IDF Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, spoke on Wednesday at the NATO Conference in Brussels, during a special plenary for the chiefs of staff of the armies of Mediterranean countries.
During his speech Ashkenazi addressed the change in the battlefield as he has seen it during his term as Chief of Staff, which is scheduled to conclude in several weeks.
“Radical regimes and terrorist organizations brought into the battlefield weapons with both high and low technological qualities, cynical use of civilians as human shields, use of global systems of disinformation and more,” said Ashkenazi. “All these have created a significant change on the battlefield.”
Ashkenazi added that “NATO is facing the same challenges in Afghanistan and the Allied Forces are forced to deal with complex strategic, tactical, and logistical issues in different areas.” He noted that he appreciates the work of NATO “which leads more than forty countries in fighting these threats. These joint efforts ensure that the extremists who want to ruin our lives will never be able to do so. If we are to eradicate this phenomenon significantly, we must stand directly against those challenges and overcome the legal, operational and intelligence challenges. We must take advantage of all the means to prevent the spread of non-conventional weapons.”
As this is the last gathering of chiefs of staff that Ashkenazi will participate in, he pointed out that he is “sure that those who come after me will receive a warm welcome from you just like the one I got.” Ashkenazi also said that “I was honored, as I'm sure are those sitting around me, to have lead for many years brave soldiers and officers, and unfortunately, also heroes who fall as they defend our countries.”
Ashkenazi departed on Tuesday for the two day conference of the Chiefs of Defense of NATO member countries, where he is conducting work meetings with his counterparts from around the world. As part of the Conference a ceremonial dinner will be held in the home of the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, where he will bid a farewell to Ashkenazi.