The following essay explores some of the problems with “lessons learned.” It offers a few tentative observations on the limitations and dangers of lessons. To illustrate these (but not necessarily prove them), it then looks at the experiences of the Israel Defence Forces, particularly its armoured forces, from 1948 to 1973. Finally, three recommendations discuss how military organizations might reduce the danger of lessons leading them astray.
The article deals with Golda Meir, who was a prominent leader of Israel and the Prime Minister during the Yom Kippur War (1973). Its main points are: Her road towards the national leadership during the “Yishuv” period. Her political role under David Ben-Gurion and Levi Eshkol as Minister of Labor (1949-1956) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1956-1966) Meir as political leader: the way she lead her party and how she was a symbol of the national agreement Meir as diplomatic leader: her attitude during the negotiation attempt with Egypt (The Secretary of the State’s Plan – 1970 ; Moshe Dayan’s intention to open the Suez Canal – 1971) Meir as social leader: the strengthening of the welfare – state Meir during the Yom Kippur War: The War as a result of her policy; Her leadership during the crisis.