On the eve of 9/11, this seem very appropriate with all that has happened in the last few months especially with the ransacking of the Israeli embassy in egypt. With Turkey rapidly spinning out of the Western sphere of influence and into the vile and violent world of radical islamic rule, Israel is now facing not so much new threats but old threats that were held in check until the election of the first illegal alien muslim potus and the cascading growth of sharia back islamic rule throughout the Middle East and beyond.
Turkey is taking one of the lead positions in the region against Israel and those that warned of letting Turkey join NATO(myself included)are now watching our predictions come true. Should any one country or a group of countries attack Israel jointly, then all out war on a horrible scale is sure to break out. The move of the so called 'palestinians' to acquire 'statehood through the United Nations is just one piece of this regional puzzle that may soon blow up in ways the world does not want to ever think about.
That Israel has many nuclear weapons is not really in doubt even though Israel has never acknowledged or refuted such claims, and rightly so. This is just a peek into ONE of the doomsday weapons Israel most likely has. Let us pray Israel NEVER have to use them.
Doomsday weapon: Israel’s submarines
The day the Twin Towers collapsed in Manhattan, September 11, 2001, Israeli submarine “Leviathan” of the advanced Dolphin model was on a training sail somewhere at sea – the exact location of Israel’s submarines will always remain classified, even dozens of years after the fact. At one point, the submarine rose to the surface to take a break. The sub’s commander, then-Lt. Colonel Oded, looked through the periscope and saw a calm, blue sea. However, one crew member soon informed him that he just saw the New York towers collapsing on television. Oded’s first reaction was laughter: What kind of movie are you watching there? How could the Twin Towers collapse? Yet soon after, the official announcement arrived from Israel.
The training session ended abruptly. Orders started to pour in from Navy headquarters. The submarine went into high alert and sunk into the water for a lengthy period of several weeks. “In such case,” Oded says, “nobody knows where you are except for your crew and your direct commanders. Even your family doesn’t know. They don’t know what you’re doing or when you’ll be back. They know nothing.”
What does a terror attack at the World Trade Center have to do with an Israeli submarine going on high alert? This question shall remain unanswered as well. We can only guess: When the US experiences an unprecedented terror event whose implications are still unclear, nobody knows how the superpower would respond and what will happen in the Middle East as result. At such moments of uncertainty, Israel’s first walls of defense are its long-range strategic arms – the most secretive one is the submarine fleet.
Israel’s enemies must be made to understand that should they dare use any weapon of mass destruction, their own fate will be sealed. According to foreign reports, Israel’s Dolphin fleet plays a crucial role in the game of deterrence with its second strike capability.
Just like Israel’s submarine fleet is secretive, so are its commanders. Colonel Oded, 44, has recently completed his tenure as the fleet’s commander, ending a chapter of more than 20 years where he performed almost every command post in the fleet. “If a layman would see submarine troops from the side, he would not understand how we can withstand it,” Oded says in a rare interview. “It’s a group of people who perform missions at very certain locations and feel like home there. People wake up for their shifts, eat breakfast and follow a routine in the least trivial locations one can imagine.”
When I ask Oded whether his troops’ passports would be filled with stamps, had they theoretically stamped them at border control, he smiles and says nothing. Indeed, we can imagine that these virtual passports would have been full of stamps. The Navy’s submarines, as opposed to other vessels, never dock at foreign ports, including friendly ones. This is the nature of the service: The submarines only dock in Israel.
In order to serve on a submarine, one needs more than to excel at school and accumulate more and more knowledge. Such soldiers need a specific mental makeup that enables them to be isolated for lengthy periods of time from their natural environment, while living with 40 other people under crowded conditions and an intensive, tense operational atmosphere.
“People who cannot withstand the pressure drop out in the screening process and during the courses,” Oded says. “There is only one way to minimize the fear and improve the ability to function during emergencies: Sisyphean training. For that reason we constantly engage in simulating extreme scenarios, so when things happen in real life the soldiers are trained and already experienced those things during training sessions.”
“When you arrive at the sub after the course, you feel that nobody is better than you, but very quickly you realize that you have much to learn from the people around you,” Oded says. “The veteran non-commissioned officer is much more professional than you in his area of expertise. The secret of the submarine’s power is the accumulated knowledge of everyone on board. Each soldier is an expert, so you learn to appreciate and trust them…you learn very quickly that the quality of the soldiers is so high that you cannot just issue orders.”
Not like in the movies
So what happens to a young man who one day becomes privy to the State of Israel’s deepest secrets? “If we developed the right person, and his ego is at a healthy place, not much happens,” Oded says. “The heavy responsibility and significance of the work merely increase the need for modesty. Even though it’s quite surprising and fascinating to discover what this country can do, we don’t tell our parents or anyone else. Never. Everything stays within the submarine. This is one of the reasons why the friendships formed between the soldiers and officers don’t exist elsewhere. We develop a culture where secrecy means life or death.
In the movies we often see a submarine commander receiving a mysterious message, walking over to the safe, pulling out an envelope and discovering a dramatic mission for the first time. Yet when Oded is asked whether this happens in real life, he bursts into laughter. “This happens in the movies. These are precisely the things that are not done in real life, because the sub commander works completely independently, and at times has no contact whatsoever with his superiors. Hence, he must have all the information available to him and be familiar with the mission’s big picture, so he can make the right decisions.
Having fun in the shower
At the end of the 1980s, Oded completed a degree in electrical engineering and physics at the Technion. Upon graduation, he was appointed as commander of a missile boat that specializes in anti-submarine warfare (the Navy ensures that future sub commanders serve on such boats first, as there is no better way to learn how they behave when confronting a submarine.) After two years, Oded embarked on a submarine commander’s course – an intensive eight-month track with a personal mentor. In 1999 he was assigned to command the old-model submarine “Gal.” The only thing he is willing to say about that period is: “It was a very operational year, with plenty of counter-terror activity.” In 2001, he was appointed as the second commander of “Leviathan,” a new model Dolphin sub.
When asked how it feels to command “Leviathan,” a submarine that is three-times larger than the previous sub he led, Oded first speaks about the improved shower experience. “When you are sailing for weeks and your only way to take a shower is to use the air-conditioner’s water, yet suddenly you have a shower, only then you understand the meaning of this,” he says.
“Suddenly there is a convenient space for service, in submarine terms of course. Suddenly your sub has more than one floor. There are also more arms and more advanced sonar systems. There is also a leap in atomization and in command and control capabilities. It’s like flying into space. Moreover, it’s a very quiet submarine that can perform its mission with greater secrecy.
Doubling the fleet
At this time the Navy is preparing to double Israel’s submarine fleet from three to six in the next five years, making it one of the region’s largest and most advanced fleets. As result of this process, Oded was not only required to double the submarine fleet’s manpower, but also to create a larger cadre career officers for a lengthy service term, as the need for professional expertise will only be growing. Hence, the Navy realized it must offer these soldiers the army’s best service terms. For example, sub troops can study almost anything they want, as long as they stay in the force. Notably, a sub officer is required to serve nine years at least.
Oded says that doubling the fleet’s size is “not only a challenge for the army; it’s a challenge for the State.” When asked whether Israel needs such large fleet, especially in an era of cutbacks, Oded has no hesitation: “I have no doubt we need it. A large submarine fleet gives us much more than a multiplier effect in strategic and security terms.”
Each submarine is armed with 6 x 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes, which are also capable of firing Sub-Harpoon missiles, and 4 x 25.5-inch (648 mm) torpedo tubes. The submarines are also able to deploy mines.
Jane's Defence Weekly reports that the Dolphin class submarines are believed to be nuclear armed, offering Israel a second strike capability. The Federation of American Scientists and GlobalSecurity.org report that the four larger 25.5-inch (648 mm) torpedo tubes are capable of launching nuclear-armed Popeye Turbo cruise missiles (a variant of the Popeye standoff missile) with a range of up to 1,500 kilometres (930 mi). These larger torpedo tubes can also launch underwater swimmer delivery vehicles.
And this from Foreign Confidential:
Not for nothing, as the Russians used to say, was this piece published. There is a growing awareness among Israeli political and military leaders that the country's enemies are moving in most menacing ways, preparing for all-out war with Israel--or at least more limited conflicts and clashes in order to create an international crisis leading to an imposed peace involving foreign military (UN/NATO) intervention, the forced withdrawal of Israel to pre-June 1967 boundaries, and the creation of a Palestinian state in all the lands captured by Israel in its defensive Six-Day War of that month.
Even excluding nuclear-arming, Islamist Iran, which is openly committed to Israel's outright eradication, and its missile-mad, Islamist Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, and embattled secular ally, Syria--which is loaded with chemical warheads and missiles but which may also be destined for dismemberment into separate, Sunni Arab, Kurdish, and Alawite puppet states--it appears that Islamist-ruled Turkey--a full NATO member hailed as a model "Islamic democracy" by the Obama administration--and Islamizing Egypt together have the means of making such a scenario a reality, acting in close cooperation, of course, with Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian terrorist organization that already rules Gaza and is bristling with rockets capable of reaching Tel Aviv.
Israel's enemies have the means; one hopes they lack the political will to use these means, or at least the common sense to refrain from setting in motion dynamics that could lead to horrible conflagrations.
One hopes--probably in vain, because history has shown that there can be no peace with rightwing political Islam, or Islamism. Once a country goes down that clerical fascist road, it becomes bent on overturning rather than preserving the status quo. The United States and Israel both made the mistake of believing that they could go on doing business with Iran after the fall of the Shah while covertly using Islamism as a sword against their adversaries--the Soviet Union and Syria and the secular nationalist PLO, respectively. At the end of the day, the monsters rose up and mutated into a threat the likes of which the world has not seen since Nazi Germany.
If you have never checked out Foreign Confidential(formerly known as China Confidential) please do so. You will not be disappointed.