'Future battlefield will be more lethal'

Top IDF officer speaks about IDF future challenges, says, "A war can't be won without moving forces."

2nd lebanon war cool 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
2nd lebanon war cool 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The future battlefield the IDF will face will be more difficult, lethal and uncertain, OC Ground Forces Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrachi said Wednesday during a military conference at Latrun. Mizrachi was speaking at the third annual Latrun Conference on Maneuver in Complex Terrain, co-hosted by the IDF, the US Joint Forces Command and several leading Israeli defense industries. Over 100 military officers from close to 30 countries were present at the conference. Mizrachi, who will soon take up his new post as head of the IDF's Central Command, said that in any future conflict, Israel would have no choice but to use its ground forces. "A war cannot be won without moving forces on the ground," he said. "Even today there are people who believe that it is sufficient to threaten to use the forces but in the Middle East his is not enough. Only a ground maneuver will end the conflict and win the war." The future battlefield, he said, would be more lethal due to Syria, Hamas and Hizbullah's continued investment in underground infrastructure and ability to minimize its signature to the point that it does not need to maneuver like a conventional military but only use its firepower from pre-planned bunkers. Mizrachi revealed that Syria has taken civilian trucks, loaded them with weapons and scattered them in different villages along the border with Israel ahead of a future conflict. "This is why we need to split up our capabilities between a conventional war scenario to one that we are fighting against a non-conventional force," he said. Later in the conference, a disagreement erupted between head of the Armored Corps Brig.-Gen. Agay Yehezkeli and Chief Infantry Officer Brig.-Gen. Yossi Bahar. Speaking after Mizrachi, Yehezkeli said that in a future conflict with Hizbullah in Lebanon the IDF would need to launch a quick ground operation, heavily depending on tanks, deep into Lebanese territory in order to curb the rocket attacks against the Israeli home front. During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the IDF hesitated before sending large ground forces into Lebanon and for the first part of the campaign mostly relied on the Air Force to try and stop the Hizbullah Katyusha rocket attacks. The next speaker, Bahar said that he disagreed with Yehezkeli and that a deep penetration of Lebanon was not needed immediately at the outset of the war. He said that several brigades would be capable of conquering southern Lebanon and taking control of the 165 villages south of the Litani River.