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JINSA Sponsors Panel at 7th Annual Jerusalem Conference

Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism: Wars of the 21st Century

A JINSA delegation in Israel last week participated in two programs designed to advance the discussion of Afghanistan, Lebanon, Gaza and other non-conventional wars of this decade beyond a description of the adversaries of the West and into the means of defeating them.

First, at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, and then at the 7th Jerusalem Conference, Maj. Gen. Sid Shachnow, USA (ret.); Brig. Gen. David Grange, USA (ret.); R. Adm. John Sigler, USN (ret.); and Shoshana Bryen, JINSA’s senior director for security policy, were joined by Israeli military professionals to consider the philosophical and practical underpinnings of 21st Century warfare.

  • Who is the enemy? What social and political network can he access? What social and political network can we access?

  • What constitutes victory–for him and for us?

  • We fight with tanks, drones, planes and guns; the enemy also fights with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the Goldstone Report, the media and public perception. How can we do that and what changes does it force on the battlefield in terms of rules of engagement and potential litigation?

  • What is the Western message?

Details and conclusions of the meetings will be appearing on the JINSA website and in JINSA Reports.

At both the INSS and at the Jerusalem Conference, there were two important “givens”: that Israel and the United States stand on the same side of a monumental strategic divide and are, in some ways, closer than they may appear to be when political issues arise; and that it is no longer necessary to remind ourselves–although the media and others may need reminding–that enemies of both countries violate the rules of war and humanity as a matter of course and of military necessity.

Between Israel and American security professionals, it is no longer necessary to point out that the enemy hides behind civilians (the United States experienced that just last week in Marjah); that they stash weapons within religious sites; that they attack civilians and attack us from behind civilians; and that they violate rules of war that Western armies uphold.

The discussion in each place began with, “Knowing that, how do Western armies and governments proceed?”

Lieut. Gen. (ret.) Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon, now Israel’s minister for strategic security, provided the keynote address at the Jerusalem Conference panel, and JINSA panelists were joined by Maj. Gen. (res.) Ya’akov Amidror, former head of the IDF Research and Assessment Division, and Brig. Gen. (res.) Effie Eitam. At INSS, JINSA’s hosts were Dr. Oded Eran and Brig. Gen. (ret.) Meir Elran; and participants included Maj. Gen. (ret.) Giora Eiland, former director of Israel’s National Security Council; Brig. Gen. Itai Brun; Dr. Gabriel Siboni; and Brig. Gen. (ret.) Shlomo Brom, former director of strategic planning for the IDF.

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