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Soldier in the SinaiA General's Account of the Yom Kippur War$
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Emanuel Sakal

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813150802

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813150802.001.0001

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The Preemptive Strike that Wasn't

The Preemptive Strike that Wasn't

Chapter:
(p.411) 5 The Preemptive Strike that Wasn't
Source:
Soldier in the Sinai
Author(s):

Emanuel Sakal

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813150802.003.0006

The preemptive strike had been the cornerstone of the national security doctrine since 1956. But when Israel gained strategic depth after the Six-Day War, this concept fell by the wayside. With its expanded borders, the nation's leaders believed that Israel could absorb a first strike. On the eve of the Yom Kippur War, Prime Minister Golda Meir and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, fearing an angry American reaction to an Israeli preemptive strike, rejected Elazar's proposal to attack Syria's airfields. This chapter discusses various views, including those of Henry Kissinger (whom the author interviewed in 2006), on Israel's perceived dependence on American aid during the war. It also looks at the consequences of not launching a preemptive strike and presents the results of a performance analysis of what would have happened if Israel had carried out a preemptive strike on the bridging and crossing equipment on the western bank of the Suez Canal.

Keywords:   1956 Sinai campaign, preemptive strike principle, American aid, Henry Kissinger, Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, Israel, Egypt, defensive campaign, offensive campaign

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