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Includes 8 maps and more than 20 illustrations
Armies appear to learn more from defeat than victory. In this regard, armed forces that win quickly, decisively, and with relative ease face a unique challenge in attempting to learn from victory. The Israel Defense Forces certainly fell into this category after their dramatic victory over the combined armies of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in the Six Day War of June 1967.
This study analyzes the problems that beset Israel in the aftermath of its decisive victory in the Six Day War over the Arabs. In the 1973 War, Anwar Sadat, Egypt’s president, was able to exploit Israeli vulnerabilities to achieve political success through a limited war. An important lesson emerges from this conflict. A weaker adversary can match his strengths against the weaknesses of a superior foe in a conventional conflict to attain strategic success. Such a strategic triumph for the weaker adversary can occur despite serious difficulties in operational and tactical performance.
The author suggests a striking parallel between the military triumphs of Israel in 1967 and the United States in 1991. In both cases, success led to high expectations. The public and the armed forces came to expect a quick and decisive victory with few casualties. In this environment, a politically astute opponent can exploit military vulnerabilities to his strategic advantage. Sadat offers a compelling example of how this can be done.