Image credit: Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders/U.S. Army via DVIDS

January 26, 2023

The Significance of Juniper Oak

By Jonathan Lord

On Monday, the United States and Israel launched Juniper Oak 23, a multi-day series of bilateral military exercises. US-Israel military exercises aren’t unusual in the region, but this one stands out. This exercise’s size, scope, and complexity set it apart from any that came before. It stands to be a demonstration of two of the world’s most advanced militaries working together in ways most cannot.

Military capabilities analysts apply some basic litmus tests when evaluating a military force’s level of competence. The first is, “can this force perform combined arms maneuver?” For instance, can infantry coordinate with armor and artillery on the battlefield? It seems basic, but we’ve seen supposedly credible militaries fail this basic test, such as Russia has in Ukraine.

If successful, this joint exercise will have important foreign policy implications for both the United States and Israel, sending messages to friends, foes, and those that remain somewhere in between.

Another litmus test (and of course, there are others in between, but I hope, dear reader, you’ll forgive me for simplifying this for our purposes here) is “jointness.” Can land forces (army) coordinate and receive air support (air force) or seaborne fires (navy) in battle? How well can separate and distinct military services operate together? The more services and components there are working together, the more sophisticated and capable a military is. Yet another test of military capability is “interoperability.”

Read the full article from Inkstick.

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