Israel seems to be revealing lots of details about its plans to strike Iran, but this impression is misleading and possibly deceptive. The army is mostly leaking general information about the outline of the attack, without supplying any operational specifics.
Moreover, Israel’s moves, intentions, and strike plans could still change. Any information provided now may be less relevant later or could be part of the IDF’s psychological warfare. Overall, the leaked info has limited intelligence value, while possibly disrupting or complicating Iran’s defensive plans and calculations.
And so, the real secrets are well protected for now. Flight paths, strike approaches, exact munitions to be used, and the timeline and target date will remain highly classified. The same is true for ground and naval operations that will be a part of the attack, or quiet cooperation deals with regional partners.
However, if and when Israel decides to launch a grand assault, it will face a critical challenge: Keeping the massive pre-strike deployment secret.
Launching a large-scale attack in Iran will require dramatic steps as the army enters strike mode, military journalist Yoav Limor said in a detailed report. This includes mobilizing numerous fighter jets without tipping Iran off, fully elevating the readiness of Israel’s air defenses, and placing ground forces on the highest war alert.
Long shift to pre-strike status
Shifting Israel’s entire military machine to pre-strike status will take long days and must be done secretly. The IDF has been instructed to enter this mode in the past, the report revealed, noting that the army was ordered to be ready within 16 days. Keeping a secret for this long clearly poses serious problems.
So what can Israel do to hide its preparations to strike? One way is to produce an intensive training routine that makes it harder to identify the precise moment when practice turns into real battlefield action.
Notably, the Air Force has already announced that it will be intensifying its training flights and drills. Recent reports say that we should expect lots of noise in the sky in the coming months as the IDF mobilizes numerous aircraft on a regular basis, including a large-scale strike simulation in spring 2022.
Similarly, the army has been holding multiple exercises on all fronts, with even more planned for next year. This requires Israel’s foes to be on constant vigilance, and as time passes it will become more difficult to maintain a high level of alert and spot the shift to actual war footing.
Israel can use various other maneuvers to trick the Iranians, as Tehran invests large resources to monitor the IDF’s statements and moves. Meanwhile, more information will be leaked while the real secrets are kept far from the public eye, in the army’s most secure vaults.