The Political Role of the Military: An International Handbook

By Constantine P. Danopoulos; Cynthia Watson | Go to book overview

years following the Yom Kippur War. The rules of the game were developed in the 1950s and 1960s, when the collective security effort did not impose especially heavy burdens in casualties, morale, and material resources. Both the Sinai Campaign and the Six-Day War claimed relatively few casualties, did not exact inordinate costs, and were short. In the 1970s and 1980s, however, the cost of national security greatly increased, during both wartime and the periods in between, in terms of material resources, casualties, and prolonged emergence mobilization. Thus, the longer periods of reserve duty imposed following the wars of the 1970s and 1980s have been one factor in motivating young people to go abroad for extended periods of time and even to leave Israel altogether. The rising cost of national security has also increased the influence of the military-industrial complex on policymaking, thus imposing other constraints, not directly related to security, on the political leadership.

A third factor that threatens the rules of the game is the weakening of the national consensus concerning the nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its possible solutions. The fundamental ideological disputes over Israel's central national goals assumed significance in the wake of the Six-Day War. This has led to a political polarization that could seriously impair the effective functioning of Israel's democracy, making it more difficult to mobilize the resources necessary to maintain current levels of security and to ensure public ease in abiding unconditionally by authoritative policy decisions in matters of national security.


NOTES
1.
See Official Gazette 1948, Appendix A, p. 9 (Hebrew).
2.
See Meir Pail, The Emergence of Zahal ( Tel Aviv: Zmora; Bitan-Moden, 1970), ch. 11 (Hebrew).
3.
See Anita Shapira, The Army Controversy, 1948: Ben-Gurion's Struggle for Control ( Tel-Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1985), pp. 50-57 (Hebrew); Yoav Gelber, The Dissolution of the Palmach ( Tel Aviv: Schoken, 1986), pp. 225-26 (Hebrew).
4.
See Yoram Peri, Between Battles and Ballots: Israeli Military in Politics ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), p. 60.
6.
Yoram Peri and Moshe Lissak, "Retired Officers in Israel and the Emergence of a New Elite", in Gwyn Haries-Jenkins and Jacques van Doom, eds., The Military and the Problem of Legitimacy, pp. 188-190 ( Beverly Hills and London: Sage Publications, 1976).
7.
See interview with Sharon, New York Times, 1 November 1973; see also H. Bartov , Dado: 48 Years Plus 20 Days, vol. 2 ( Tel Aviv: Maariv, 1973), p. 313 (Hebrew).
8.
See editorial on Sharon's position in the IDF reserves in Haaretz, 17 December 1974 (Hebrew).
9.
A. R. Luckham, "A Comparative Typology of Civil-Military Relations", Government and Opposition 13 (Winter 1971): 5-25.
10.
See Yoram Peri, "Political Military Partnership in Israel", International Political Science Review 2, no. 3 ( 1981): 303-315.

-233-

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