Kober, Avi. “Arm Races and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” In Arms Races in International Politics: From the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century (ed. Thomas Mahnken, Joseph Maiolo, and David Stevenson; Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2016): 205-23.
The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate the dynamic nature of the Arab-Israeli arms race, to identify the external and internal factors that have affected it, to discuss the role played by technology in this arms race, to point to the linkage between conventional and unconventional arm races in the Middle East, and to assess the connection between arms racing and the outbreak of Arab-Israeli wars.
Based on oral history accounts of surviving members of Israel’s first International Squadron and organisers of the military airlift to Yemen in 1964, this analysis examines the origins of the squadron, its mission to Yemen, and its impact on Israeli foreign policy in Africa. The founding of the International Squadron in 1963 incorporated the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser into the Israeli air force and gave the military and Foreign Ministry the country’s first long-distance transport capability. The initial successful military airlift to Yemen in May 1964 opened the possibility for additional clandestine military aid missions to sub-Saharan Africa and Kurdistan and marked the beginning of an era of Israeli “weapons diplomacy.” The Squadron’s incorporation of more advanced transport planes during the 1970s presented the Foreign Ministry with the capability of reaching Latin America and Asia, an essential factor in Israel’s expanding global arms market and later humanitarian missions.
The American-Israeli relationship underwent a dramatic transformation during the 1960s. From its establishment in 1948 and throughout the 1950s, Israel had largely been kept at arm’s length by the administration of Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Both feared that an intimate relationship with Israel would alienate the Arab world, and therefore threaten access to Middle Eastern oil, as well as encourage Soviet penetration of the region. The truncated logic in formulating its Middle Eastern policy, but eventually came around to adopting a more favorable attitude toward Israel. Presidnet Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration deepened the trend begun by its predecessor. And, by the early 1970s, during the administration of President Richard M. Nixon, Israel had come to be seen as a strategic asset to the United States in its quest to contain Soviet influence in the Middle East.
The article examines the size, structure, composition and modi operandi of the Arab military forces which fought the Jews in the 1948 war, before the invasion of the Arab regular armies, based first and foremost on the Arab sources themselves. An attempt is made to assess the substantial reasons behind the Arab defeat in the first ‘civil war’ phase of the campaign, including a comparison of the number of combatants, which also explains the outcome.
While the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has raged for decades, in all of its ramifications there has never been a totally structured or scientific approach to the conflict with all of its details. The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) approaches the problem along these lines. There are a plethora of reasons why the traditional face to face negotiations have broken down over the years. This paper identifies a significant number of those impediments and indicates how the AHP can productively address them. A summary of the highlights of the AHP approach precedes how it has been applied to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. To date, the participants, significant members of both communities, have derived and agreed upon a solution that includes all the major issues, except for the refugee problem. That problem is currently being worked on, but will take an extended period because of the unique factors involved. What has been provided is an agreed upon solution to virtually all of the issues impeding past negotiations, including borders, settlements, the status of Jerusalem, the Holy Places, security and expectations of each side.
Rebellious non-state actors of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula have been arming themselves through smuggling networks operating in north-east Africa and the Middle East. They feature complex, dynamic, open systems which include many components of various organisational and national identities, and which are driven by various motives, united in order to accomplish the goal of arms smuggling. Previously, this system was dominated by the supply of Iranian large and high-quality weapon systems, mainly rockets, to the Palestinian Hamas, enabling them to build up military force that has sustained long-standing conflict against the stronger Israel. The Arab turmoil initiated dramatic changes in the arming system: Iran stopped, at least temporarily, the channelling of weapons to the Hamas due to its support of the Syrian opposition against the Assad regime. Egypt blocked many of Hamas’s smuggling tunnels, intensifying Hamas’s strategic isolation. Following the removal of Gaddafi and lack of government, Libya became a major arms source, serving mainly regional radical Islamic groups. Salafist jihadist groups in Sinai revolted against the Egyptian government, using huge local stockpiles of weapons and operational cooperation with Palestinian Islamists. This article argues that to survive, rebellious non-state actors must exploit arming opportunities in the physical, social and political environment, whereas securing shared borders is vital for defeating rebellious non-state actors. The arming of non-state actors should be analysed broadly, considering the needs of the civilian population among whom the militants are operating.
The present study enriches our knowledge on the relationship between security personnel and situational cues that may provoke aggression, such as arms and uniforms. The study examined 259 security personnel who completed an aggression questionnaire (AGQ). The study aimed (a) to compare the tendency toward aggression of security personnel who carry or do not carry arms and/or wear a uniform and (b) to compare the tendency toward aggression of men and women security personnel who carry or do not carry arms and/or wear a uniform. The findings indicated no main effect for aggression cueing classification. However, uniformed men had higher scores of physical aggression than women, and women scored significantly higher on anger than men when not carrying any aggressive cues. The findings also revealed that in general, men security personnel reported much higher physical aggression than women, while women showed slightly higher means of verbal aggression than men. The findings are discussed in light of the gender theory and research.