As the Middle East becomes ever more anarchic and unpredictable, a group of high-ranking former and current military figures gathered at Bar-Ilan University this week for what would turn out to be one of the liveliest and frank public debates on the future of the IDF ever held.

The conference, called IDF Force Structure, was organized by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and Israel Defense magazine, and contained two panels of speakers, each of which used their rich personal experience in the security world to build up deep and well-founded arguments on how Israel should tailor its armed forces in the first quarter of the 21st century.

The former navy chief, R.-Adm. (res.) Eliezer Marom, used the opportunity to say that the Israel Air Force enjoys an unreasonable monopoly over the IDF’s firepower. The monopoly was in fact dangerous, Marom said, since an unpredictable challenge to air power would severely limit Israel’s ability to direct long-range fire at enemy targets. […]