Israeli Defense Forces

Comment by Jim Campbell

August 28th, 2020

Military organization, Israel

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Israel Defense Forces (IDF), armed forces of Israel, comprising the Israeli army, navy, and air force.

Israel Defense Forces

Israel Defense Forces

The female member of the Israel Defense Forces’ mixed-gender Caracal Battalion participating in rifle training. Adam Reynolds—Corbis/AP Imagesindependence.

Since its creation, its guiding principles have been shaped by the country’s need to defend itself from its numerically superior neighbors.

The primary element of this doctrine is the belief that Israel cannot afford to lose a single war.

IDF planners believe that this goal can be attained only through a defensive strategy that utilizes the rapid mobilization of overwhelming force to take the war to the enemy.

Because the Israeli army has a relatively small active-duty component—estimates in the early 21st century placed it at some 125,000 troops, of whom roughly two-thirds were conscripts—this mission could be achieved only through the maintenance of a well-trained reserve force and active intelligence gathering.

These human assets were supplemented with robust early warning systems, one of the world’s most advanced theatre missile defense networks, and a mechanized force that included some 2,500 main battle tanks and more than 5,000 armored personnel carriers.

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Due to the IDF’s reliance on reserve units to provide the overwhelming majority of its infantry strength, it could more accurately be categorized as a citizen militia supplemented by a small corps of career officers and active-duty conscripts.

Military service is compulsory for Jews and Druze, both men and women, and for Circassian men.

Conscription deferments are available to students, and exemptions from service are granted to married women, women with children, and men who are undertaking religious studies.

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The age for the reserves is 35 for women and 55 for men.

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About JCscuba

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