Academic & Policy Papers

Survival

Israel and the Iran Nuclear Deal: The Best of Bad Options

US and Israeli intelligence assessments are in fundamental accord regarding the factual status of Iran’s nuclear program, but the two countries derive significantly different policy positions from them. The US maintains that as long as Iran has not decided to weaponize, its nuclear activities do not constitute an active military program. Israel, however, believes that Iran is conducting clandestine weaponization efforts…
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Survival, v64 #3, June-July 2022, pp. 117–132

Book Chapter

Israel’s National Security Staff

Chapter in book by O”Neill, P. (ed.), Securing the State and its Citizens; National Security Councils from Around the World

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Royal United Services Institute, 2022

Book Chapter

Israel’s National Security Policy

Chapter in book by Hazan, R.Y. et al (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Israeli Politics and Society
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Oxford, Oxford, 2021

Book Chapter

National Security Decision Making

Chapter in book by Cohen, S. A. and Klieman, A.(eds.), Routledge Handbook on Israeli Security
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Routledge, London and New York, 2019

Book Chapter

Security Challenges and Opportunities in the Twenty-First Century

Chapter in book by Peters, J. and Pinfold, R.G (eds.),  Understanding Israel: Political Societal and Security Challenges
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Routledge, London and New York, 2019

Survival

Can Israel Survive Without America?

Washington is usually the first, and often the sole, port of call for strategic consultation – almost always the foremost one, and inevitably the primary means of addressing the challenges Israel faces. America is the be-all and end-all of most policy deliberations in Israeli national-security decision-making forums. Those blithely advocating Israeli independence from the United States should be careful what they wish for.
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Survival, v59 #4, August–September 2017, pp. 135–150

International Studies Perspectives

Israel and the Cyber Threat

Israel faces a constant barrage of cyber attacks. This has forced Israel to develop highly advanced capabilities. Although the threats to Israel are severe, they are not unique; thus, Israel can serve as a model for what other states can do to effectively use cyberspace both defensively and offensively. This article offers policy recommendations as to how states can improve their cyber defenses.
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International Studies Perspectives, co-authored with Matthew Cohen and Gabi Siboni, v17#3, 1 August 2016, pp. 307–321

Terrorism and Political Violence

Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Policy: How Effective?

Terrorism has had a decisive effect on Israeli elections and national security decisions, but not the economy. Israeli counter-terrorism has often been conducted without a coherent overall policy,  but has enabled Israel to live in relative security and thrive, and provided its leaders with the latitude to pursue various policies, including peace, should they wish to do so.
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Terrorism and Political Violence, v29 #2, 2017, pp. 359-376

Cyber, Intelligence, and Security

Four Big D’s and a Little r: A New Model for Cyber Defense

 This article argues that cyberthreats are not fundamentally different from other asymmetric threats, and it provides a conceptual model for developing a response by drawing on classic principles of military strategy, the “four Ds”— Detection, Deterrence, Defense, and Defeat—as well as resilience.  The proposed framework will allow for the development of detailed strategies and plans to address the specific demands posed by cyberthreats.
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Cyber, Intelligence, and Security, v1 # 2, June 2017, pp. 21-36

Israel Affairs

War by Other Means: The Delegitimization Campaign against Israel

Efforts to delegitimise nations pose a growing danger to state security. This article expands upon existing research by proposing that there are seven areas in which states can face isolation efforts: political, economic, military, sociocultural, media, lawfare, and religious. Moreover, it proposes the idea of ‘destruction-oriented’ isolation, which aims to destroy a state, not merely create change. The  campaign against Israel serves as the case study.
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Israel Affairs, co-authored with Matthew Cohen, v24 #1, 2017, pp. 1-25

Survival

Military Decision: Why Can’t Israel Win Anymore?

 Deterring non-state actors is much harder than deterring states, as repeated rounds of violence with Hizbullah and Hamas have shown. Detection of terrorist acts, especially of rocket attacks, is particularly difficult. With its basic security against non-nuclear threats now essentially ensured, Israel should develop a greater ability to live with the pain inflicted by Hizbullah, Hamas and others like them.
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Survival, v57 #2, April–May 2015, pp. 79–92.

Comparative Strategy

Israel: National Security Decision-Making in a Leaky Political Fishbowl

Israeli decision-making has become increasingly proactive in recent decades. At the same time, many of the diplomatic and military initiatives Israel has undertaken have gone awry, and the number of policy failures has become untenable. Indeed, Israel has suffered from a decadeslong domestic political stalemate — arguably a crisis — on matters of its fundamental existence.
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Comparative Strategy, v34 (2), May 2015

Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs

Israel and the Campaign of Defamation and Delegitimization; Diplomatic Warfare, Sanctions and Lawfare

Delegitimization and diplomatic warfare campaigns attempt to decrease the target nation’s ability to wield diplomatic and military power successfully, limit the nation’s ability to have its voice heard, and even make the nation’s right to exist appear illegitimate. The end goal is to compel the nation to change policies or make it a pariah, thus undermining its ability to prosper or even survive.

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Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, v9 #1, 2015, co-authored with Matthew Cohen

Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs

Breakdown and Possible Restart: Turkish-Israeli Relations under the AKP

Prior to the rise to power of the AKP Party, Turkey and Israel shared a unique diplomatic, economic, and military relationship,leading some to speak of a strategic alliance. For Israel, the ties were proof that a warm relationship was possible with a Muslim country, and heralded the prospectof future integration in the region. For Turkey, the ties were an affirmation of its character as a democratic and secular Western country. 

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Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, v 8 #1, January 2014, pp. 39-55, co-authored with Matthew Cohen

Middle East Journal

National Security Decision-Making in Israel: Improving the Process

Israeli decision-making has become increasingly proactive in recent decades. At the same time, many of the diplomatic and military initiatives Israel has undertaken have gone awry, and the number of policy failures has become untenable. Indeed, Israel has suffered from a decades long domestic political stalemate on matters of its fundamental existence, with the political system unable to resolve the contending currents of opinion.
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Middle East Journal, v 67 #2, Spring 2013, pp. 257-266

Survival

Striking Iran: the Debate in Israel

Israel’s leaders have engaged in an unprecedented public debate about Iran’s nuclear programme, and about the advisability of an Israeli strike to destroy or delay it. Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad, called an Israeli attack, at this time, ‘the stupidest thing I have ever heard of’, warned that it might ignite a regional war and stated that there was still a window of some three years.
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Survival, v 54 #6, December 2012-January 2013, pp. 93-106

Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs

Getting it Wrong in Lebanon: Invasion 1982, Withdrawal 2000, War 2006

Lebanon has played a central role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, as the focus of ongoing low-level hostilities, three major Israeli military operations, two wars and a unilateral withdrawal. The outcomes of all of these events were far from what Israel’s decision-makers intended. The present study assesses the reasons for Israel’s repeated policy failures.

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Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, v6 #3, September 2012, pp. 41-75

Journal of International Security Affairs

Decision Time in Jerusalem

In Israel, it has become commonplace to speak of the Iranian nuclear program as an existential threat. Senior decision-makers and defense officials have repeated this warning so often that the words “existential” and “Iran” have become almost synonymous in Israeli discourse. Foreign media, meanwhile, repeatedly speculate on the prospects of an Israeli attack on Iran, and some have speculated that 2010 may be the “year of decision.”
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Journal of International Security Affairs, v 18, Spring 2010, pp. 55-63

Begin Sadat Center

The Armageddon Scenario: Israel and the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism

The Iranian nuclear threat has obscured the possibility of waging nuclear terrorism against Israel. There is a clear rationale for employing nuclear terrorism and countering it needs calibrated policies of prevention and possibly US-Israeli cooperation. The time to prepare for the Armageddon scenario is now.
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Begin Sadat Center (BESA), April 2010, Mideast and Policy Studies #85

Arms Control Today

The US, Israel and Iran: Defusing an Existential” Threat

Iran is an existential threat to Israel. This apocalyptic warning call has become a mantra continually repeated by virtually all Israeli leaders and has been adopted by much of the U.S. national security establishment. There is no doubt that Iran poses a severe threat to Israel, not only in the nuclear field, but what kind of danger does its nuclear program constitute? Is Israel’s future in imminent danger if Iran goes nuclear? The answer is probably not. 

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Arms Control Today, November 2008

The American Interest

The Right Return: A Proposal To Begin Resettling Palestinian Refugees

The Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” is in deep trouble, and unless we pursue bold new approaches, it may soon be dead. If that happens, the situation could deteriorate further into violence and terror, with severe consequences not just for the sides themselves, but for the entire region . One bold approach would be to turn upside-down the assumption that the refugee issue can only be settled after a final status agreement is achieved.

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The American Interest, v.4# 1, September/ October 2008

Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Speaking about the Unspeakable: The US-Israeli Dialogue on the Iranian Nuclear Program

A bilateral exchange does not appear to have taken place on the two paramount issues related to the Iranian nuclear threat: the possibility of military action and conversely, possible means of “living with” a nuclear Iran, should both the United States and Israel decide to refrain from military action. This study argues that significant obstacles may indeed exist to a substantive dialogue  and  proposes possible means of surmounting them.

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Washington Institute for Near East Policy, December, 2007

Middle East Journal

National Security Decision Making in Israel: Processes and Pathologies

This article presents a first of its kind typology of Israeli national security decision-making processes, focusing on five primary pathologies. It will demonstrate that these pathologies are the product of an extraordinarily compelling external environment; the extreme politicization of the decision-making process; and the absence of effective cabinet-level decision-making support capabilities.
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Middle East Journal, v60#4, Autumn 2006, pp. 635-663