IDF to make changes to General Staff as part of Momentum Plan

Changes approved by Defense Minister Naftali Bennett are to take effect this coming summer

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett holds a situation assessment with IDF and security officials on February 9, 2020 (photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI / DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett holds a situation assessment with IDF and security officials on February 9, 2020
The IDF will be making significant changes in the structure of the General Staff as part of the new Momentum multiyear plan in order to deepen the military’s focus on Iran.
“This is a change that is not often done, and is it significant,” said IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman on a call with reporters on Tuesday.
As part of the plan, and after a series of General Staff meetings to examine a number of alternatives, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi ordered a series of changes in the structure of the IDF’s General Staff.
“These changes stem from the need to focus and strengthen multibranch (service) force design processes, which are gradually becoming more complex and demanding. This is in addition to the requirement to simultaneously deepen the focus on military strategy in general, and in the Iranian arena in particular,” the military said.
According to Zilberman, there are three main reasons behind the changes, including the need to strengthen the IDF’s multilateral force building, which is becoming more complex, the need to deepen the military’s strategy in terms of international and interorganizational partners, as well as the need to strengthen the IDF’s campaign against Iran.
As part of the changes, the IDF will also be establishing a new Iran Command, which will be known as the Strategy and Iran Directorate, as one of the top priorities of Momentum, which aims to obtain a considerable military advantage over foes.
The new Iran Command will be led by a major general and will be dedicated and focused on analyzing threats posed by Iran and planning and incorporating military strategy as well as designing and coordinating Israel’s campaign against the Islamic Republic.
The directorate will include the Strategic Division as well as the International Cooperation Unit and its commander, who has not yet been appointed, and who will answer directly to the chief of staff.
“We understand that it is important to make such changes in light of the emerging threat with Iran,” Zilberman said. “We want someone to wake up in the morning and whose focus will be solely on Iran.”
The command will bolster the IDF’s attack capabilities, including by technological means, for IAF jets to destroy enemy targets, increase the military’s intelligence superiority and expand its intelligence gathering on the Islamic Republic, including by satellites, as well as bolster cyber (both defensive and offensive) capabilities.
The Planning Directorate will also change its name to the Force Design Directorate and will focus solely on multibranch force design and oversee the development of new combat weapons and techniques.
“This focus is a direct result of current needs and subsequent increased amount of joint and complex projects of various IDF branches,” the military said in a statement.  
The change, Zilberman said, will also strengthen the ties with the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure as well as between the military and defense industries in Israel as well as more effectively manage and monitor a series of projects that are planned throughout the multiyear plan.
In addition, it will allow for improved oversight of multibranch projects which are essential in terms of the implementation of the multiyear plan.
According to the military, “These organizational changes will maximize the capabilities of the IDF General Staff, while maintaining its current dimensions.”
According to Zilberman, even despite the creation of the new position, the size of General Staff, made up of 24 brigadier and major generals, will remain the same. The Depth Corps’ formation will remain the same, with Maj.-Gen. Itai Veruv as its commanding officer, in addition to his current position as the commanding officer of the Military Colleges.
The changes, which have been approved by Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, are set to take effect during the summer.