Israeli National Security, 1973-96

Efraim Inbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This article focuses on the main Israeli decision makers, reviews their perceptions of the changing strategic environment, and analyzes the dilemmas and policies with respect to Israel's main national security components. A review of the period shows much continuity: (1) the pattern of decision making remained highly centralized; (2) many of the Israeli leaders were socialized in the defense establishment; (3) Yitzhak Rabin was the towering figure for most of the period; (4) the main elements of Israeli strategic thinking (deterence, early warning, decisive victory, and self-reliance) remained constant; (5) Israel did not succumb to the temptation to adopt an open nuclear strategy; (6) the Israeli level of threat perception became lower primarily because of the emergence of a more benign international environment. We see in the 1990s a slight departure from past premises and policies, although all in all, it can be said that Israel has not fundamentally changed its security doctrine during the period reviewed here.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-81
Number of pages20
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998


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