Israel’s enemies such as Hezbollah have decentralized their operations and no longer have clear centers to target, and the IDF is readjusting itself as a result, a senior intelligence official said on Tuesday.
The official spoke at the third international conference on Network-Based Employment of Fire in a Dynamic Environment, in Zichron Ya’acov, which was organized by the Israel Defense publication and the Israel Artillery Association and ends on Wednesday.
Big changes are under way in the way the IDF plans to conduct a ground war, and how it will channel vital intelligence to units in combat, said Col. R., head of the Operational Intelligence Administration in the IDF’s Operations Branch. “A battalion has to have all of its own firing capabilities.
“Intelligence has been developing an operational approach for the past three to four years. Intelligence has to improve the efficiency of combat. If intelligence comes in, but does not improve combat, we haven’t done a thing. This is a conceptual change,” he said.
Some of the IDF’s intelligence capabilities no longer fit the combat arenas, Col. R. said.
“The key is making intelligence accessible [to the right units], not distribution,” he said. Changes under way are designed to allow battalion and company commanders to accurately hit the enemy’s firepower capabilities.
“On the one hand, fighting has becomes more complex, and on the other, the home front absorbs [fire] without the ability to respond,” he said, describing the challenges of coping with rocket and missile barrages fired from civilian built-up areas.
“There are longer clear cut [enemy] centers of gravity,” he added. As a result, Military Intelligence is changing the way it classifies information, to ensure it reaches the right unit at the right time.
“If we collected intelligence and it didn’t change the course of combat, then why did we collect it? Most of the technology already exists. We have to make structural and training changes,” the colonel said.
Channeling relevant intelligence to battalions, and empowering maneuvering battalions as much as possible, is now a central focus, he continued. “The battalion must be autonomous,” and enjoy the support of a military information network that links it to all military branches.
“The company commander must be able to activate all of the IDF’s fire power,” Col. R. said.