Israel's Way of War: A Strategic and Operational Analysis, 1948-2014

Israel's Way of War: A Strategic and Operational Analysis, 1948-2014

by Ehud Eilam


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Israel has fought many wars since its founding in 1948, from conventional military conflicts with Arab forces to irregular clashes with guerrilla and terror groups. A study of these confrontations reveals strategic and military patterns. Written by a former member of the Israel Defense Forces, this book compares the wars fought in Lebanon against the Palestine Liberation Organization (1982) and against Hezbollah (2006), and in the Gaza Strip (1956, 1967, 2008–2009 and 2014). The author draws similarities between Israel and Western nations—mainly the United States and Britain—in their waging of conventional and irregular warfare, and offers a comparison of the Vietnam War to Israel’s struggle with Hezbollah in the 1990s.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476663821
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 02/14/2016
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ehud Eilam, Ph.D., analyst of Israel’s national security, is a former civilian researcher for the Israeli military. He resides in the United States.

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction 3

1 Israel's National Strategy and Its High-Intensity Wars 11

2 Israel's Combat Doctrine in a High-Intensity War 32

3 The Strategic Linkage Between Israel's High-Intensity, Hybrid and Low-Intensity Wars 48

4 The IDF in Fighting Low- and High-Intensity Wars 71

5 Fire in the Backyard: Israel's Campaigns in the Gaza Strip in 1956, 1967, 2008-2009 and 2014 102

6 Fighting Hybrid Adversaries: Israel Versus the PLO in 1982 and the Hezbollah in 2006 111

7 Israel's Military Strategy and Doctrine and Its Resemblance to Western States 121

8 The U.S.-Vietnam War and the Israeli-Hezbollah War in the 1990s 142

9 The High- and Low-Intensity War in Libya in 2011 151

Conclusion 167

Chapter Notes 181

Bibliography 196

Index 201

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Israel's Way of War: A Strategic and Operational Analysis, 1948-2014 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dr. Ehud Eilam has written a brilliant book on the nature of modern warfare. He ranges from counter-insurgency in Gaza to the hybrid war fought between Israel and Hizbollah in 2006, among other subjects. If you are interested in the future of Israel, the Middle East or of warfare in general, this is a must read. Dr. Thomas Parker, Ph.D. George Washington University
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“This Book is a master piece! It is required reading for all students of international relations and security studies.” John M Nomikos, Director, Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS), Athens, Greece.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about the wars in the Middle East, 1948-2014. Anyone with an interest in today's war against Terror organizations, will find a comprehensive account and a stimulating comparative analysis of Low-intensive-war scenes over the last 30 years. . Prof. Zeev Drori, Col. (Ret.), Kinneret College, Israel
SaraMiller More than 1 year ago
Dr. Eilam’s book is a cogent, valuable, fact-based analysis of Israel’s wars. Besides his breadth of knowledge and easy-to-follow style, his neutrality is evident, a welcome change from a lot of the polemics surrounding this topic. This is definitely a worthwhile read. Sara Miller, Queens College
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a primary lesson of the War of Independence (1948-9), the IDF was built and organized so as to beat its Arab mobile state-armies counterparts, achieving decision through rapid encirclement and creating deterrence by threating Arab capitals and regimes, forcing them to submit to Israel’s terms. Pursuance of this strategy afforded the IDF impressive victories in 1956, 1967 and especially in 1973, a war in which it was caught by surprise and unprepared. In addition, the IDF has been forced to fight extended wars of attrition against Arab terrorism, in various forms. As opposed to the wars fought against Arab armies, the anti-terrors campaigns were designed to minimize losses while extracting a heavy toll from its perpetrators. Hence, they became protracted attritional fights,in contradiction to the IDF’s fundamental mission, e.g. to win wars by quickly achieving decision. The paradox stemming from the conflicting requirements made of the IDF have had and continue to have far-reaching ramifications on its fighting capacity and achievements in the wars it fought for decision on the one hand, and the campaigns conducted for current security, on the other. By placing this very paradox at the heart of his research, Ehud Eilam’s has raised a unique and significant contribution to the literature on IDF fighting. He examines the IDF’s fighting from 1948 through 2014 in three primary theaters of operations: the Gaza strip, Lebanon and the west Bank, while comparing the IDF’s efforts to those of the American’s efforts against terror and guerilla in Vietnam and in Libya in 2011. In his research, Eilam demonstrates how the paradox faced by the IDF since its inception has begun to characterize other western armies over the past two decades. The significance of Eilam’s work is further demonstrated in his decision to include a chapter discussing lessons from IDF doctrine and strategy relevant to conflicts between western armies and various potential adversaries. Dr. Hanan Shai Lecturer at the IDF’s Military Colleges and in the International Relations and Political Science departments of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Bar-Ilan University