The approval process for Momentum needs to be above the fray of politics and electioneering.
By JPOST EDITORIAL
On Thursday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi presented his new multiyear plan. Called “Momentum,” the plan calls for the establishment of a new “Iran Command,” the closure of an armored brigade and fighter jet squadron as well as the opening of a new offensive division for elite forces.The plan’s goal, Anna Ahronheim wrote in the Post last week, is to bolster the IDF’s attack capabilities, using technological means for IAF jets to destroy enemy targets; increasing the military’s intelligence superiority; expanding intelligence gathering on the Islamic Republic, including by satellites; and improving cyber capabilities, both defensive and offensive.Kochavi has been working on the plan since he took up his post last year and military sources said it is imperative that it be approved and implemented quickly so the military can retain its qualitative edge over Israel’s enemies.“The threats are not waiting for us,” Kochavi told the General Staff. “We are at a point in time that if we do not press hard on the gas now, and open the gap [between Israel and her enemies] – not within a month, not within a year, but within a few years it will dictate how we win and how fast we win.”The plan was presented to and approved by Defense Minister Naftali Bennett last month. “At the heart of the plan is the principle of defeating the enemy quickly and powerfully, in the face of many complex arenas,” Bennett said at the time. “We will not flinch, on the contrary. We will continue to operate, anytime, anywhere.”On Thursday though, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement saying that while he has seen the plan, there are parts that he would like to improve – like creating even stronger offensive capabilities – and that it would need to again be approved by him and then the security cabinet.There is no question the IDF needs to improve its capabilities. Israel’s enemies – particularly Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas – are constantly transforming and gaining new weapons that pose even greater threats to Israel and particularly the home front. The attack Iran launched against Saudi Arabia’s oil fields last September is something that could happen one day in Israel and the military needs to be prepared not only to defend strategic installations, but also to fight the war that could break out in the aftermath of such a strike.The approval process for Momentum needs to be above the fray of politics and electioneering. The plan is not something that should be used by any politician to gain political points or favor with his or her voters and constituents.Unfortunately, that does not always seem to be the case, as some politicians compete with others over who can sound more bombastic in their threats to Israel’s enemies and attempts to take credit for what are usually secret operations hidden from the headlines.The presentation of the plan by Kochavi is just another illustration of how the ongoing electoral stalemate is impacting the country. It is not just preventing the formation of a stable government but it is also stopping the passage of a state budget for the coming year, and as a result, the implementation of military plans that are needed to keep the country safe from external threats like Iran.Hospitals cannot be built, roads cannot be upgraded and schools cannot be reformed as long as our politicians continue to fight over issues that are more connected to their own self interests, rather than to the interests of the nation and how to keep it moving forward. Stuck in a nonstop election cycle, politicians are focused on slamming one another as opposed to finding a way out of the deadlock.The problem is that the problems Israel faces – including the threats from Iran and others – are not waiting for the country to figure out its political problems. The threats continue to grow and Israel needs to be prepared.A full-time government, and not an interim or temporary one, is needed to take office to begin to properly formulate solutions for Israel’s strategic challenges. Time is not on our side.