'Mowing the Grass': Israel's Strategy for Protracted Intractable Conflict

Efraim Inbar, Eitan Shamir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


'Mowing the Grass', Israel's strategy in the twenty-first century against hostile non-state groups, reflects the assumption that Israel finds itself in a protracted intractable conflict. The use of force in such a conflict is not intended to attain impossible political goals, but a strategy of attrition designed primarily to debilitate the enemy capabilities. Only after showing much restraint in its military responses does Israel act forcefully to destroy the capabilities of its foes, hoping that occasional large-scale operations also have a temporary deterrent effect in order to create periods of quiet along its borders. The Israeli approach is substantively different from the current Western strategic thinking on dealing with non-state military challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-90
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Strategic Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Asymmetrical War
  • Counterinsurgency
  • Deterrence
  • Israel Defense Forces
  • Military Strategy
  • Terrorism
  • Use of Force


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