Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) has released an assessment indicating Iran will feel emboldened by Joe Biden’sWhite House and that, consequently, will endanger Israel and the entire Mideast.
This is not just one of the many run-of-the-mill think tanks expressing an opinion.
This report comes from one of the most recognized and renowned think tanks in the world.
The report was hand delivered to Israel’s President, Ruby Rivlin.
The assessments of the INSS needs to be taken seriously.
Their conclusion is that Iranian proxies, especially Hezbollah, will launch attacks against Israel. That has been Iran’s modus operandi all along.
This assessment, however, goes on to suggest that from here on, Iran will be part and parcel of the attacks.
Will Iran be hands-on and actually, formally, attack Israel from Syria and/or Lebanon?
The logic is that Iran is thinking that Biden’s policy in the Mideast will be "restrained."
And if the United States is restrained, the U.S. will not get involved in Mideast.
If Iran is correct in their assessment, Iranian leadership has nothing to fear.
The report explains, "Iran has an 'open account' with Israel, and it is possible that Tehran will act aggressively, primarily through its proxies, based on the premise that the new American administration will show restraint in its response and will reduce 'the maximum pressure.'"
In other words, Iran wants to close their account with Israel.
The INSS report correctly assesses the situation from Israel’s perspective and reports that indeed: "Israeli deterrence is strong on all fronts and its enemies do not want war with it, but that, due to regional instability, constant friction and the difficulty of controlling dynamic developments, the probability of a [military] deterioration running out of control exists and requires a high level of readiness."
This INSS report is very different from the other and many security assessments that have surfaced. The INSS does not mince words.
They do not hedge.
They do not beat around the bush.
INSS explains exactly how great a risk exists and from whom and from where that risk emanates.
The biggest risk in this intance comes from Hezbollah, as well as from other Iranian proxies in Lebanon and Syria.
These terrorist groups are, by far, the greatest single military threat to Israel’s security.
INSS takes it even a step further. In the words of the report: these groups "are the greatest military threat in 2021."
That’s not just the greatest military threat to Israel but to the region.
The report goes on to advise that these groups must be treated with great are.
The report continues on. It further offers the finding that: "[t]he coronavirus crisis has not reduced the threat. Israel must also continue to act with determination and proactivity this year to weaken the Iranian-Shi’ite axis in order to prevent it from building up and strengthening its military front close to Israel."
Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies asserts that the Iranian nuclear threat is "less pressing."
It should be noted that the INSS's fndings cover more ground than Iran.
It additionally asserts that the Palestinian problem has not yet disappeared.
In fact, it could bring forth violence.
The report reasons that because the Abraham Accords have been so successful and because the weakness of Palestinian leadership is so pronounced and because of the decision by Palestinian leadership to not join the Accords, mass frustration could emerge. Should that happen, and INSS believes it to be a distinct likelihood, it will create grass roots violence by Palestinians against Israelis.
There are two other essential areas covered in the INSS report:
They are China and Russia. About China, INSS offers the recommendation to learn more about this regime. Regarding Russia, they advise an increase in strategic cooperation and an investigation to determine what the Russians are really doing in the Mideast in general— more specifically, in Syria.
The report reads: "It is necessary to increase Israel’s knowledge base on China and [to] improve the risk management regarding the relations with China. Israel should maintain its channels for dialogue with Moscow, in order to ensure the freedom of action that Russia gives Israel in Syria, and maintain the greatest possible degree of strategic cooperation with Russia – despite the two countries’ different interests."
This writer reads dozens of military assessments weekly.
It must be clearly said that none of them compare to INSS reports: in scope, detail and with hindsight, in accuracy.
There is, however, a major weakness in the INSS findings.
INSS does not discuss the critical matter of cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity is not part of INSS’s bailiwick. Cyberexperts exist in a different world.
Their assessments are much more difficult to understand and the threats there are more difficult to predict.
Now that there is a clear understanding of the military threats against them, Israel must make certain that their weaknesses — all of them, are protected and that potential bad global actors are monitored, as well as interdicted, before they can strike.
This is where genuine skill comes to play and it's one that Israel has honed.
Israel’s military knows how to follow, track, and strike at terrorists.
In today’s military apparatus less of that responsibility falls on foot soldiers because much of it is accomplished through the use of satellites, drones, and computers.
Hezbollah and Iran have ratcheted up their military game over the years, but so, too, has Israel.
Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. Read Micah Halpern's Reports — More Here.
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