Israel’s Defense Policies – “centrality of security”
Acute threats by Arab states led Israel to the institutionalization of the “centrality of security” concept, an approach that was strengthened by arms embargoes and broken agreements among foreign suppliers.
Hence, Israel’s policymakers encouraged a rapid expansion of the state-owned arms industries and their involvement in production of state-of-the-art weapon systems.
Over the years Israel realized that financial and technological constraints made self-sufficiency in arms supply impossible.
This recognition led to a dual-policy approach towards defense procurement. While the government continued to pursue every opportunity to buy weapons abroad, it also invested heavily in establishing a sophisticated defense industry.
It was thought that the defense industry would have the ability to tailor weapons and develop new ones not available elsewhere by creating advanced, defense-oriented research and development facilities. Such an industry would also be a source of employment, urban development, and export revenue. Most important, by reducing the risk of future arms embargoes, Israel would be able to maintain better diplomatic and political latitude.
Independent research, development, and manufacturing helped Israel reduce its reliance on foreign supply sources.
A comprehensive knowledge base was set up in universities and government laboratories through global networking and applying practices such as reverse engineering, industrial espionage, and smuggling specialists and equipment in covert operations.