Former Israeli judge Eliyahu Winograd at a press conference presenting the Winograd Commission Report results about the 2006 Lebanon War in Jerusalem, Apr. 30, 2007. The Winograd Commission accused Israel's wartime leaders of "very severe failures."
"Israel in Lebanon—Getting It Wrong: The 1982 Invasion, 2000 Withdrawal, and 2006 War"
Journal Article, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, volume VI, issue 3, pages 41-75
Author: Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security
Ever since the early 1970s, Lebanon has played a central role in the Arab–Israeli conflict, as the focus of ongoing low level hostilities, three major Israeli military operations (Litani 1978, Accountability 1993, and Grapes of Wrath 1996), two wars (the Lebanon War of 1982 and the Second Lebanon War of 2006), and a unilateral Israeli withdrawal in 2000. The outcomes of these events were far from what Israel's decision makers had intended at the outset; Israel was repeatedly unable to achieve its objectives, or arguably only partially successful in doing so. Indeed, Israel's difficulties in Lebanon culminated in what the Winograd Commission, the special commission established to investigate the failings of the 2006 war, called "the IDF's almost mystical fear of the Lebanese quagmire."1
The present study assesses the reasons for Israel's repeated policy failures in Lebanon by comparing the decision making processes (DMPs) in the three most important cases above: the two wars and the unilateral withdrawal. Failure, of course, is both a relative and subjective term. Indeed, it can be argued that not all of these cases were unequivocal failures; the outcome of the 2006 war was not entirely negative from Israel's perspective and the alternative in 2000, such as remaining in Lebanon, might have been worse. Thus, failure, for the purposes of this study, refers not to the quality of the outcomes, but to Israel's ability to achieve the objectives set out by its leaders....
The entire article may be downloaded below.
1 State of Israel, Winograd Commission Final Report, Jerusalem, January 2008, p. 538.
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