Israel and its Army
From Cohesion to Confusion
Routledge – 2008 – 210 pages
Series: Middle Eastern Military Studies
The Israel Defense Force (IDF) plays a key role in Israeli society, and has traditionally been perceived not only as the guardian of national survival, but also as a 'people's army' responsible for the custody of national values. This volume analyses the circumstances currently undermining these perceptions, and explores both the changes occurring in Israel’s military framework, and their potential implications.
The book highlights the influence exerted by massive shifts in both Israel's external strategic landscape and in the country's domestic and cultural environments, which have compelled the IDF to undertake major programmes of structural reform, technological adaptation and doctrinal revision. This book argues that these changes have lead the public to subject the armed forces and their conduct to unprecedented critical scrutiny. The way in which Israelis and their army resolve these tensions is of crucial importance not only for Israel, but for the Middle East as a whole.
'…a masterful study of the problems encountered by a military grappling simultaneously with a changing social and strategic context.'
Dr. Jonathan Spyer, Middle East Journal
1. Frameworks of Analysis Section A: Changing Contexts 2. Forging a Relationship 3. The Changing Operational Landscape 4. The New Societal Setting Section B: New Dilemmas 5. A Smaller and Smarter IDF? 6. From Nation-Binder to Nation-Divider? 7. The Appropriate Application of Force? Section C: Prospects 8. Future Challenges and their Resolution
Stuart Cohen is Professor of Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and Senior Research Associate of the BESA (Begin-Sadat) Center for Strategic Studies.