Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/05/2012 -- BMI's Israel Defence & Security Report for Q412 examines the country's strategic position in the Middle East and the wider world. It provides an overview of the contemporary geopolitical challenges facing the country, and the challenges it may face in the future.
The report examines the trends occurring in the country's current and future defence procurement, and the order of battle across its armed forces. The intention is to provide a clear and concise discussion of these issues. The report's general conclusion is that Israel faces: extreme security challenges in the form of: Iran and its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes; uncertainty in the Middle East resulting from the Arab Spring; and mounting Palestinian frustration at the failure of the peace process.
BMI notes that attacks on Israel have recently been relatively low by historical standards. However, there is regional concern about the prospect of Tel Aviv deciding to press ahead unilaterally with a solution to the Palestinian question, and deciding without consulting the other side on where the borders of the new Palestinian state will lie. Yet with neither side willing to budge on the issue of Israeli settlements, the peace process is effectively stagnant, and that makes unilateral Israeli action more likely.
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The prospect of Israel attacking Iran in 2012 in order to prevent Tehran obtaining a nuclear weapon now appears increasingly remote. However, there remains considerable potential for the situation to deteriorate, with uncertain consequences for all sides. Iranian military exercises in July were designed to demonstrate the country's ability to use ballistic missiles to strike US bases and Israeli towns. The ability of these weapons to overcome the US and Israel's increasingly advanced missile defence systems is questionable; however, Tehran's ability to at least launch the missiles has been amply demonstrated.
Over the last quarter BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:
- Israel's once-stable border with Egypt has become less secure, with an attack by a previously unknown Islamist group having occurred there in June. Israel is building a security fence along the border, and is accelerating the project in the light of Egypt's political upheaval.
- Though the likelihood of an imminent Israeli strike against Iran receded, Israel in April spelled out five key demands regarding Tehran's nuclear programme that are highly unlikely to be met. Tel Aviv also questioned the value of ongoing talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries.
- After confirming that it plans to procure the F-35 fighter, the M346 advanced jet trainer and an additional Dolphin-class submarine, Israel is now in the process of evaluating the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. Work also continues on improving the country's three layers of missile defence systems, especially in the light of recent Iranian ballistic missile tests.
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