Newsletter No. 6 Summer 2013

Fisher Institute Newsletter

 No.6 Summer 2013

 

  

Dear Reader:

 

This year marks 40 years since the Yom Kippur War; a war that was and remains to this day a seminal event in the history of the State of Israel.

As such, this year's national annual National Security conference focused on insights culled by the Israel Air Force during the Yom Kippur War, with special emphasis on lessons inadequately corrected or insufficiently integrated into the national psyche.

 

Everyone we asked to participate was more than pleased to do so, and all were gratified that there were many representatives from the IAF who also fought in the war, and were eminently willing to share with today's generation, the insights and knowledge they had gleaned. 

 

The conference hall was packed, with standing room only available.  During the proceedings, the one issue that kept repeating itself was that of 'surprise' not so much that the IAF was surprised by the enemy, but rather that they were surprised by the decisions that were being handed down from the top echelons.  The picture that emerged was one of confusion and faulty decision making on the upper echelons of the Air Force. 

 

Additionally, it became apparent that genuine battle discourse had not been possible, and in fact, during the first three days of the war our troops were virtually handicapped.

In looking to the future, much focus was placed on the exigent critical processes that must be in place in order to avoid mistakes and the necessary means to create an environment of dialogue within the IAF and the IDF, and between the IAF and the IDF and the political echelon.

 

Minister of Defense, Moshe Yaalon spoke of the critical need to create a similar environment in Air Force bases as well as throughout all the military forces.

 

There was general consensus among senior officers from the IAF and ground forces that studying and implementing the insights learned from the Yom Kippur War will enable us to better meet the challenges of the future.

 

During the recent period we've witnessed highly operative, strategic activities as a result of the instability that is swirling around us. 

We continue with our research in the Iranian space program, which has great impact on their missile capability and the drones in Iran and Lebanon.

 

These developments demand that we realign our thinking vis a vis confronting threats in the north, whether from Syria or Lebanon or from the more remote third circle.

In light of the new government's budgetary restrictions, we must open up channels of discussion and rethinking about how to build a military force to meet future needs,  into account the dynamic changes in our region.  On the one hand, we must remain efficient; on the other hand, our challenge is how can we remain relevant in the long term. 

 

Preparations for the upcoming the annual civil aviation conference, which is to take place in 18th November 2013, are already underway.


I am pleased to announce that the Flight Safety Foundation of the Middle East has signed an agreement with the Fisher Institute to enable us to conduct conferences and seminars, as well as continue research studies that can advance airline safety in our region, can enrich our ability to cope with changes, and similarly improve our capacity to meet the safety needs  despite the budgetary restrictions which afflict so many of the regional airline firms.

 

I invite you to view the new materials that we've uploaded to our website, including lectures from the most recent conferences.

 

I hope you'll enjoy reading all we have to offer.

 

Asaf Agmon
Director, Fisher Institute

 

 


 

New Appointments

Welcome to…

Eran Ramot who has been appointed to the position of Director, Center for Research on Airline Safety and Security.  He replaces Col.(ret.) Itai Alon who has completed his term. 

The Yom Kippur War: Lessons and Insights:
Underlining the Role of Air Power

 The Ninth Annual National Security Conference

 

The Fisher Institute devoted the Ninth Annual National Security Conference to a discussion of lessons culled from the Yom Kippur War. The Conference, entitled: "Insights and Lessons from the Yom Kippur War: Underlining the Role of Airpower" was a cooperative venture between the Fisher Institute, The Boeing Company, Israel Aircraft Industries, Elbit Systems, Rafael Industries, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon.

Read More 

 

 

 

New Research -The Strategic Confrontation:
Revolutionary New Thinking in a Military Operation and the Air Force Dimension

The Fisher Institute recently published a new research study entitled, "The Strategic Confrontation: Revolutionary New Thinking in a Military Operation and the Air Force Dimension". The research study, an in-depth examination of the nature and characteristics of an asymmetrical war, recommends that the Air Force, a leading factor in any asymmetrical confrontation, should also rethink the strategy in these new types of confrontations.

Read More

 

 

 

Conference on Israel's Developing Aviation Infrastructures 

The Fisher Institute hosted a conference on "Developing Aviation Infrastructures in Israel." A major focus of the conference was the exigency for long-term planning of Israel's airports infrastructures.

Read More 

  

 

 

 

"The Eagle's Path in the Sky"

The Third Conference on "Planes and Birds" took place at Tel Aviv University on April 29, 2013.  Click here to listen to the conference.

 

 

International Collection of Wings

Thanks to the generosity of Mrs. Tirza Mussak, three display boards of wings from the private collection of the late Major Tzvi Mussak are now hanging in the Fisher Institute.  This is an exceptional collection of air force wings representing air forces from around the world.

 

 

The IAF History and Heritage Digital Library

We've added about 60 memorial books to the The IAF History and Heritage Digital Library. 

Click here to view them.


 

Coming Up

The Annual Flight & Aviation Conference is planned to convene in November 18th, 2013 in Herzliya .
It will be jointly hosted by The Fisher Institute for Air & Space Strategic Studies and the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel.

 

Major topics of the conference will include:
Impact of Global Economy on Aviation and Flight Safety
New Technologies and Airport Planning Aspects for Modernized Navigation
Flight Safety Issues; Recent Flight-Safety Incidence and Lessons-Learned
Air Traffic Control (ATC) Modernization and Conflicts 
 
The 9th Ilan Ramon International Space Conference will be held jointly by the Fisher Institute, the Israel Ministry of Science, Technology & Space, and the Israeli Space Agency, on January 29-30, 2014.

 

The Conference is the pinnacle event of the Israeli space sector, and attracts many high level delegates from around the world, including heads of space agencies, policy makers, scientists and representatives from the industry and academia. 

Adjutant to the conference is an international space exhibition,  which provides options for business meetings and creates opportunities for cooperation and collaboration 

   

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Yom Kippur War: Lessons and Insights:
Underlining the Role of Air Power

The Ninth Annual National Security Conference

 

The Fisher Institute devoted the Ninth Annual National Security Conference to a discussion of lessons culled from the Yom Kippur War. The Conference, entitled: "Insights and Lessons from the Yom Kippur War: Underlining the Role of Airpower" was a cooperative venture between the Fisher Institute, The Boeing Company, Israel Aircraft Industries, Elbit Systems, Rafael Industries, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon.
 
Early on in the planning of the conference, it was obvious that the subject matter would be of great interest for many and upon advertising it, registration was closed but within a few days. The roster of lecturers and speakers was full pulling in people from across the spectrum.  Media coverage was broad, and by the time the Conference began there was literally no room in the hall.

The Conference focused on four key subjects:


 1. A Strategic Discussion:  Encounter between political and army echelons.
 2. The phenomenon of surprise and recovery.
 3. Preemptory strike and counter-attack.
 4. Building a military force in an age of change and instability.

 

Leading experts in each field served as moderators and lecturers. Each session opened with a description of what happened during the Yom Kippur  War, which then propelled a broader discussion of insights and how to apply them today.

 

A Strategic Discussion 

The problematic picture of the lack of dialogue between the political and military echelons prior to the War was largely discussed during this session.  This lack of dialogue continued decades following the War and prevented the design of a workable strategy.

"it is the job of the political echelon to determine the national strategy, and from this national strategy emerges a military strategy," explained Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz during his presentation.  "Throughout the years, it has been the army which has presented issues very clearly and logically, and offered the strategic or practical direction.  This is understandable in the sense that the Middle East is a very dynamic place, and because of that it is difficult to really establish clear national policy lines."

 

The current Minister of Defense, Moshe Yaalon, discussed some of these issues during his lecture.  He spoke about the principles, risks and challenges of strategic dialogue within a geo-political framework, and presented an encouraging picture of an open dialogue between the military and political echelons.

 

The Phenomenon of Surprise and Recovery

"The biggest surprise was from the officers" according to Lt. Co. Moti Havakuk.  "There was a crisis of faith from the top to the bottom." Half of the first day was wasted on superfluous armaments changes, and superfluous aerial defense.  However, within one day the tactics changed -- largely thanks to the men on the ground and the success of the aerial power.

 

Dr. Menachem Gelbard presented a fascinating analysis of the psychology of decision making.  No doubt that the issue of surprise impacted on the decision making. There was excruciating cognitive dissonance -- a yawning gap between what had been the basis upon which decisions had been made to date, and then the reality.  "The greater the dissonance, the more that one's inherent, fundamental beliefs are involved," Dr. Gelbard explained and then naturally, the greater the difficulty to recover from the entire 'episode.'

 

As a result, recovery from the Yom Kippur War was problematic and in some cases, perhaps we have not fully recovered from it.

Why are we even studying the Yom Kippur War? was raised.  Three basic reasons were offered: to prevent one-track thinking; to be able to put together a team of 'ugly ducklings' -- people who are not part of the closed circle, people who come with 'outrageous' ideas, and to study different situations and learn about them in depth. Together, this will enable us to better plan for any surprise that we may have to face.

 

Pre-emptive and Counter Strikes

Karl P. Mueller from the Rand Institute spoke about three types of strikes: pre-emptive (such as the 6-Day War), preventive (e.g. the Osirak Raid) and anticipatory strikes.  Certain conditions should increase the effectiveness of an anticipatory attack.  Among them are:
 * Large offensive or other first-strike advantages
 * Deteriorating branches of power
 * Hard to deter enemies (rogue states, fanatical terrorists)
 * Expectation of secondary benefits from the attack

 

In the case of anticipatory strikes, a clear national strategy has to be in place.  Since 9/11 US leaders have changed their thinking about first-strikes. "US leaders," according to Karl P. Mueller "will consider striking first more often than they did before 2001.  However, large-scale first strike attacks will remain infrequent.  First strike operations are likely to be small and/or covert."

Building a Military Force

How does one build a military force in an age when change and instability are the dominant factors?

This session opened with a painful, yet original description, presented by Dr. Aviam Sela, of the process involved in building a military force which may have no relevance for the current situation at hand.

Major General Gershon Hakohen closed the session with a brilliant lecture on the need to create a smart, flexible military force that can best leverage its power during every stage of an operation.


Throughout the conference, participation was animated.  Many expressed their satisfaction regarding the importance of the subject matter and the high level of presentations.
 

Click here to see the Conference program.

 

 

 

 

New Research

The Strategic Confrontation:
Revolutionary New Thinking in a Military Operation and the Air Force Dimension

The Fisher Institute recently published a new research study entitled, "The Strategic Confrontation: Revolutionary New Thinking in a Military Operation and the Air Force Dimension". The research study, an in-depth examination of the nature and characteristics of an asymmetrical war, recommends that the Air Force, a leading factor in any asymmetrical confrontation, should also rethink the strategy in these new types of confrontations.

This research should lead to public discussion and greater in-depth thinking among decision makers on how to best confront the threats from terrorist organizations who have evolved from perhaps troublesome to threats on the State of Israel.

 

 

 

 

 

Conference on Israel's Developing Aviation Infrastructures 

The Fisher Institute hosted a conference on "Developing Aviation Infrastructures in Israel." A major focus of the conference was the exigency for long-term planning of Israel's airline infrastructures.  Many different opinions regarding necessary solutions were discussed during the conference, among them a very controversial one -- the establishment of an airport on an island in the Mediterranean Sea. 

The Conference brought together different parties involved in the field, and we are hopeful that the open dialogue exhibited at the Conference will help expedite decision making and implementation.  Click here to See the conference program.

 

 

 

"The Eagle's Path in the Sky"

The Third Conference on "Planes and Birds" took place at Tel Aviv University on April 29, 2013.  Click here to listen to the conference.

 

 

  

 

 

International Collection of Wings

Thanks to the generosity of Mrs. Tirza Mussak, three display boards of wings from the private collection of the late Major Tzvi Mussak are now hanging in the Fisher Institute.  This is an exceptional collection of air force wings representing air forces from around the world.

 

 

 

 

The IAF History and Heritage Digital Library

We've added about 60 memorial books to the The IAF History and Heritage Digital Library. 

 Click here to view them.

 

 

New Appointments

Welcome to…

Eran Ramot who has been appointed to the position of Director, Center for Research on Airline Safety and Security.  He replaces Col.(ret.) Itai Alon who has completed his term. 

 

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