Gabon the Gabonese Republic, is a country on the west coast of Central Africa. Located on the equator, Gabon is bordered by Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo on the east and south, the Gulf of Guinea to the west, it has an area of nearly 270,000 square kilometres and its population is estimated at 2 million people. Its capital and largest city is Libreville. Since its independence from France in 1960, the sovereign state of Gabon has had three presidents. In the early 1990s, Gabon introduced a multi-party system and a new democratic constitution that allowed for a more transparent electoral process and reformed many governmental institutions. Abundant petroleum and foreign private investment have helped make Gabon one of the most prosperous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the 7th highest HDI and the fourth highest GDP per capita in the region. GDP grew by more than 6% per year from 2010 to 2012. However, because of inequality in income distribution, a significant proportion of the population remains poor.
Gabon's name originates from gabão, Portuguese for "cloak", the shape of the estuary of the Komo River by Libreville. The earliest inhabitants of the area were Pygmy peoples, they were replaced and absorbed by Bantu tribes as they migrated. In the 15th century, the first Europeans arrived. By the 18th century, a Myeni speaking kingdom known as Orungu formed in Gabon. On February 10, 1722, Bartholomew Roberts, a Welsh pirate known as Black Bart, died at sea off Cape Lopez, he raided ships off the Americas and West Africa from 1719 to 1722. French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza led his first mission to the Gabon-Congo area in 1875, he founded the town of Franceville, was colonial governor. Several Bantu groups lived in the area, now Gabon when France occupied it in 1885. In 1910, Gabon became one of the four territories of French Equatorial Africa, a federation that survived until 1959. In World War II, the Allies invaded Gabon in order to overthrow the pro-Vichy France colonial administration.
The territories of French Equatorial Africa became independent on August 17, 1960. The first president of Gabon, elected in 1961, was Léon M'ba, with Omar Bongo Ondimba as his vice president. After M'ba's accession to power, the press was suppressed, political demonstrations banned, freedom of expression curtailed, other political parties excluded from power, the Constitution changed along French lines to vest power in the Presidency, a post that M'ba assumed himself. However, when M'ba dissolved the National Assembly in January 1964 to institute one-party rule, an army coup sought to oust him from power and restore parliamentary democracy. French paratroopers flew in within 24 hours to restore M'ba to power. After a few days of fighting, the coup ended and the opposition was imprisoned, despite widespread protests and riots. French soldiers still remain in the Camp de Gaulle on the outskirts of Gabon's capital to this day; when M'Ba died in 1967, Bongo replaced him as president. In March 1968, Bongo declared Gabon a one-party state by dissolving the BDG and establishing a new party—the Parti Democratique Gabonais.
He invited all Gabonese, regardless of previous political affiliation. Bongo sought to forge a single national movement in support of the government's development policies, using the PDG as a tool to submerge the regional and tribal rivalries that had divided Gabonese politics in the past. Bongo was elected President in February 1975. Bongo was November 1986 to 7-year terms. In early 1990 economic discontent and a desire for political liberalization provoked violent demonstrations and strikes by students and workers. In response to grievances by workers, Bongo negotiated with them on a sector-by-sector basis, making significant wage concessions. In addition, he promised to open up the PDG and to organize a national political conference in March–April 1990 to discuss Gabon's future political system; the PDG and 74 political organizations attended the conference. Participants divided into two loose coalitions, the ruling PDG and its allies, the United Front of Opposition Associations and Parties, consisting of the breakaway Morena Fundamental and the Gabonese Progress Party.
The April 1990 conference approved sweeping political reforms, including creation of a national Senate, decentralization of the budgetary process, freedom of assembly and press, cancellation of an exit visa requirement. In an attempt to guide the political system's transformation to multiparty democracy, Bongo resigned as PDG chairman and created a transitional government headed by a new Prime Minister, Casimir Oye-Mba; the Gabonese Social Democratic Grouping, as the resulting government was called, was smaller than the previous government and included representatives from several opposition parties in its cabinet. The RSDG drafted a provisional constitution in May 1990 that provided a basic bill of rights and an independent judiciary but retained strong executive powers for the president. After further review by a constitutional committee and the National Assembly, this document came into force in March 1991. Opposition to the PDG continued after the April 1990 conference, in September 1990, two coup d'état attempts were uncovered and aborted.
Despite anti-government demonstrations after the untimely death of an opposition leader, the first multiparty National Assembly elections in almo
An assault rifle is a selective-fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles were first used during World War II. Though Western nations were slow to accept the assault rifle concept, by the end of the 20th century they had become the standard weapon in most of the world's armies, replacing full-powered rifles and sub-machine guns in most roles. Examples include AK-47 and the M16 rifle; the term assault rifle is attributed to Adolf Hitler, who for propaganda purposes used the German word "Sturmgewehr", as the new name for the MP43, subsequently known as the Sturmgewehr 44 or StG 44. However, other sources dispute that Hitler had much to do with coining the new name besides signing the production order; the StG 44 is considered the first selective fire military rifle to popularize the assault rifle concept. Today, the term assault rifle is used to define firearms sharing the same basic characteristics as the StG 44; the U. S. Army defines assault rifles as "short, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachine gun and rifle cartridges."
In a strict definition, a firearm must have at least the following characteristics to be considered an assault rifle: It must be capable of selective fire. It must have an intermediate-power cartridge: more power than a pistol but less than a standard rifle or battle rifle, such as the 7.92×33mm Kurz, the 7.62x39mm and the 5.56x45mm NATO. Its ammunition must be supplied from a detachable box magazine, it must have an effective range of at least 300 metres. Rifles that meet most of these criteria, but not all, are technically not assault rifles, despite being called such. For example: Select-fire M2 Carbines are not assault rifles. Select-fire rifles such as the FN FAL battle rifle are not assault rifles. Semi-automatic-only rifles like the Colt AR-15 are not assault rifles. Semi-automatic-only rifles with fixed magazines like the SKS are not assault rifles; the Germans were the first to pioneer the assault rifle concept, during World War II, based upon research that showed that most firefights happen within 400 meters and that contemporary rifles were over-powered for most small arms combat.
They would soon develop a select-fire intermediate powered rifle combining the firepower of a submachine gun with the range and accuracy of a rifle. The result was the Sturmgewehr 44, it fired the 7.92 × 33 mm Kurz. This new cartridge was developed by shortening the standard 7.92×57mm Mauser round and giving it a lighter 125-grain bullet, that limited range but allowed for more controllable automatic fire. A smaller lighter cartridge allowed soldiers to carry more ammunition "to support the higher consumption rate of automatic fire."The Sturmgewehr 44 features an inexpensive, easy-to-make, stamped steel design and a 30-round detachable box magazine. "This weapon was the prototype of all successful automatic rifles. Characteristically it had a straight stock with the barrel under the gas cylinder to reduce the turning moment of recoil of the rifle in the shoulder and thus help reduce the tendency of shots to climb in automatic fire; the barrel and overall length were shorter than a traditional rifle and it had a pistol grip to hold the weapon more securely in automatic fire.
The principle of this weapon—the reduction of muzzle impulse to get usable automatic fire within the actual ranges of combat—was the most important advance in small arms since the invention of smokeless powder." Like the Germans, the Soviets were influenced by experience showing that most combat engagements occur within 400 meters and that their soldiers were outgunned by armed German troops those armed with the Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifles. On July 15, 1943, a Sturmgewehr was demonstrated before the People's Commissariat of Arms of the USSR; the Soviets were so impressed with the Sturmgewehr, that they set about developing an intermediate caliber automatic rifle of their own, to replace the badly outdated Mosin–Nagant bolt-action rifles and PPSh-41 submachine guns that armed most of the Soviet Army. The Soviets soon developed the 7.62×39mm M43 cartridge, the semi-automatic SKS carbine and the RPD light machine gun. Shortly after World War II, the Soviets developed the AK-47 assault rifle, which would replace the SKS in Soviet service.
The AK-47 was finalized and entered widespread service in the Soviet army in the early 1950s. Its firepower, ease of use, low production costs, reliability were suited for the Red Army's new mobile warfare doctrines. In the 1960s, the Soviets introduced the RPK light machine gun, itself an AK-47 type weapon with a bi-pod, a stronger receiver, a longer, heavier barrel that would replace the RPD light machine gun; the AK-47 was supplied or sold to nations allied with the USSR, the blueprints were shared with several friendly nations. As a result, more AK-type weapons have been produced than all other assault rifles combined; as of 2004, "of the estimated 500 million firearms worldwide 100 million belong to the Kalashnikov family, three-quarters of which are AK-47s." The U. S. Army was influenced by combat experience with semi-automatic weapons such as the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine, which enjoyed a significant adv
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
The police are a constituted body of persons empowered by a state to enforce the law, to protect the lives and possessions of citizens, to prevent crime and civil disorder. Their powers include the legitimized use of force; the term is most associated with the police forces of a sovereign state that are authorized to exercise the police power of that state within a defined legal or territorial area of responsibility. Police forces are defined as being separate from the military and other organizations involved in the defense of the state against foreign aggressors. Police forces are public sector services, funded through taxes. Law enforcement is only part of policing activity. Policing has included an array of activities in different situations, but the predominant ones are concerned with the preservation of order. In some societies, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, these developed within the context of maintaining the class system and the protection of private property. Police forces have become ubiquitous in modern societies.
Their role can be controversial, as some are involved to varying degrees in corruption, police brutality and the enforcement of authoritarian rule. A police force may be referred to as a police department, police service, gendarmerie, crime prevention, protective services, law enforcement agency, civil guard or civic guard. Members may be referred to as police officers, sheriffs, rangers, peace officers or civic/civil guards. Ireland differs from other English-speaking countries by using the Irish language terms Garda and Gardaí, for both the national police force and its members; the word police is the most universal and similar terms can be seen in many non-English speaking countries. Numerous slang terms exist for the police. Many slang terms for police officers are centuries old with lost etymology. One of the oldest, "cop", has lost its slang connotations and become a common colloquial term used both by the public and police officers to refer to their profession. First attested in English in the early 15th century in a range of senses encompassing' policy.
This is derived from πόλις, "city". Law enforcement in ancient China was carried out by "prefects" for thousands of years since it developed in both the Chu and Jin kingdoms of the Spring and Autumn period. In Jin, dozens of prefects were spread across the state, each having limited authority and employment period, they were appointed by local magistrates, who reported to higher authorities such as governors, who in turn were appointed by the emperor, they oversaw the civil administration of their "prefecture", or jurisdiction. Under each prefect were "subprefects" who helped collectively with law enforcement in the area; some prefects were responsible for handling investigations, much like modern police detectives. Prefects could be women; the concept of the "prefecture system" spread to other cultures such as Japan. In ancient Greece, publicly owned slaves were used by magistrates as police. In Athens, a group of 300 Scythian slaves was used to guard public meetings to keep order and for crowd control, assisted with dealing with criminals, handling prisoners, making arrests.
Other duties associated with modern policing, such as investigating crimes, were left to the citizens themselves. In the Roman empire, the army, rather than a dedicated police organization, provided security. Local watchmen were hired by cities to provide some extra security. Magistrates such as procurators fiscal and quaestors investigated crimes. There was no concept of public prosecution, so victims of crime or their families had to organize and manage the prosecution themselves. Under the reign of Augustus, when the capital had grown to one million inhabitants, 14 wards were created, their duties included capturing runaway slaves. The vigiles were supported by the Urban Cohorts who acted as a heavy-duty anti-riot force and the Praetorian Guard if necessary. In medieval Spain, Santa Hermandades, or "holy brotherhoods", peacekeeping associations of armed individuals, were a characteristic of municipal life in Castile; as medieval Spanish kings could not offer adequate protection, protective municipal leagues began to emerge in the twelfth century against banditry and other rural criminals, against the lawless nobility or to support one or another claimant to a crown.
These organizations became a long-standing fixture of Spain. The first recorded case of the formation of an hermandad occurred when the towns and the peasantry of the north united to police the pilgrim road to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, protect the pilgrims against robber knights. Throughout the Middle Ages such alliances were formed by combinations of towns to protect the roads connecting them, were extended to political purposes. Among the most powerful was the league of North Castilian and Basque ports, the Hermandad de las marismas: Toledo and Villarreal; as one of their first acts after end of the War of the Castilian Succession in 1479, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile established the centrally-organized and efficient Holy
Gabriel Léon M'ba was the first Prime Minister and President of Gabon. A member of the Fang ethnic group, M'ba was born into a privileged village family. After studying at a seminary, he held a number of small jobs before entering the colonial administration as a customs agent, his political activism in favor of black people worried the French administration, as a punishment for his activities, he was issued a prison sentence after committing a minor crime that would have resulted in a small fine. In 1924, the administration gave M'ba a second chance and selected him to head the canton in Estuaire Province. After being accused of complicity in the murder of a woman near Libreville, he was sentenced in 1931 to three years in prison and 10 years in exile. While in exile in Oubangui-Chari, he published works documenting the tribal customary law of the Fang people, he was employed by local administrators, received praise from his superiors for his work. He remained a persona non grata to Gabon until the French colonial administration allowed M'ba to return his native country in 1946.
In 1946, he began his political ascent, being appointed prime minister on 21 May 1957. He served as prime minister until 21 February 1961. In 1958, he directed an initiative to include Gabon in the Franco-African community further than before, he became president upon independence from France on 17 August 1960. Political nemesis Jean-Hilaire Aubame assumed the office of president through a coup d'état in February 1964, but order was restored days when the French intervened. M'ba was reelected in March 1967, but died of cancer in November 1967 and was succeeded by his vice president, Albert-Bernard Bongo. A member of the Fang ethnic tribe, M'ba was born on 9 February 1902 in Gabon, his father, a small business manager and village chief, once worked as the hairdresser to Franco-Italian explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza. His mother, Louise Bendome, was a seamstress. Both were among the first "evolved couples" in Libreville. M'ba's brother played an important role in the colonial hierarchy. In 1909, M'ba joined a seminary to receive his primary education.
From 1920, he was employed as a store manager, a lumberjack and trader before entering the French colonial administration as a customs agent. Despite his good job performance, M'ba's activism in helping black Gabonians for the Fangs, worried his superiors. In September 1922, M'ba wrote to Edmond Cadier, Lieutenant-Governor of Gabon: "If on the one hand, the fundamental duty of educating the Fangs is consistent with Gabon's evident economic and political interests, on the other side, growing in human dignity and the increase of their material well-being do stay, Mr. Governor, the first legitimization of the French authority on them." His remarks upset authorities, he suffered the consequences in December 1922, when he was sentenced to prison after having committed a minor crime of providing a colleague with falsified documents. In either 1924 or 1926, M'ba reconciled with colonial authorities and was chosen to succeed the deceased chef de canton of Libreville's Fang neighbourhood; as the leader of a group of young Libreville intellectuals, he ignored the advice of elder Fangs and gained a reputation as a strong and able-minded man.
He once wrote in a letter that he was "issioned to enforce public order and defend the general interest" and that he did "not accept that people transgress the orders received from the authority that I represent."M'ba did not have an idealist vision of his job. With his colleague Ambamamy, he forced labour on the residents of the canton for his personal use, to cover his large expenditures; the colonial administration was aware of the embezzlement. However, beginning in 1929, the colonial administration started to investigate his activities after they intercepted one of his letters to a Kouyaté, secretary for the Ligue des droits de l'homme, accused of being an ally of the Comintern. Despite this suspected Communist alliance, the French authorities did not oppose M'ba's appointment as head chief of the Estuaire Province by his colleagues. In those years, M'ba, a member of the Ligue, distanced himself from Roman Catholicism, but did not break with his faith, he instead became a follower of the Bwiti religious sect, which Fangs were receptive to.
He believed this would help revitalise a society which he felt had been damaged by the colonial administration. In 1931, the sect was accused of murdering a woman whose remains were discovered outside a market in Libreville. Accused of complicity though his involvement in the crime was not proven, M'ba was removed from power and sentenced to three years in prison and ten years of exile; this was for embezzlement of tax revenues and his abusive treatment of the local labour force. While exiled in the French territory of Oubangui-Chari, first in the towns of Bambari and Bria, he continued to exert influence among Fangs via correspondence with his compatriots in Libreville. Worried by the situation, Governor-General Antonetti ordered in 1934, at the end of his prison sentence, that M'ba be placed under surveillance. During his years in exile, he wrote about the customary rights of the Fang people in the "Essai de droit coutumier pahouin" and published it in Bulletin de la société des recherches congolaises in 1938.
This work became the main reference on Fang tribal customary law. By 1939, the native ex-chief remained a persona non grata to Gabon, as stated in
Adolphe Sylvestre Félix Éboué was a French Guianan-born colonial administrator and Free French leader. He was the first black French man appointed to a high post in the French colonies, when appointed as Governor of Guadeloupe in 1936; as governor of Chad during most of World War II, he helped build support for Charles de Gaulle's Free French in 1940, leading to broad electoral support for the Gaullists faction after the war. He supported educated Africans and placed more in the colonial administration, as well as supporting preservation of African culture, he was the first black person to have his ashes placed at the Pantheon in Paris after his death in 1944. Born in Cayenne, French Guiana, the grandson of slaves, Félix was the fourth of a family of five brothers, his father, Yves Urbain Éboué, was an orator, his mother, Marie Josephine Aurélie Leveillé, was a shop owner born in Roura. She raised her sons in the Guiana Créole tradition. Éboué won a scholarship to study at secondary school in Bordeaux.
Éboué was a keen footballer, captaining his school team when they travelled to games in both Belgium and England. He graduated in law from the École nationale de la France d'Outre-mer, one of the grandes écoles in Paris. Éboué served in colonial administration in Oubangui-Chari for twenty years, in Martinique. In 1936 he was appointed governor of Guadeloupe, the first man of black African descent to be appointed to such a senior post anywhere in the French colonies. Two years with conflict on the horizon, he was transferred to Chad, arriving in Fort Lamy on 4 January 1939, he was instrumental in developing Chadian support for the Free French in 1940. This gave Charles de Gaulle's faction control of the rest of French Equatorial Africa; as governor of the whole area between 1940 and 1944, Éboué acted to improve the status of Africans. He classified 200 educated Africans as "notable évolués" and reduced their taxes, as well as placing some Gabonese civil servants into positions of authority, he took an interest in the careers of individuals who would become significant in their own rights, including Jean-Hilaire Aubame and Jean Rémy Ayouné.
Although a Francophile who promoted the French language in Africa, Éboué advocated the preservation of traditional African institutions as well. This was included in his circular La nouvelle politique indigène, put out 8 November 1941. Éboué married Eugénie Tell. In 1946 one of their daughters, married Léopold Sédar Senghor, the poet and future president of independent Senegal. In 1922, Éboué was initiated as a freemason at "La France Équinoxiale" lodge in Cayenne. During his life he frequented, he is considered to be the first freemason to have joined the Resistance. Eugénie his wife was initiated at Droit Humain in Martinique and his daughter Ginette at Grande Loge Féminine de France.Éboué died in 1944 of a stroke while in Cairo. After cremation, his ashes were placed in the Panthéon in Paris, where he was the first black French man to be so honoured. Éboué was awarded an Officer of the Legion of Honour, decorated in 1941 with the Cross of the Liberation and was made a member of the Council of the Order of the Liberation.
In 1961, the Banque Centrale des États de l’Afrique Équatoriale et du Cameroun issued a 100-franc banknote featuring his portrait. The French colonies in Africa brought out a joint stamp issue in 1945 honouring his memory. Within France, a square, Place Félix-Éboué, in 12th arrondissement of Paris is named for him, as is the adjacent Paris Métro station Daumesnil Félix-Éboué. A primary school in Le Pecq offers bilingual English/French education. A small street near La Défense was named for him; the main airport of Cayenne, French Guyana, named after the comte de Rochambeau, was named in his honor in 2012. Gouverneur Général Félix Eboué, webAfriqa Detailed biography, in French Biography and photo
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal, are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force, navy, it is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel. The IDF is headed by its Chief of General Staff, the Ramatkal, subordinate to the Defense Minister of Israel. An order from Defense Minister David Ben-Gurion on 26 May 1948 set up the Israel Defense Forces as a conscript army formed out of the paramilitary group Haganah, incorporating the militant groups Irgun and Lehi; the IDF served as Israel's armed forces in all the country's major military operations—including the 1948 War of Independence, 1951–1956 Retribution operations, 1956 Sinai War, 1964–1967 War over Water, 1967 Six-Day War, 1967–1970 War of Attrition, 1968 Battle of Karameh, 1973 Operation Spring of Youth, 1973 Yom Kippur War, 1976 Operation Entebbe, 1978 Operation Litani, 1982 Lebanon War, 1982–2000 South Lebanon conflict, 1987–1993 First Intifada, 2000–2005 Second Intifada, 2002 Operation Defensive Shield, 2006 Lebanon War, 2008–2009 Operation Cast Lead, 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense, 2014 Operation Protective Edge.
According to GlobalSecurity.org, the number of wars and border conflicts in which the IDF has been involved in its short history makes it one of the most battle-trained armed forces in the world. While the IDF operated on three fronts—against Lebanon and Syria in the north and Iraq in the east, Egypt in the south—after the 1979 Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty, it has concentrated its activities in southern Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, including the First and the Second Intifada; the Israel Defense Forces is somewhat unique in its inclusion of mandatory conscription of women and its structure, which emphasizes close relations between the army and air force. Since its founding, the IDF has been designed to match Israel's unique security situation; the IDF is one of Israeli society's most prominent institutions, influencing the country's economy and political scene. In 1965, the Israel Defense Forces was awarded the Israel Prize for its contribution to education; the IDF uses several technologies developed in Israel, many of them made to match the IDF's needs, such as the Merkava main battle tank, Achzarit armoured personnel carrier, high tech weapons systems, the Iron Dome missile defense system, Trophy active protection system for vehicles, the Galil and Tavor assault rifles.
The Uzi submachine gun was invented in Israel and used by the IDF until December 2003, ending a service that began in 1954. Since 1967, the IDF has had close military relations with the United States, including development cooperation, such as on the F-15I jet, THEL laser defense system, the Arrow missile defense system; the Israel Defense Forces are believed to have had an operational nuclear weapons capability since 1967 possessing between 80 and 400 nuclear weapons, with delivery systems forming a nuclear triad, of plane launched-missiles, Jericho III intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine launched cruise missiles. The Israeli cabinet ratified the name "Israel Defense Forces", Tzva HaHagana LeYisra'el "army for the defense of Israel," on 26 May 1948; the other main contender was Tzva Yisra'el. The name was chosen because it conveyed the idea that the army's role was defense, because it incorporated the name Haganah, the pre-state defensive organization upon which the new army was based.
Among the primary opponents of the name were Minister Haim-Moshe Shapira and the Hatzohar party, both in favor of Tzva Yisra'el. The IDF traces its roots to Jewish paramilitary organizations in the New Yishuv, starting with the Second Aliyah; the first such organization was Bar-Giora, founded in September 1907. Bar-Giora was transformed into Hashomer in April 1909, which operated until the British Mandate of Palestine came into being in 1920. Hashomer was an elitist organization with narrow scope, was created to protect against criminal gangs seeking to steal property; the Zion Mule Corps and the Jewish Legion, both part of the British Army of World War I, would further bolster the Yishuv with military experience and manpower, forming the basis for paramilitary forces. After the 1920 Palestine riots against Jews in April 1920, the Yishuv leadership realised the need for a nationwide underground defense organization, the Haganah was founded in June of the same year; the Haganah became a full-scale defense force after the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine with an organized structure, consisting of three main units—the Field Corps, Guard Corps, the Palmach.
During World War II, the Yishuv participated in the British war effort, culminating in the formation of the Jewish Brigade. These would form the backbone of the Israel Defense Forces, provide it with its initial manpower and doctrine. Following Israel's Declaration of Independence, Prime Minister and Defense Minister David Ben-Gurion issued an order for the formation of the Israel Defense Forces on 26 May 1948. Although Ben-Gurion had no legal authority to issue such an order, the order was made legal by the cabinet on 31 May; the same order called for the disbandment of all other Jewish armed forces. The two other Jewish underground organizations and Lehi, agreed to join the IDF if they would be able to form independent units and agreed not to make independent arms purchase