David's Wings: The Strategic Development of the Israeli Air Force
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB
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Although much has been written documenting the 72 years of the Israeli Air Forces IAF existence and operations, most have been mostly descriptive rather than analytical. Little has been written that explores the evolution of the IAF as a tool of national strategy. This thesis broadly traces the evolution of the IAF from its inception in 1947 to its modern state, including its capabilities, missions, visions, and roles as an instrument of military and national strategy. The thesis seeks to answer the central question of what factors have influenced the evolution of the IAF from 1947 to the present Through a historical narrative of the IAF, the analysis highlights two distinct periods that act as inflection points in the IAF development, the tenures of Major General Dan Tolkovski in the 1950s and Major General Benny Peled in the 1970s. Additionally, it identifies evolutionary factors that contribute to the degree of evolution and change within the IAFs history. They are existential threat and geography, intent, air-mindedness of leaders, technology and acquisition, divestment of missions and the multirole mission, and quality and standards. The exploration of the evolution of the IAF in the context of its geopolitical circumstances offers the opportunity to better understand the ways in which small states air forces can evolve. This examination highlights the inflection points, timing, and factors that directly influenced the evolution and development of the IAF as both an air power and ultimately as a tool of national power.
- Military Forces and Organizations