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