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Israeli Grand Strategy

September 22, 2013 - September 25, 2013
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The Middle East is witnessing dramatic change—the rise of Islamism, the ever-shifting balance of autocracy and democracy, the production and procurement of weapons of mass destruction. All this is happening alongside major changes in the broader global landscape when it comes to energy, information technology, commerce, and values. How can Israel maintain her strategic edge in this volatile environment? What does it mean for this small but unique nation to have a grand strategy—one that reckons with its great, painful, near-miraculous past as a people, with its complex web of allies and enemies, and with the social and political structure that has taken shape over the past 65 years of modern nationhood?

Uzi Arad, former Israeli National Security Advisor, will spend a week on Israeli grand strategy, exploring a wide range of topics including: the history of Israel’s geopolitical position and evolving military doctrine; the place of national memory, Zionist ideology, geography, and demography in defining Israel’s strategic doctrine and options; the asymmetries that exist between Israel and the Arab-Islamic countries that surround her; the culture of Israel’s national security institutions; the role of intelligence and the accumulating burdens of deterrence; the quest for international legitimacy and the place of great power patronage. We will explore Israel as both a case study in grand strategy but, first and foremost, as a nation unlike any other—with unique challenges, distinct options, and an outsized place in world history and politics.

 

Key Texts & Topics

  • Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land: A Critical Analysis of Israel’s Security and Foreign Policy, 2009
  • Dima Adamski, The Culture of Military Innovation, 2010
  • Yehezkel Dror, Israeli Statecraft, 2011
  • David Rodman, Defense and Diplomacy in Israel’s National Security Experience, 2005