The IDF: Tactical Success - Strategic Failure, SOD, the Second Intifada and Beyond
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
Throughout its history the Israeli Defense Force IDF has exhibited brilliant tactical performance. The War of Independence, the Sinai Campaign, the Six Day War, and even the 1973 War placed Israel on a martial pedestal with few peers. On closer inspection, examination reveals a lack of operational foresight and the failure to achieve its ultimate objective - peace with its Arab neighbors. The IDF, because of its perilous strategic geography and small regular military force, became wedded to an exclusive offensive and preemptive doctrine that was shattered during the 1973 War, or October machdal blunder, as it was known in Israel. During the next two and half decades, the IDF realized that tactical success, although desired, was not the answer. The Six Day War success turned into the War of Attrition. The consequences of 1973, which resulted in costly losses, ironically, led to peace with Egypt six years later and demonstrated that operational failure, for the enemy no less, could invite political success. Egypt, the vanquished on the battlefield, achieved its political objective. The initial success of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon turned into a quagmire that maintained a constant drain on economic and military resources. Fundamentalists in Lebanon utilized this opportunity through the aid of Syria, Iran, and Lebanon to found Hezbollah. Lessons from the 1973 War, Lebanon in 1982, and the First Intifada in 1987 all highlighted the inadequacy of Israels offensive, preemptive doctrine and led IDF military practitioners to attempt to understand the strategic environment, and model their thinking to adapt to it. The IDF accomplished this through the formation of the Operational Theory Research Institute OTRI and brought to the forefront the ideas of IDF Brigadier General Shimon Naveh.
- Unconventional Warfare