Given recent changes in the Middle East, Israel must prepare for a battle in several theaters, outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said Monday at the Herzliya Conference.
"The connection between the different players requires us to contend with more than one theater," he said.
The radical camp in the Middle East is gaining strength, Ashkenazi warned, adding that "the moderate camp among the traditional Arab leadership is weakening." He also made note of what he characterized as the "fascinating phenomenon" whereby power is shifting to the people of the region thanks to online social networks.
The army chief said that in the wake of the growing threat of radical Islam among Israel's neighbors, the defense budget would have to be boosted in the coming years. The main change faced by the army is the widening spectrum of threats, he said.
"Because of this spectrum, we must prepare for a conventional war…it would be a mistake to prepare for non-conventional war or limited conflicts and then expect that overnight the forces will operate in an all-out-war," he said. (more)