Israel is a country with an area of more than 22,000 square kilometers, 1,000 kilometers of land borders and 273 kilometers of coastline, and has 9 million inhabitants, giving them a high density of more than 400 inhabitants per km2. Israel is two and a half times the size of the province of Madrid. The Israeli state is surrounded by four Arab countries: Lebanon (5.3 million inhabitants), Syria (21.3 million), Jordan (11 million) and Egypt (113 million) which are part of the Muslim world with of his 1.8 billion. Those four countries together have 17 times the population of Israel.
Since its birth, Israel, knowing that with the slightest sign of weakness it will disappear from the map as a nation and its population will be wiped out, is a nation in arms. The Global Military Strength Ranking classifies its armed forces as one of the best in the world, ranking 18th in military power among all that exist on our planet. With an annual military budget of more than $20 billion, it has the unconditional support of the United States, second only to what Washington has given Ukraine since the start of the war with Russia.
All men and women in Israel serve in the military between the ages of 18 and 51. Men, three years; and the women, two “de military” who will be part of their active and easily mobilized reserve. Prepared for defense, the Israel Defense Forces maintain a small standing army (composed of conscripts and career personnel) with early warning capabilities, and a regular air force and navy. Most of its forces are reservists, who are often called up for training and service, and who in times of war or crisis are quickly mobilized in their units from all over the country.
The Israeli Army, Air Force and Navy are under a unified command, headed by the chief of the General Staff, with the rank of lieutenant general, who is responsible to the Minister of Defense. The Chief of the General Staff is appointed by the Government, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense, for a term of three years which is usually extended by an additional year. What is the great military power of the Israeli armed forces? In five points:
1.- The speed of mobilizing their troops and the intensity of their decision-making. In addition, Israeli leaders and officials have a doctrine that allows them to make important and decisive decisions in war situations at all levels.
2.- Israel has a very strong internal unity as a result of the permanent dangerous situation and the fact that all citizens are part of its armed forces. An army where citizens with better social positions do not get the best positions in the Army. The military is clearly a meritocratic system.
3.- It has a very high combat morale, the result of its continuous victory over its Arab enemies and the need to always want and need to win at all costs because the lives of all Israelis depend on the success of their armed forces.
4.- Their armies are always preparing and training for a war that may start tomorrow. They do it with real fire and with the best quality equipment.
5.- It has the best weapons available and many of them have been developed by Israeli technicians, Merkava tanks, Spike missiles, etc. The Israeli Defense Forces realized that they could not rely on foreign imports to ensure their armored and overall military superiority. Israel’s priority is to increase its domestic production capacity, which has led it to produce weapons such as the Merkava chariot.
The Israel Defense Forces has just under 200,000 active troops, but can mobilize almost 500,000 more reservists within hours and activate another 3,000,000 Israeli soldiers with military training in a short time.
Hamas and Syrian forces
Without counting the irregular troops of Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and other terrorist groups in the area, Israel has some basic assets in the war that seems to have begun. Syria, despite its military power, 150,000 soldiers and another 150,000 reservists and more than 4,000 tanks of all types and 460 combat aircraft, has been mired in a civil war since 2011. gives his troops experience, but at the same time, it selects them and makes it almost impossible for them to take significant military action against Israel.
The army of Lebanon and Jordan
Lebanon has a difficult sovereignty base guaranteed against internal enemies by the Lebanese Armed Forces, which has 72,000 active personnel, of which 1,100 belong to the Air Force and 1,000 to the Navy. Jordan, in turn, has an armed force of 90,000 people in 2021, of which 77,000 are from the Army and 12,000 from the important Air Force, with F-16 aircraft.
Without a doubt, the strongest possible enemy is Egypt, which has an armed force of almost 450,000 men and almost 900,000 reservists, but cannot compare with the strength and quality of Israel, and has 4,946 tanks, 1,132 aircraft and a significant navy It has two aircraft. carriers, although it has an annual defense cost of 4,400,000,000 dollars, a quarter of that of Israel.
The two Arab countries that pose the greatest threat to Israel, Egypt and Jordan, are clearly aligned with the West. It is true what they stated that the arrival of the population of Gaza in their respective countries can be considered as a declaration of war on Israel. The Tel Aviv government has its hands on what happens.
But it is not too risky to think that neither Egypt nor Jordan is willing to go to war that is almost impossible to win, despite the mobilization of the Arab world and their respective populations urging for a war that has unpredictable consequences to say the least.