The BBC reports that Colonel Richard Kemp, a top British military officer, noted that the ‘UK combat doctrine has been Influenced by IDF.’ The BBC report stated:
Col. Kemp said the advice he received from the Israeli armed forces on how to tackle Afghan suicide bombers had been invaluable, and formed the basis of official army guidelines used by soldiers on the ground there.
He added that UK soldiers did not have to deal with the same amount of criticism from the international community as does the IDF.
“When we go into battle we do not get the same knee-jerk, almost Pavlovian response from many, many elements of the international media and international groups, humanitarian groups and other international groups such as the United Nations which should know better… of utter automatic condemnation. We don’t have to put up with that.”
Col. Kemp, previously cited on the IRIS blog here and here, was reported to have spoken the above comments cited by the BBC while speaking out yet again for the Israel Defense Forces, this time at a UK Zionist Federation dinner on Sunday in London according to this report from The Jerusalem Post:
“I was a professional soldier for 30 years in the British army and it was my honor and privilege to work alongside the IDF on a number of occasions during that time,” he said.
“I found in my time that the British forces and British government had no stronger ally than Israel and the IDF.”
The former commander… said he wrote the British army’s doctrine on suicide bombing based on help he received from an Israeli army expert on the issue.
“I went to Afghanistan to take over the British forces in 2003 and it was the first time I found myself in a situation where we faced suicide bomb attacks.
“I found that no one in the British forces had worked out a means to try to tackle suicide bomb attacks and how to train our soldiers to handle that situation,” Kemp said.
“…I spoke to a friend at the Israeli embassy and asked if he could help. I thought he would have me meet the defense attache’ at the embassy, but within days a brigadier-general, the top expert the IDF had on suicide bombing, came from his base in the Golan to London specifically to spend about four hours giving me a full briefing on the subject.
“As a result I devised a policy that subsequently became the British forces’ doctrine for dealing with suicide bombing,” he said…
The colonel said that some of the challenges British forces face in Iraq and Afghanistan are comparable to the challenges Israel faces in Gaza and Lebanon…
Comparing the predicament of British forces currently fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan to what Israel is up against, he said, “They fight among the people, they use their own population as weapons of war and that was certainly true of Hamas in the Gaza conflict. They deliberately sacrificed their own people, deliberately did their best to lure Israeli forces to attack their civilian population, and the same thing happens in Afghanistan.
“Taliban forces use the same tactics of trying to draw our forces onto their civilian population that they pretend to protect.”
The colonel repeated his opinion that the IDF went to considerable lengths to protect human life during Operation Cast Lead.
During the Gaza conflict Kemp said… that the IDF was going out of its way to save Palestinian lives, while Hamas were deliberately using civilians as human shields. He also said the IDF was a world leader in humane warfare that seeks to protect civilian lives as much as possible.
“Israeli forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare,” Kemp told the UN Human Rights Council last year.