1st Edition

Israel's National Security Predicament Guarding the Third Temple

By David Rodman Copyright 2024

    This book provides a ground-breaking assessment of the Israeli national security experience from the establishment of the country through to the present day.

    Seventy-five years after its establishment, the State of Israel continues to face an acute national security predicament as a result of the still unresolved Arab–Israeli conflict. This monograph offers a new framework for analyzing this experience, first exploring the crucial events of the past and present that define it, including interstate wars, asymmetrical wars, low-intensity conflicts, and developments in weapons of mass destruction. The book then probes how Israel’s evolving national security doctrine has addressed these various challenges over the years, highlighting the roles of a number of variables: deterrence, warning, and decision; strategic depth and defensible borders; the quality and quantity of fighting men and machines; intelligence; self-reliance in military matters; foreign policy; and the influence of ethnic demography, societal resilience, economic prosperity, and water security.

    Written in accessible, non-technical language, the book will appeal to general readers seeking an introduction to Israeli security as well as to specialists and researchers in various fields, including Israeli history, Middle Eastern politics, and security studies.

    Introduction: Israeli National Security: Permanent Interests and Evolving Practices  1. A Brief History of Israeli National Security: Settings and Responses  2. The Foundations of Israeli National Security: Deterrence, Warning, and Decision  3. Territory and Israeli National Security: Defensible Borders, Strategic Depth, and War-Fighting Paradigms  4. Quantity, Quality, and Israeli National Security: Perception Versus Reality  5. Intelligence and Israeli National Security: Kinetic and Cyber Battlefields  6. Self-Reliance and Israeli National Security: Allies, Arms, Soldiers, and the Bomb  7. Foreign Affairs and Israeli National Security: Five Key Policy Areas  8. Domestic Trends and Israeli National Security: Demography, Society, Economy, and Water  Conclusion: The Future of Israeli National Security: Predictions, not Prescriptions


    David Rodman is the author of a number of books about Israeli diplomatic and military history. He has also published articles in various journals, including War in History, Intelligence and National Security, The Journal of Military History, The Journal of Strategic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Israel Affairs, Defence Studies, and Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs.

    "A highly perceptive and concise overview of Israel’s national security experience, Israel’s National Security Predicament is structured around discrete chapters that cover all of the major issues in a manner particularly well suited to the informed but not necessarily expert reader. Strongly recommended!"

    Chuck Freilich, former Israeli deputy national security adviser, and author of Israeli National Security and Israel and the Cyber Threat

    "Israel's National Security Predicament is a concise and well-written exploration of the evolution of Israel's national security doctrine that offers penetrating insights into the challenges confronting the Jewish state on its 75th anniversary."

    Efraim Karsh, former director of the Begin–Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and author of Empires of the Sand and Palestine Betrayed

    "Israel’s National Security Predicament is a wonderful introduction to the subject it covers . . . It is an important addition to scholarship on the Israeli national security experience."

    Elisheva Rosman-Stollman, Department of Political Studies, Bar-Ilan University, and director of the Argov Center for the study of Israel and the Jewish People

    "Conceptually and methodologically, Israel’s National Security Predicament is well-researched and organized, and shows a clear understanding of the subject . . . The scholarship is very solid."

    Asaf Romirowsky, Executive Director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) and the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA)