JERUSALEM (JTA) — Defeating global terrorism is our main objective, the Israel Defense Forces chief of staff told a NATO defense conference.
Lt. Gen Gabi Ashkenazi discussed the new challenges to global security in the 21st century, singling out global terrorism as the primary threat, during his address Thursday to the NATO Chiefs of Defense Conference in Brussels.
"At this time, our main objective is to defeat global terrorism and bring stability and tranquility to the world’s population," he said. "This is definitely a complex mission" since the "terrorists have financial support, resources and equipment from terror collaborators" and they are supported by radical states that sponsor terrorism.
Ashkenazi said that Israel is interested in a deeper security-related relationship and partnerships with the NATO alliance as a whole and with individual members.
He also discussed the terrorists’ military aspirations and their desires for nuclear weapons capabilities. "Our enemies, the terrorists, have become more and more sophisticated and are keen to use all measures at their disposal to fulfill their despicable goals. They are characterized by threats which know no borders, which target the home front and lack any moral restraints. The enemy is no longer in uniform. He has become elusive, harder to detect.
"The battleground has widened to engulf the field of ideas. Therefore the terrorists are determined never to surrender, and are ready to kill and be killed," he said.
Ashkenazi met with his American counterpart, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, as well as his counterparts from other countries, including Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, Spain, France and Poland. He also met with senior NATO and E.U. officials.