The Caravan: Israel's Grand Strategy

interview with Assaf Orion, Russell A. Berman
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Caravan Notebook Podcast

Facing neighbors fundamentally hostile to its existence, Israel has developed a multidimensional grand strategy. Assaf Orion initially described the development of this strategy in a Hoover essay here and he expands on the topic in this podcast conversation. He begins with comments on the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, which rules the Gaza strip, as well as the various military and political goals and prospects for the future. The conflict has impacted the political dynamic on the Palestinian side between Hamas and Fatah as well as the process of forming a new governing coalition in Israel. In general, he describes how Israel's defense depends on the strength of its technology sector and the relationship to the educational system although he identifies significant weak spots. Assaf also addresses the changing character of warfare, the existential threat that Iranian nuclear power would present to Israel as well as the danger of nuclear proliferation in the region because other countries would feel compelled to match Iranian nuclear capacity. Finding responsible Palestinian partners for peace is vital for Israel, and it requires curtailing the malign influence of Iran as well as Islamist radicals, both committed to the destruction of Israel. In this context, the Abraham Accords have significantly changed the landscape of the region and provide opportunities for the future.

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