Excerpts from Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi’s Remarks at International Artillery Conference, 9 Nov 2010

“A major change in the nature of the military conflict is currently taking place throughout the world- from broad-scale wars to asymmetrical conflicts. For Israel, the challenge is no longer that of its territory being conquered, but that of rockets fired at the Israeli home front. We are fired upon from within densely populated areas, out of intention to avoid a military conflict with the IDF. The launching of rockets from within homes and villages is intended to prevent us from maneuvering inside the territory and to force us to return fire towards civilian territory, possible hurting uninvolved civilians.”

“The IDF’s substantial advantage, compared to other western militaries, is in its knowledge of the battlefield. We hold the ability to study our enemy and terrain, with which we will have to deal in the different arenas.”

“Intelligence is becoming more and more crucial in operating our fire power, specifically when dealing with asymmetrical warfare. The need to operate our fire power against targets operating from within a civilian population demands high-quality and precise intelligence.”

“When fighting in densely populated areas, our major challenge is distinguishing innocent civilians from the enemy. When such a differentiation is impossible, we are required to adjust our ammunition to the changing battlefield and build a clear fire-operating policy. The IDF’s current operating methods rely on substantial usage of precision-guided ammunition, such as the ammunition used in operation Cast Lead. Such technologies allow us to minimize the unwanted damage caused to the civilian population (81% of the ammunition used in during operation Cast Lead was precision-guided).  One of the challenges we will face in our future will be the development of a small, precise yet deadly war head, able to directly hit the target, while minimizing collateral damage.”

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