A soldier from "Oketz", an elite unit of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), participates in a combat
exercise. The K-9 unit specialises in training and handling canines for military operations.
It’s no longer socially acceptable to admire the warrior in America. Our society doesn’t nurture fighters. The warrior mentality is shamed while the socially challenged are championed. Many have apparently forgotten that war is an inescapable condition of humanity. Much of today’s focus is on “privilege”. The real privilege is our geography and it’s turning us into a nation of daisy’s.
Settled at the crossroads of the Arab world lies one of our closest allies, engaged in a seemingly perpetual state of war. A tiny nation roughly the size of New Jersey, Israel has poured resources into a matrix of fortifications situated among mountainous terrain, arid landscapes, strategic outlets and dense communities. It’s borders are a networked perimeter of closely guarded checkpoints, secured passages, razor wire, steel, concrete, and conscripted defenders. Citadel like structures and strategic overwatch positions encircle the nation. Sentinels stand guard.
Bombed out Egged bus terrorism terror attack 311 (R) 2.
(photo credit:Israel Defense Forces)
Despite the security measures, a cloud of potential violence hovers over the region. The possibility of terrorist attacks from within is a daily concern. In 2016, Israel saw 88 killed and 329 injured in 117 terrorist attacks. If the terrorism in America were equal to Israel, America would have seen 3,500 terrorism related deaths in 2016 when adjusted for population.
Analyzing the sheer number of attacks last year in Israel, America would need to experience well over 4,600 attacks to equal the incidence of violence, over 12 per day. This rate would resemble a war zone. To bring these numbers further into perspective, 2,392 US troops have died in Afghanistan since the war began in 2001. During the same time frame in Israel, 1,379 people died. Not abroad, not overseas, just in Israel.
Much of this is because of geography. Israel is much closer to societies scapegoating western culture for their problems. In 1967, Arab neighbors banded together in an attempt to force Israel into the sea. Unsuccessful, Israel took the opportunity to bolster strategic positions, seizing the Gaza Strip, the West Bank from Jordan, the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, and the Golan Heights from Syria. This seizure of land was in the best interest of Israel. It’s important to remember, a nation will always do what’s in its best interest strategically. It is afterall a game of chess.
Hostile nations surround Israel today. Relations with Jordan are recently cooperative, and at times have included strategic coordination, but the relationship is strained by a history of war. Syria considers Israel part of historic Syrian lands. Egypt seeks a united Arab Republic, necessitating a takeover of Israel. Saudi Arabia actively tries to prevent Egyptian expansion, in an effort to protect its own interests and monarchy.
Couple regional tensions with the likelihood of Iran gaining access to a nuclear weapon in the next decade, and the result is a security situation unparalleled in western culture. One can imagine how twelve terrorist attacks nationally per day would affect the life of the average American. Not to mention the consolidated presence of sworn enemies just a short drive away. A scenario like this is hard to relate to but would undoubtedly affect the psyche of every US citizen. Priorities would shift in favor of security. The culture of political correctness would sway to one admiring the warrior.
LTC (Ret.) Mikey Harman demonstrates the Israeli method using “5 points of contact”.
The support side forearm and magazine establish the 4th contact point. @mikeyhartman
Between 4th and 6th centuries BC it was commonly believed that one Spartan was as good in combat as several men from any other state. The Spartan legislator Lycurgus referred to Sparta as having a "wall of men, instead of bricks". Israel is a modern day warrior culture. Although the security situation in Israel is not desirable, the Israeli mindset can be admired. Though small, Israel has a very streamlined approach to training a conscripted military. Resource scarcity has forced the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) to improvise, adapt, and improve. Basic training for an Israeli infantry soldier is around 7 months after which he will immediately begin working in high threat areas. In Israel, preparation for warfare is a methodical approach to mental and physical toughening, where instructors are allowed to strike recruits and Krav Maga guides the mindset.
Garret Macrine “Machine” @garretmachine
I’ve worked with former IDF soldiers including Garret Macrine (https://www.facebook.com/cadre.machin) (above) and more recently, 23 year IDF veteran LTC (Ret.) Mikey Hartman (https://www.facebook.com/mikey.hartman) (below). Garret was a member of the anti terrorism unit Duvdevan while Mikey Hartman trained over 500,000 members of the IDF within a 17 year period. Born in Memphis Tennessee, Mikey moved to Israel and joined the IDF at the age of 18. An incredibly gifted shooter, he climbed the ranks quickly and gained influence among the relatively small nation. Mikey was eventually tasked with completely rewriting the IDF’s shooting doctrine. In 1993 he was put in charge of the new shooting school for the entire Israeli military. He revamped the marksmanship, the tactics, and the weapons of the IDF. Mikey’s influence was critical in turning the IDF into a truly formidable force.
LTC (Ret.) Mikey Hartman @mikeyhartman
The life or death situation in Israel encouraged innovative techniques and products. Mikey would go on to invent his own optic, the MH1 Hartman reflex sight (http://hartman-il.com) (pictured above), modeled from his personal combat experiences in Israel. He is now the CEO of CAA (https://usa.caagearup.com), an Israeli based weapons developer and tasked with expanding the CAA market here in the United States.
If Israel ceased to exist tomorrow, a massive power vacuum would ensue. Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt would erupt into violent skirmish. Tremendous casualties would occur on all sides. In this way, Israel acts as a powerful stabilizer in the region.
But Israel isn’t just a stronghold of soldiers and citizens. It’s also a bastion of Western values. A trove of Western ideals and beliefs loosely clinging to a bit of substrate at the very intersection of Arab geopolitics. It’s not just the relative importance of Israel that appeals to my inner warrior. It’s the grim circumstances, the looming threats on the horizon, the “underdogness”. It’s the appeal of defending a like minded ally. It’s the fact that Israel still admires the warrior. The soldier in me says, that’s worth fighting for.