Israel's Future Wars: Military and Political Aspects

Dr. Ehud Eilam's new book examines Israel's possible future wars in the upcoming years and analyzes the strategic background and the nature of operations of those wars

Dr. Ehud Eilam's new book, titled "Israel's Future Wars: Military and Political Aspects of Israel's Coming Wars," examines Israel's possible future wars in the upcoming years. It analyzes the strategic background and the nature of operations of those wars and concentrates on feasible future battlefields of Israel in Iran, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Sinai. 

An Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear sites could instigate a war between Israel and Iran and/or Hezbollah in Lebanon. Existing tension with Syria could induce Israel to collaborate with Syrian armed groups against Islamic radicals in the Golan Heights. In the Gaza Strip, friction between Israel and the Hamas might result in a confrontation. Israel might also collide with Palestinians in the West Bank as part of a struggle with the Palestinian Authority. Another confrontation might occur between Israel and Egypt because of the unrest in the Sinai Peninsula.



“Eilam’s work provides valuable context to the political and military issues that may shape Israel’s future wars.  His analysis helps us understand the complexity of the conditions surrounding potential future confrontations in the Mideast.  This well-informed study is a must read for those who wish to learn more about the challenges and risks facing Israel."

(Lt. Gen. USAF (Ret.) David A. Deptula, Dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies)


“Israel's Future Wars is a remarkable work in the field, noteworthy for both its subject matter breadth, and its corollary command of very complex facts and materials. Each of the author's chapters deals with a particular military threat to Israel, but Eilam still correctly understands the possible intersections and prospective synergies between them…There is no doubt that Israel's Future Wars will quickly become essential reading for both academic strategists and Israel's military policy-planners and makers. This recognition will be well-deserved.”

(Louis René Beres, Emeritus Professor of International Law, Purdue University)


“Read this book if you are interested in the future of the Middle East as Dr. Ehud Eilam takes the reader through a fascinating tour of Israel’s possible conflict scenarios… The insightful book will take you into the future of the most volcanic region in the world.”

(Dr. Thomas ParkerGeorge Washington University - Security Studies)


“In "Israel's Future Wars," Ehud Eilam, a veteran analyst of Israel's security and defense policy, provides readers with a glimpse into the future with an expert analysis of Israel's possible military operations against Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Syrian front, and Egypt. It is a must read for those interested in a better understanding of how Israel survives and thrives in one of the world’s most complicated threat environments.” 

(Matthew Kroenig, Associate Professor in the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University)


"Israel’s Future Wars by Dr. Ehud Eilem is a compelling and thought-provoking discussion on the shape of the most likely wars or armed conflict Israel will plausibly face in the near future. Based on his extensive and exhaustive research and analysis Dr. Eilem has written an authoritative, comprehensive and fascinating book on the challenges Israel would face if it should go to war against a range of potential adversaries from terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas to Iran, Syria or Egypt or combinations thereof.

"The author, in five extensively researched chapters, describes plausible operational narratives of wars that might become tomorrow’s headlines, and then discusses and examines a range of options by which Israel may prevail or avoid these conflicts in the future.  The book does not presume to predict the future but it does examine possible scenarios that pose a threat to Israel, and in some cases the region at large.

"He combines his thorough research and analysis on the defense capabilities of Israel and the capabilities of its adversaries to create a highly believable and authoritative vision of what future wars in the Middle East could look like.  Indeed, given the uncertain and unstable security environment in the region he makes a persuasive case for Israel to prepare for confrontations with all these potential adversaries.   

"In his introduction Dr. Eilem explains that the book “does not deal with the various political, social, economic, cultural, moral and legal matters concerning Israel” nor does it delve extensively into the exponential growth of technologies that have and will change the face of war with non-state actors increasingly capable of confronting and confounding the nation-state.  While making military decisions and operational choices requires political and policy choices which he touches on briefly, the author confines his book to how these likely scenarios of war will or could play out and what steps Israel will most likely need to take to prevail if any one or all of these scenarios should come to pass.  None of scenarios discussed are fated, but they bring up issues that policy makers and legislators (and military planners) should be concerned with when conducting crisis planning.  This is not a book meant to scare the citizenry or Israel’s leadership; it is meant to cause, I believe, people both inside and outside of government to think rationally and logically about potential events that could harm Israel and the wider region and think about ways those risks can be mitigated.  In that regard, this book represents risk management writ large and for that reason alone, it is worth reading as the events depicted are realistic and should prompt reflection by all of us.

"This is also a useful book for military planners, policy makers and the concerned public.  As a starting point for defense planning the assessment of the future security environment is essential and Dr. Eilem’s assessments, worse case planning, and recommendations are important contributions to understanding and preparing for these threat scenarios.  Of course, any threat analysis cannot guarantee the success of any policy based on its premises and those in charge of Israel’s security need to assess and respond to the author’s worst case analysis and recommendations for neutralizing the greatest potential risks.

"After reading Dr. Eilem’s book the reader will be convinced that that the alternative scenarios postulates uncertainty for which Israel must prepare—the “known unknowns” if you will. This means Israel must have a ready basket or “toolbox” of flexible, general-purpose forces and weapons with the capability of responding the challenges discussed in Dr. Eilem’s book and creating the capabilities to performing a range of operations depending on which adversary Israel may face.

"I hope this book will find a wide audience here and abroad.  Then perhaps it will spark and inspire an honest and serious debate within the international community on how it can address and prevent future wars involving Israel and the wider Middle East.  As Dr. Eilem so eloquently describes, any one of these scenarios will impose huge costs in terms of treasure and blood for Israel, her allies and adversaries, and will further dash any short or long term hopes for peace and stability in the region.  Knowing and understanding those costs, we should do all we can to make sure these “futures” never come to pass.  The book provides readers with unquestioningly plausible visions for what could one day become the reality of war in the Middle East.  In sum, this is an important read for anyone interested in understanding the challenging security environment for Israel and the risks it faces in the near future.

(Col. USMC (Ret.) Guy B. Roberts, former NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General)

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