Leadership: Israel Rediscovers Big Wars


July 9, 2007: Israel continues to seek lessons from their war last year with Hizbollah, and now there's a government report pointing out at, when the fighting broke out last Summer, Israel had not conducted a large scale military operation since 1982 (when they went into Lebanon to stop terrorist attacks on northern Israel.) That was 24 years ago, and there were no senior Israeli commanders with any experience in large scale operations. That's a first for Israel, because previously, there had always been a recent war (as in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982), and officers who remembered how to fight it. But that was not the real problem. No, the big mistake was, in the last decade, dropping training for large scale military operations. Oh, the military staffs continued to maintain and update plans for large scale combat with Israel's neighbors. But the generals did not participate in training exercises and wargames for these large scale operations. Part of that was budget problems. Israel always spent a lot on the military, and there was always pressure to cut back. Moreover, there was an attitude among senior political and military leaders that the major problem was, for the foreseeable future, going to be Islamic terrorists, not Arab armies from neighboring nations. The terrorism angle became crucial after the Palestinians began their terrorism campaign against Israel in late 2000. Getting ready for a major conventional war fell off the radar after that. What happened last Summer was a reminder of what happens when you guess wrong, and prepare for the wrong future. As a result, the generals, and those destined to be generals, are now all about training for large scale operations.


Article Archive

Leadership: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close