Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Israeli strategic depth

Now the bliss of summer is over and the grim realities smile with asphalt teeth. But I have had the fortune of getting some briefs on the Israeli strategic situation and thinking.

One of the defining things are the lack of strategic depth - with only around 20 Km from the borderlines to the sea at places. This has led to to a doctrine of pre-emption and disruption - one that was derailed in 1967 when there was suddenly a large space to manouver on and the defence (at least against Egypt and Syria) had turned to static defence. This of course led to the 1973 strategic surprise and a following disengagement from the Sinai desert (but not the Golan Heights).

The good people at Stratfor has outlined three conditions for Israeli survival doctrine:

1. The Arabs must never unite into a single, effective force.
2. Israel must choose the time, place and sequence of any war.
3. Israel must never face both a war and an internal uprising of Arabs simultaneously.

The disengagement from the Gaza strip reduces strategic depth once again and it is interesting to see what will happen to Israeli military thinking as a consequence.


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