The Israeli Military Intelligence Industrial Complex

The Israeli Military Intelligence Industrial Complex : Unique in its Class

Some say that fluttering away resources on a grand scale is the attribute of folly that leads to perdition. But such is an intriguing source of success for Israel.

A very particular confluence of advantageous circumstances propel her to a league beyond which similarly sized nations attain. Apparent squander on a disproportionate military budget has wrought a rich harvest of crucial intelligence data that can then be turned over to civilian use for monetization.. Real time analysis of nefarious human activity can’t be replicated. Israeli field intelligence operatives are able to chronicle and zoom into very specific incidents for gleaning an insight into the behavior of a hostile population. Such data is extremely appealing to foreign government clients. Many of the controversial recipients associated with the Israeli NSO group of Pegasis software are chief amongst this client base. This dynamic comprises a major facet of what is known as the Israeli military intelligence industrial complex. This institution lays the groundwork from which the roots of the nation flourishes. It is the Israeli equivalent of the workings of the deep inner State.

Separate from the aspect of gathering pertinent human data, several classes of intelligence analysts graduate annually from the prestigious secretive 8200 military unit. Many of these individuals will go on to staff the high tech companies for which the ‘start-up nation’ is celebrated. In our generation such human capital is worth more than its weight in gold. Cyber security and its related industries form the hallmarks of the digital economy. The theme of utilizing citizen potential really goes back to the years immediately following the founding of the Jewish State. Unlike its Arab neighbors Israel wasn’t ‘blessed’ with an abundance of oil. Thus they had to squeeze minds for brain power. Hence an acute indicator of economic distress in Israel is a brain drain. The government endeavors to prevent this from happening by financially incentivising the brightest minds to remain in Israel. However the situation is not so clear cut. There is a benefit to having gifted citizens spend some time abroad in areas like Silicon Valley and to be educated in esteemed institutions such as MIT and Stanford. These places provide experience and education beyond which is to be found in Israel. Upon returning home such citizens are able to contribute all the more to the Nation’s economy.

Another derivative of human capital is based on the nature of Israel essentially being a non-homogenous immigrant country. Peoples of almost every nation have migrated there, bringing with them linguistic skills and a knowledge of differing cultures which is indelible for gathering intelligence. Overall we can observe that Israel’s ostensible lack of social cohesion actually comprises the basis from which many manner of international threats can be surmounted. We see this playing out with strategically placed espionage from the days of agents like Eli Cohen being sent to Syria, to assassinations on the streets of Tehran in our own time.

by
Rubin Rothler. LL B, LL M

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