The Weapon Wizards

by Newt Gingrich

The Weapon Wizards
The Weapon Wizards :
Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich

USA – -( I seldom write about books, but after reading The Weapon Wizards: How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower, I was so impressed that I wanted to share it with you.

Written by two veteran defense reporters, the newly released book provides remarkable insight into Israeli weapons development.

It is thoughtful and provocative, and a book that I encourage every decision-maker in America to read – including every member of Congress.

The authors, Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot, have exceptional knowledge of – and contacts within – the Israeli defense establishment. Throughout the book, they thoroughly discuss how Israel uses innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, and the application of technology to solve problems. Their descriptions will inspire you to think differently about your own business and career.

I suspect the book will also rightly cause some to rethink how innovation occurs in American national security. It personally left me convinced that we could innovate a lot faster and a lot cheaper than we currently do today. That’s because part of the problem in our national security system is structural, but part is cultural.

The American defense establishment is too expensive, slow, hierarchical, and concerned about the possibility of failure. Real innovation requires tolerance for failure – and a willingness to have smart subordinates be insubordinate in the pursuit of real breakthroughs.

The story of Israeli survival from its earliest days is a narrative about facing overwhelming odds and having to continuously innovate. Failure to innovate during the 1948 War of Independence would have led to Israel’s downfall. Coming in the shadow of the Holocaust, in which the Nazis had killed more than six million Jews, every Israeli understood that defeat and annihilation were possible. The almost unimaginable pressure of taking on six countries with regular armies while inventing the Israeli Army forced perpetual improvisation and new ideas.

The budding country’s founding prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, established the principle that Israel must develop its mental strength even more than its physical strength. He understood and preached that Israel had to maintain a qualitative edge to overcome the numerical advantage of its enemies.

This led to a military doctrine of investing heavily in human talent and encouraging that talent to constantly push for change and new achievement.

It was through this constant investment in education, cultivation of innovation and entrepreneurship, and willingness to risk failure to pursue breakthroughs that Israel gained enormous military capabilities. And, as Dan Senor and Saul Singer described it in their book, Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle, the aggressive success-seeking doctrine also created enormous economic growth opportunities.

Today, the number of scientific, technological, and engineering education programs sponsored by the Israeli military is astounding. The number of specialized units using this knowledge is equally impressive. After these well-educated, brilliant soldier-innovators serve in the military, most go into the private sector, where they help build the world class, high-tech industries that have made Israel a remarkable world player, despite being a country of a little more than eight million people.

So, innovation is ultimately about human beings. The best example of this principle in The Weapon Wizards is the involvement of people with autism in the intelligence community. It is so amazing, I want to share a passage with you:

“Gathering the intelligence is only half the job. The other half is analyzing the imagery. For that, the IDF created a subunit of highly qualified soldiers who have remarkable visual and analytical capabilities. The common denominator among its members is just as remarkable: they all have autism. The idea to recruit soldiers with autism came from Tamir Pardo, who until 2016 served as director of the Mossad, Israel’s spy agency. He reached out to an Israeli NGO that specializes in integrating autistic youth into the workforce. ‘There has to be a way to utilize their capabilities for the benefit of Israel’s intelligence community,’ Pardo said at the time.

“The ‘special’ soldiers were sent to a modified training course adapted for people with autism. In the beginning, the IDF was hesitant. While these are high-functioning autists, bringing them into a military unit still brought a risk. After a few months, though, the project’s success exceeded even some of the more optimistic expectations. The soldiers specialize in identifying changes to terrain. If a bush moves a few feet or a building is slightly enlarged, they will pick up on it. To the average eye, these topographic changes might seem natural and be missed. But for 9900 they could mean that a rocket launcher or an arms cache is present but hidden.

“This way of operating is unique. Most countries would automatically exempt autists from military service and would certainly not create a special training program for them. In Israel, though, this might have been expected. Autistic soldiers have unique capabilities, and Israel has limited resources.”

The rest of The Weapon Wizards is equally fascinating.

It is a truly remarkable story of innovation, decentralization, and a culture that recognizes that survival is at stake. Every American who cares about national security or innovation should read it.

Your Friend,

Treason by Newt Gingrich
Treason by Newt Gingrich :

P.S. Autographed copies of Callista's new children's book, Hail to the Chief, and my new political thriller, Treason are now available

About Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich is well-known as the architect of the “Contract with America” that led the Republican Party to victory in 1994 by capturing the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in forty years. After he was elected Speaker, he disrupted the status quo by moving power out of Washington and back to the American people.

Gingrich Productions is a performance and production company featuring the work of Newt Gingrich and Callista Gingrich. Visit :

  • 31 thoughts on “The Weapon Wizards

    1. Dear Gil, My quote was repeated from Moslems themselves. They love death, while we love life. They(moslems) said it. I just repeated it. I have a qur`an right beside me, and my Bible. What would you like to know ?

    2. I went to Israel on a Holy Land tour just before the 6 Day War many years ago. Quite a Revelation. The country is strikingly utterly beuuuutiful as promised to be after Israel was promised to return after all those lost years. The occupying arabs never did any thing for it all those centuries and is was a barren desert because of that philosophy. Since then after the rebirth of Israel, it has bloomed and blossomed on a fantastic scale. Their people have invented and innovated to the n-th degree against overwhelming odds – quite a motivator when your survival depends on it. Or worse.
      Also in the 1980s, shot a model A Uzi with the wood stock on rock and roll and it was more accurate than I am by far. Same for big brother Galil – a refined AK.
      I remember putting my right hand to the Wailing Wall -a moving humbling experience. Millions and millions Before me. And billions after to Come. And watched a bar mitzvah ceremony there. And a group of IDF soldiers toting UZIs. And ready to go in an instant. On relaxed high alert. And all women.
      And my wife could care less about guns and bullets and freedom. Becuz it’s just free….
      Over there, she could NOT survive with her non chalant don’t think about it attitude. Ignorance is bliss for some.
      But looking back then, wish I could have brought one of those Tuff Enuff soldiers back home.

    3. @Gil the troll who easily blasphemes that which he obviously knows nothing about. God can help fix ineptness such as you portray but even He can’t fix contented stupidity. This country was founded upon JudeoChristian beliefs and even if you hate the fact of God you can’t intelligently deny so why just go around and blaspheme that which this country overwhelmingly was founded upon. I get that many have left the fold of faith to wander in the wilderness of liberalism but you just belittle yourself to any sound citizen especially on these sights. I have read your obviously antagonistic comments and we all know who you are and cute you sir are not. Just sayin and glad my right to do so is still in force, thanks to people like old vet and wild bill and many other great Liberty loving patriots. I am not saying we are perfect because ther is only One who is but I am saying grace works in those who believes and know they need it. Yes, I thank God over and over for Ammoland and this great country. We need help from the Almighty and I pray for us all. Even you Gil.

      1. If God gives strength and fecundity those He believes are the truly faithful then He must be a Muslim.

        No the U.S. was founded on “Judeo-Christian values” since it’s a contradiction in terms. Individual freedoms and rights can’t be found in the Bible unlike slavery.

        1. Gil’s argument is untrue because he uses slavery, exclusively, from the old testament (the Judeo part) to support his argument, while ignoring Christ’s example of mercy, exclusively from the new testament (the Christian part.
          As to the “…strength and fecundity…” argument, we are talking about ideas. So your strength for fecundity, while typically moslem is irrelevant, and not even a mediocre attempt to change the argument. By the way how can you first not believe in God, then say that God is a moslem. I think that Gil would desperate to win an argument about any subject and say anything to win, no matter what he has written in the past.

          1. Or maybe God’s a Rastafarian and too high and lethargic to help anyone else. Likewise you show the lack of moral ability off Conservative Christians who couldn’t imagine being decent until it’s found in the Bible (maybe that why Conservatives have trouble with seeing some forms of sexual activity as rape).

            1. Maybe Gil is too high and lethargic to focus on one issue or put a thought in writing in a logical way. Is 9 May the official Marijuana Day down at the Violence Policy Center?

          2. How do you what religion God practises if He exists? If one of the four God-based religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, CoLDS) is right that proves the other three are wrong.

            1. Gil, You have to have a personal relationship with God. That other stuff matters not.

            2. Gil, had I been attempting to win a human debate, I might have used sarcasm. I was not. I was… delivering God’s invitation to you. It remains open.

            3. Gil falls into the man made trap of religion making God. Actually God is God without religion. Every religion (other than the religion of Atheism and yes it is a religion) honors the only God in their own way with their own beliefs. In effect, all religions are honoring the same God. Most have interjected their own man-made rules and instructions into their religions but the bottom line is that they are honoring God. My basis for calling Atheism a religion is that religion is a belief in something. Scientology and Raelism are 2 examples. Atheists believe that there is no God. Our Government and courts have not yet dealt with this matter of Atheist religion and therefore have violated the constitution by endorsing the religion of Atheism over all other religions. The Government has supported the Atheists rights not to have God openly displayed in their lives while denying others their rights to have God openly displayed in their lives. This will make for an interesting debate in the Supreme Court.

            4. And Atheism is a self created mental euphoria for those who want to believe that all life begins and ends right here on Mother Earth. There is clearly a difference between myself and an Atheist though. That is that I am not offended by an Atheist, as that is clearly their choice, but don’t interfere with my choices to pray in public, to express my faith in a public forum (such as praying as a group prior to the start of a sporting event) or any other form of interference that they create due to their non belief or personal hate for the belief in God in any form.

            5. God gave nothing. There’s northing modern in the Bible. Rather it reflects the view of people 2,000 to 3,000 years ago. Then again who gave? Yahweh, Jehovah or Allah?

            6. It may help answering your question by examining who was the messenger. Islam,for example.Muhammad was allah’s messenger.Allah approves of murder,rape,child molestation,beastiality,owning slaves,and calls for the death of those who refuse to convert and those who leave islam. Neither Christianity,nor Judaism call for or allow those things. Why ? Because God created life, God is life, Islam is anti-life, and anti God. The moslem will tell you ” You(us) love life, we(moslems) love death ” I put that in quotes, because it is a quote. Hope that helps. No sarcasm intended.

          1. @Gil, maybe that man did walk on water. No one of the same era says that he did not. Unaided water walking… a thing that science can not yet do. And it cost them a lot less than going to the moon. When ever a good idea comes into the human mind, it is because God chipped in.

            1. Really? Trying to lionize a cheap magician’s trick? Conservatives – hate progress yet try to take credit for it when it’s shown to be beneficial for society.

            2. @Gil, “cheap magician’s trick” is it? I don’t think that they had the technology in those days. But even if they did figuring out how to do it would be an example of God chipping in.

          2. When scientists studied the area where the water walking occurred, they found that you could cross by foot at low tide, as it was only a few inches deep. Someone watching would naturally assume you were walking on water. But regardless, you or I will be called trolls, as that seems to be how relevance is dismissed by the haters here.

    4. As usual, Mr. Gingrich presents a compelling and informative article. Perhaps, there are lessons to be learned from
      those who continually and successfully work with their backs against the wall; using resources unseen by the larger and more powerful. Almost comparable to David and Goliath.

      1. @tuneaby, The David & Goliath analogy has not only been appropriate for Israel for their piece of geography, but also for them from around the globe. If they are not being physically attacked in Israel, then their trade goods are constantly boycotted for some of the most absurd reasons. Furthermore, we have those here in the U.S. who ignorantly claim that we are pouring our tax dollars into Israel without understanding the technical trade offs that occur between us.

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