‘By 2025, con­stant satel­lite feed will aid tar­geted killings’

Ex-IDF chief speaks at TA in­tel con­fer­ence

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By YONAH JEREMY BOB

By 2025, 10,000 satel­lites will pro­vide con­stant Is­raeli video sur­veil­lance of the Mid­dle East suf­fi­cient to carry out tar­geted killings of ter­ror­ists at any time and any place, for­mer IDF in­tel­li­gence chief Aharon Zeevi Farkash said on Wed­nes­day.

Zeevi Farkash, who led Mil­i­tary In­tel­li­gence from 2001 to 2006, was speak­ing at an in­tel­li­gence con­fer­ence in Tel Aviv that also in­cluded for­mer top Mos­sad and Shin Bet (Is­rael Se­cu­rity Agency) of­fi­cials, and was spon­sored by the In­tel­li­gence In­her­i­tance and Com­mem­o­ra­tion Cen­ter and the Is­rael De­fense mag­a­zine.

The for­mer IDF in­tel­li­gence chief made sev­eral other ob­ser­va­tions about im­por­tant trends in in­tel­li­gence and tech­nol­ogy.

Is­rael’s in­tel­li­gence ca­pa­bil­i­ties are mov­ing so fast that soon they may reach a point where it can turn all oral com­mu­ni­ca­tions that it has picked up im­me­di­ately into dig­i­tal form, he said.

Fur­ther­more, Is­raeli in­tel­li­gence will then be able to for­ward the data in spe­cific cus­tom­ized for­mats for im­me­di­ate use by the air force, navy and ground forces.

While prais­ing Is­raeli in­tel­li­gence ef­forts, he said one area where in­tel­li­gence abil­i­ties are lag­ging com­pared to se­cu­rity needs is in suf­fi­ciently mul­ti­ply­ing ground forces ca­pa­bil­i­ties, Zeevi Farkash said.

While Is­rael “has supremacy in the air, it lacks supremacy in ground war­fare. We will not be able to stop rock­ets against us un­til we gain ground war­fare supremacy,” in­clud­ing im­proved de­liv­ery of in­tel­li­gence to op­er­a­tions in the field, he said.

Other speak­ers at the con­fer­ence, such as for­mer se­nior Shin Bet of­fi­cial Adi Carmi, also re­ferred to some of Is­raeli in­tel­li­gence’s mind-bog­gling ca­pa­bil­i­ties, though he em­pha­sized hu­man in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ing.

Dur­ing the 2014 Gaza war (Op­er­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge), Is­rael hit around 350 tar­gets where it used pri­mar­ily in­tel­li­gence gath­ered by hu­man as­sets to lo­cate ter­ror­ists, lo­cate their neigh­bors to warn them to leave be­fore an at­tack and pro­cured all the neigh­bors tele­phone num­bers in or­der to warn them, he said.

Jump­ing to the present, Carmi said that dur­ing the Gaza bor­der con­fronta­tions on Mon­day, Is­raeli in­tel­li­gence knew in ad­vance that at least “50% of those ar­riv­ing were Ha­mas and Is­lamic Ji­had. We knew their names, we knew who was bring­ing ex­plo­sives... in­tel­li­gence col­lec­tion gets as in­ti­mate as you get.”

For­mer se­nior Shin Bet of­fi­cial Barak Ben Tzur gave a wide his­tor­i­cal view of what he called a “revo­lu­tion” in which tar­geted killings us­ing ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy to lo­cate ter­ror­ists and to get the right weaponry to the right place to strike them re­placed creative op­tions used in ear­lier decades – such as a cig­a­rette lighter dou­bling as a gun.

He mar­veled at the abil­ity to trans­fer in­for­ma­tion so that much of the raw data can reach the po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion-mak­ers and they can get their or­ders quickly and di­rectly to com­man­ders in the field.

Ben Tzur said this skipped what once would have been an in-be­tween vet­ting process within the in­tel­li­gence es­tab­lish­ment about what to share with the po­lit­i­cal ech­e­lon, which meant that some se­nior in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials had lost some con­trol, but also meant an abil­ity to strike with less de­lay.

Ger­man mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence chief Ge­org Miarka spoke at the con­fer­ence about his coun­try be­ing on track to “fully dig­i­tiz­ing all land forces and re­lated in­tel­li­gence by 2032.”

These ef­forts will in­clude in­te­grat­ing au­to­ma­tion, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and ro­bot­ics into Ger­man ground forces, he said.

While Miarka ad­mit­ted this move would ex­pose Ger­many to more cy­ber­at­tacks, he said it was an im­por­tant move and such that his coun­try must also strengthen its counter-in­tel­li­gence ca­pa­bil­i­ties and backup plans in case its sys­tems are hacked.

Miarka also said that a range of new net­worked sys­tems were al­ready in­tro­duced by Ger­man mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence last year and had al­ready been used suc­cess­fully in multi­na­tional peace­keep­ing mis­sions in Afghanistan, Mali and the Balkans.

Mil­i­tary In­tel­li­gence Col. “Y.” pre­sented the lat­est big data trends in IDF in­tel­li­gence, in­clud­ing its new ap­proaches to us­ing ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and deep ma­chine learn­ing, and build­ing a new kind of team around those con­cepts.

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