Unlike in the U.S., where the White House is required to produce, regularly, an official document outlining its national-security strategy, the Jewish state has never released any such statement, although one or two reports have come close. Yaakov Amidror has thus attempted to articulate the unwritten doctrines that have long guided Israeli strategists. Underlying his vision are certain basic, and unchanging, facts about the country’s situation:
Israel . . . will forever face a yawning gap between the size of its resident population and that of neighboring countries. The latter all have been hostile to Israel’s existence in the past, and some remain so. Israel always will be a small country in size, and hence hypersensitive to any loss of territory and to high-trajectory (artillery and rocket) fire—unlike most of her neighbors.
Israel can never reach a “fall of Berlin” moment in the Middle East, i.e., it cannot attain a decisive victory in war, such as that of the allies in World War II—a moment that would radically transform the political culture of the region [and] the desire of neighboring nations and organizations to annihilate of the state of Israel. This means that no victory in any war would ensure, once and for all, that Israel again will not face threats to its existence. Moreover, Israel’s first defeat may well be its last, certainly so if its territory ends up being conquered by Arab or Islamic forces. This is not the case for any Arab country which Israel might defeat or whose territory it might occupy.
These realities lead to many important conclusions, among them:
Israel . . . must aspire to defensible borders, i.e., lines of defense that enable the IDF . . . to parry an offensive by any hostile coalition until the reserves are called-up. Contrary to the claim that “territory has no value in the age of missiles,” the geographic dimension of Israel’s national-security concept is extremely important, and even more so in the missile era.