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Zion's DilemmasHow Israel Makes National Security Policy$
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Charles D. Freilich

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451041

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451041.001.0001

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Back Again

Back Again

The Second Lebanon War, 2006

(p.199) Chapter Nine Back Again
Zion's Dilemmas

Charles D. Freilich

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines Israel's second war with Lebanon, which erupted in 2006 after two Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers were kidnapped and eight killed in a Hezbollah attack along the Lebanese border. There were three primary decision points during the war: the initial decision to respond massively to the Hezbollah attack on July 12, 2006; the decision on the following day to strike the Dahia neighborhood in Beirut, home to Hezbollah's headquarters and leadership; and the decision on August 9 to launch a major ground operation. This chapter first considers the strategic setting in which Israel's specific national security decision-making process (DMP) took place. It then discusses the five DMP pathologies in relation to the Lebanon war, suggesting that the DMP was unplanned. It also explores the impact of partisan politics, coalition maintenance, and public opinion on the DMP, along with the war's relation to the Israeli government's semi-organized anarchy. Finally, it assesses the role of the IDF and the defense establishment in the DMP aspect of the war.

Keywords:   national security decision-making, Israel, Lebanon, Israel Defense Forces, Hezbollah, decision-making process, Lebanon war, partisan politics, semi-organized anarchy, defense establishment

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