New challenges, new realities: Israel’s national security strategy
In Israel Facing a New Middle East, Itamar Rabinovich and Itai Brun discuss the evolution of Israel's national security, military doctrine, and policies in light of today's challenges and changes in the Middle East. With an emphasis on two key periods—the years 1979 to 1982 (and their subsequent impact) and the current Middle Eastern turmoil—they review national security strategy, the cabinet level’s national security policy, and the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) military strategy.
The authors describe how, despite the absence of a full-fledged formal grand strategy and structural and political obstacles, Israel has done fairly well in decades of war and conflict. They show how the IDF has played the most effective role in formulating and executing an expanded version of its mission. They discuss the first Gulf War, the withdrawal from Lebanon, Israel’s response to the Arab Spring and the Arab turmoil, and other key events affecting the practice of Israel’s national security policy.
Brigadier General Itai Brun is the former head of Analysis Division, Directorate of Military Intelligence, of the Israel Defense Forces. His book Intelligence Analysis: Understanding Reality in Times of Dramatic Changes was recently published in Hebrew.
Israel Facing a New Middle East
Itamar Rabinovich is president of the Israel Institute. He served as Israel’s ambassador to Washington and chief negotiator with Syria and was president of Tel Aviv University. He is a professor emeritus of Middle Eastern history at Tel Aviv University, distinguished global professor at New York University, and a distinguished senior fellow at the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. His most recent book is The Lingering Conflict: Israel, the Arabs, and the Middle East 1948–2011 (Brookings Institution Press, 2012).
Israel and the Arab Turmoil
1 The Evolution of Israel’s National Security Doctrine
David Ben Gurion’s Security Review
The Sinai Campaign
The Six-Day War
The War of Attrition
The October War of 1973
The Israeli-Egyptian Peace
The 1980s Ground Maneuver Crisis
The 1982 War in Lebanon
The Debate on the Original Operational Concept
Lebanon’s Long Term Impact
2 New Challenges for Israel’s National Security
The Evolution of the Operational Concept of the “Other Side”
The Rise of the Organizations
A New Operational Concept
The First Palestinian Intifada
Military Operations of the 1990s
The First Gulf War
Public Discussion on Firepower
Accountability and Grapes of Wrath
The IDF and Israeli Society
The “Lebanese Mud”
Air Force Activity in Lebanon
A Decade of Diplomacy and New Patterns of Confrontation
The US Perspective
3 Facing Reality: Lebanon and Gaza
The Withdrawal from Lebanon
Coping with the Second Intifada (Operation Ebb and Flow)
A New Operational Concept
Massive Changes in the Twenty-First Century
The Second Lebanon War
Was it a War?
What Did Israel Try to Accomplish?
What Tasks Were Assigned to the IDF?
How Was Military Force Employed?
A Ten-Year Retrospective
The Gaza Challenge
Three Military Campaigns (28–2014)
Operation Cast Lead
The Mavi Marmara Affair
Operation Pillar of Fire
Operation Protective Edge
4 The Arab Spring and the Arab Turmoil: A New Middle Eastern Reality
Israel’s Immediate Response
The IDF’s Response to the New Regional Order
Three Levels of Israeli Strategy and Security Policy
About the Authors
About the Hoover Institution’s Herbert and Jane Dwight Working Group on Islamism and the International Order
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