OverviewThe turmoil which has been rattling the Middle East in recent years has confronted Israel with fresh challenges and opportunities and requires it to rethink the three levels of its strategy and security policies: National security Strategy (sometimes referred to as Grand Strategy), National Security Policy and National Military Strategy. The book points to the years 1979–1981 as the years of transition from conventional military challenges faced by Israel to the novel challenges of terrorism, missiles and rockets, sub-state guerrilla organizations on its borders and the prospect of nuclear weapons in hostile hands. Some of these challenges have been exacerbated by the unraveling of neighboring Arab states. The book's review of the evolution of Israeli policies through almost seven decades of war and conflicts shows the absence of a full-fledged grand strategy, the structural weakness of national security policy formulation by successive governments at the cabinet level and the dominant role of the IDF. This state of affairs helps explain why and how Israel has responded to the recent turmoil in a piecemeal fashion rather than formulate a comprehensive policy that would enhance its ability to respond to the new challenges and take advantage of the new opportunities.
Author BiographyBrigadier General (Res.) Itai Brun, an Israeli senior intelligence officer, served as the head of Israel Defense Intelligence (IDI) Analysis Division from 2011 to 2015. Itamar Rabinovich is president of the Israel Institute. He served as Israel's ambassador to Washington and chief negotiator with Syria and was president of Tel Aviv University. He is a professor emeritus of Middle Eastern history at Tel Aviv University, distinguished global professor at New York University, and a distinguished senior fellow at the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution.