What happened to Israeli military thought?

Avi Kober

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This article addresses the following question: how can one explain the neglect of the intellectual aspects of the profession on the part of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)? The explanations offered for that neglect are a mixture of cultural and societal factors. The cultural explanation focuses on Israeli strategic culture; the traditional Israeli perception of the combination of rich experience and experience-based intuition as a winning ticket; the tendency to extol improvisation; a cult of material strength; and a strong belief in technology. The social explanation stresses the declining attractiveness of a military career for qualitative young Israelis. The article contends that change can take place only if the IDF undergoes a process of institutional intellectualism - if not willingly then one imposed by the political echelon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-732
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Strategic Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • History-based military theory
  • Israeli military thought
  • Practical soldiers


Dive into the research topics of 'What happened to Israeli military thought?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this