INSS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Amos Yadlin (left) presents a copy of the think tank’s annual assessment of the region to President Reuven Rivlin yesterday at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
As the Middle East continues its chaotic spiral, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) executive director Gen. Amos Yadlin provided President Reuven Rivlin with his institute’s annual assessment of the region.
The annual Strategic Assessment publication is the institute’s flagship project, where an amalgam of experts, decision-makers and policy analysts provide their perspective on a wide variety of issues set to impact Israel and its neighbors.
As Iran is making headlines for its protests sweeping the nation, the book offers insight into how Iran’s influence may create security threats for Israel as well. In what the book calls the “First Northern War,” it predicts the potential for conflict against three dominant forces: Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrian regime.
“Israel is required to address several key issues relating to Iran,” Yadlin wrote in the book. “The main challenge for Israel in the coming years is combating Iranian proxies in Syria and Lebanon. It is a campaign that will prove to be challenging as it faces threats with the three main powerful forces in the North – Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.”
The book predicts that should an escalation in Israel’s northern front occur, it would probably consist of simultaneous confrontation with both Syrian, Lebanese and Hezbollah forces.
As for Israel’s other front in the South, the book projects a confrontation with Gaza could be in the horizon due to continued humanitarian despair in the Strip and failure to achieve reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
Despite those two alarming forecasts, the Institute stresses that Israel’s borders are secure and stable. It also highlights the surprising window of opportunity Israel has to forge ties with Saudi Arabia and other pragmatic Sunni states in an effort to jointly exert pressure against Iran.
INSS experts who helped put together the information will present their findings at the INSS annual conference, which will take place January 29 to 31 in Tel Aviv.
This article was written in cooperation with INSS.