New Article: Marcus, The Israeli Revolution in Military Affairs and the Road to the 2006 Lebanon War

Marcus, Raphael D. “The Israeli Revolution in Military Affairs and the Road to the 2006 Lebanon War.” In Reassessing the Revolution in Military Affairs: Transformation, Evolution and Lessons Learnt (ed.Jeffrey Collins and Andrew Futter; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015): 92-111.

 
9781137513755

Abstract

In the aftermath of the 2006 Lebanon War, Israel launched an investigative committee known as the Winograd Commission to analyze the factors that contributed to the relatively lackluster performance of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The Commission identified three dominant trends that affected the IDF’s operational concept and modus operandi in 2006 and that may have contributed to the IDF’s shortcomings.1 (1) The influence of the “Revolution in Military Affairs” (RMA), the American-formulated military concept that emerged in the 1990s that espoused the perceived benefits of advances in military technology, intelligence, and precision targeting for military operations. The RMA was viewed in Israel as having unique attributes that correlated with the IDF’s distinct operational and social circumstances, and would improve its overall warfighting capabilities. (2) The prevalence of “asymmetric” opponents with access to technologically-sophisticated weaponry, embedded in dense urban environments, and focused on waging attritional warfare brought new operational challenges that made the achievement of traditional “battlefield decision” more difficult. (3) Deep societal shifts were affecting the IDF’s role in Israeli society as the “people’s army” — made up of conscripts and a large reservist force. Increased risk aversion in society and a lower tolerance for large-scale military operations due to fear of incurring casualties had a subtle but significant effect on the role of the army in society, the IDF’s fighting spirit, and willingness to utilize reservist units.

 

 

 

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