Report: ME conflicts will escalate

Meridor committee panel predicts rise in non-conventional weapons use.

Predicting an escalation in low-intensity conflicts and the use of non-conventional weapons in Middle East warfare, a committee led by former justice minister Dan Meridor and assigned the task of formulating a new defense strategy presented its findings to Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz on Sunday. Mofaz accepted the recommendations and said he would work to bring Meridor's findings to the cabinet and the defense establishment for their review and approval.
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Meridor's committee, which included former generals and acting defense officials, recommended that the IDF focus its resources on combating the threat of non-conventional weapons and terrorism which the committee referred to as "super-conventional warfare." The paper submitted to Mofaz on Sunday, was the first time Israel's defense concept was officially formulated and put into writing. Meridor told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that the committee did not want to forcefully change the Israeli military structure but only help the IDF prepare itself for the future challenges by formulating what its strategic defense policy should be for the next decade. "In the past, Israel faced conventional war with its Arab neighbors," he said. "Now the threats are different and we are facing non-conventional weapons and terrorism. The idea is to stay ahead in those areas while continuing to maintain an advantage also when it comes to conventional warfare." The committee also recommended that the National Security Council be upgraded and serve as the prime minister's primary coordinator with the various Israeli intelligence services including Military Intelligence and the Mossad.