Zion’s Dilemmas

“Zion’s Dilemmas” is a first of its kind portrayal of Israel’s national security decision-making processes, the only book ever to focus solely on this topic and to present a model of how Israel makes national security policy. In a work born of love and frustration, Chuck Freilich, a former deputy national security adviser in Israel, details the history and, in many cases, the chronic inadequacies of Israeli national security policy making.

Freilich attributes these failings to three primary causes, Israel’s hostile and volatile regional environment, its politicized electoral system and the structural peculiarities of the Israeli government. Using his insider understanding and drawing on extensive research, Freilich identifies opportunities forgone, failures that resulted from flawed decision-making processes, and the entanglement of Israeli leaders in an inconsistent, highly politicized, and often improvisational planning process. For all of these problems, however, he also identifies a number of important strengths of the Israeli decision-making process and poses cogent and timely recommendations for reform.