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Former Aman Chief Offers Realism on Threats to Israel

Former IDF intelligence chief Amos Yadlin has discounted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scare tactics and argues that in terms of conventional threats, Israel’s situation has never been better, reports Ben Caspit.
Major-General Amos Yadlin, Israel's chief of military intelligence, speaks at the annual Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) conference in Tel Aviv December 15, 2009. Israel is parlaying civilian technological advances into a cyberwarfare capability against its enemies, Yadlin, a senior Israeli general, said on Tuesday in a rare public disclosure about the secret programme. REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen (ISRAEL - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS SCI TECH) - RTXRVGO
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Major General (res.) Amos Yadlin had served as head of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate (Aman) until two years ago. In Israel, the head of Aman is viewed as the country’s “national evaluator,” the man who heads the Subcommittee for Intelligence and Secret Services, a forum in which the Shin Bet and Mossad chiefs also participate, together with the prime minister’s military secretary. At the end of the day, Israel’s national intelligence assessment is in the hands of Aman, the organization that dominates the lion's share of Israel’s first-rate and extremely experienced intelligence community. The role of Aman chief is Israel’s most sensitive, most responsible and most explosive position in the country.

Yadlin is a cautious and reserved man, an outstanding air force pilot who participated in the bombing of the Iraqi reactor. He was born to a political family (his father, Aharon Yadlin, was education minister). He nurtures gentlemanly manners and European breeding in the heart of the rough-and-tumble Middle East. He is partner to some of the incisive criticism brought against Israel’s captains by his colleagues, former Mossad head Meir Dagan and former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin, but he is careful to express his criticism with the utmost discretion and not air it in the public domain.

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