Israel’s Military Strategy and Foreign Policy

National security has long been at the forefront of Israeli life, with threats ranging from terrorism, to the existential danger posed by nuclear weapons. Yet, despite Israel’s overwhelming preoccupation with these matters, it has not adopted a formal national security strategy. In recent years, fundamental changes have taken place in the nature of Israel’s strategic environment, including the military and diplomatic challenges it faces, as well as in Israeli society, all of which require that it formulate a new national security strategy.

Drawing on more than two decades of service in Israel’s defense establishment, including as a deputy national security advisor, I concluded that the time had finally come to do so. The result is the award-winning book Israeli National Security: a New Strategy for an Era of Change, the first ever comprehensive public proposal for an Israeli national security strategy.


Highlights of a New Strategy

Among the primary components of the proposed new national security strategy are an approach of “strategic patience”, based on restraint, deterrence, defense and diplomacy, supported by military superiority; measures to ensure the long-term vitality of the US-Israeli relationship, including a possible defense treaty; maintaining nuclear ambiguity, while considering alternatives to the “Begin doctrine”; heightened diplomatic engagement; ensuring Israel’s ability to strike Iran’s nuclear program at any time; deployment of a national rocket defensive shield, and much more.

 The Talk

Israel’s military threats today – including Iran’s nuclear program and attempts to turn Syria into a forward operating base, Hezbollah’s mammoth rocket arsenal, Hamas

  • What future conflicts with Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran might look like
  • Non-military threats – the demographic challenge in the West Bank and two-state solution imperative, growing international delegitimization, and cyber
  • Israel’s offensive and defensive capabilities for addressing the threats, including the Iron Dome anti-rocket system and cyber capabilities
  • Two critical pillars of Israel’s national security – US-Israeli relations and and “nuclear ambiguity”
  • Highlights of the proposed new strategy.

Join me for a riveting discussion of Israel’s national security. It will be disturbing, thought-provoking, and ultimately reassuring.

Talk Titles:

  • Rockets, Nukes and Cyber Too – Israel’s Security Challenges
  • Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change – based on my book, Oxford Press, 2018
  • From Ben-Gurion to Netanyahu: Seven Decades of Israeli National Security Policy
  • Continuity and Change in Israeli Military Strategy and Foreign Policy

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