Sean Rayment

Sean Rayment served as a Captain in the Parachute Regiment in the late 1980s. As a defence correspondent, he has reported on wars in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf and Africa

The next stage of Israel’s war will be even deadlier

On Friday a four-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas began, as the first hostages taken by Hamas were released by the terrorist group. Under the deal struck, 50 Israeli women and children will be released in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners, who will be freed over the four-day period. Additionally, the Israeli government said the

Can Israel go on like this?

All generals plan military operations based on the ten principles of war – rules if you like, which if adhered to will provide the best chance of success. The most important of these principles is the selection and maintenance of an aim. Even if every Hamas terrorist in Gaza is killed or captured, it is questionable

It’s time Israel stopped playing by Hamas’s rules in Gaza

For Israel, the war in Gaza is a zero sum game. Israel must win and Hamas must lose. Nothing but total victory over Hamas after the appalling terrorist attacks which left over 1,400 Israelis dead, hundreds injured and over 200 civilians taken hostage, will suffice. But how is victory going to be defined and what

For Israel, the real battle is only just beginning

Israel must steel itself over the coming weeks for more national trauma as the fighting against Hamas in Gaza intensifies and troops losses begin to mount. The country’s armed forces have already paid a high price, with 348 deaths since October 7th. To give some context, this is almost twice as high as the number

To destroy Hamas, Israel must continue bombing Gaza

Israel has no other choice but to carry on bombing Gaza if it wants to destroy Hamas. Its campaign of relentless air strikes and long range artillery barrages has so far been effective at eroding Hamas’ military capability and limiting the Islamist group’s capacity to kill more Israelis. Hamas has been unable to respond in

The danger of Hamas drone attacks

The rise of the combat drone is changing the nature of the battlefield, as Israel has already found to its cost. The 7 October atrocity began when dozens of cheap commercial drones equipped with explosives paralysed the Israeli army’s communications and camera systems surrounding the Gaza border.  It was the first crucial phase in an

An Israeli ceasefire would be a major strategic error

It would be a major strategic error for Israel to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza, as some are calling for now. Any let up in air and ground attacks would simply allow Hamas to regroup, rearm and replenish its depleted ranks with new recruits ready and willing to kill women, children and babies the

Will Israel’s military strategy work against Hamas?

Israeli soldiers are the masters of street fighting. It is unlikely that there has been a single month in the 75-year history of the Israeli state in which members of its security forces have not been involved in some form of urban warfare. The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) have fought on the streets of Gaza and

What is Israel’s army capable of?

17 min listen

James Heale speaks to foreign policy expert Sophia Gaston and defence correspondent Sean Rayment about what could be Israel’s next steps, the strength of their military and how much political backing they have worldwide. 

Is Israel ready for a full-scale invasion of Gaza? 

Israel is likely to need every one of the 300,000 soldiers it is amassing on the border with Gaza if, as now seems likely, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders a full-scale invasion of the Palestinian enclave. The first signs of an imminent attack are so-called shaping operations – punitive strikes in a bid to test

The death of tanks is greatly exaggerated

Is the tank still the ‘king of the battlefield’? The sight of burnt out Russian vehicles littering the highways outside of Kyiv has led some to question their effectiveness in modern-day warfare. But don’t be deceived: the death of the tank has been greatly exaggerated. There is a reason, after all, why Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is pleading

Putin’s depleted army is running out of time

There is a useful military adage often used by generals in times of war: no plan survives contact with the enemy. Vladimir Putin’s plan, it now appears, didn’t even survive contact with his own troops. Russia’s leader has combined a major strategic miscalculation with tactical stupidity on a scale unprecedented in recent times. Four weeks