The Nature of War

Conflicting Paradigms and Israeli Military Effectiveness

By Ron Tira

Whenever any State is at war, it attempts to steer the conflict to the point where it can demonstrate its relative advantage. Thus underlying each war is a struggle over its particular nature, and, in a dynamic process, each side attempts to shape a war paradigm that suits its own relative strengths, while the adversary attempts to impose its preferred paradigm on the conflict. Israel, for example, seemingly has an edge in military effectiveness, and has therefore always preferred short decisive wars. Its enemies, however, have an overall advantage in stamina and ability to leverage the international system. They therefore strive to lengthen the war and bring Israel to the point of defeat through attrition of the Israeli political-civilian system. The Nature of War: Conflicting Paradigms and Israeli Military Effectiveness examines the different aspects that characterize a war, from the center of gravity to be attacked, to the elements constituting military decision, as they are manifested in the following types of conflicts: "simple" symmetrical wars - asymmetrical wars versus a state opponent - guerrilla warfare - parallel warfare - and next generation warfare. The book first surveys types of war and the circumstances whereby the classical doctrine of war is progressively less valid, and then it devises additional analytical tools necessary to understand these more complex conflicts. The study examines the relevance of classical doctrine and applies these new tools and concepts to a range of historical examples, from the Second Punic War to World War II to some of Israel's main wars. The final case that is evaluated is the next generation of wars that Israel and other Western countries may find themselves fighting, wars against States that have adopted the guerrilla paradigm.


152 pages

Publication Date: 1/1/2010
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781845193782

Available in other formats