The Israeli Approach to Irregular Warfare and Implications for the United States

Authored by:
Thomas Henriksen
Published on 2/1/2007
Digital Only

The purview of this study is not large-scale conventional wars such as Israel's 1948, 1956, 1967, or 1973 conflicts or America's Persian Gulf War or its Kosovo bombing campaign. The emphasis is on Israel's practice of counterinsurgency and counterterrorism, and the IDF generally and its SOF in particular are rich in experience in these most difficult forms of conflict. Even before Israel's declaration of independence, there have been specialized Jewish forces that date back to the 1930s. With World War II, Great Britain (who ruled Palestine under a League of Nations mandate) trained and equipped unconventional forces from among the Jewish population to combat Nazi armies and their Arab sympathizers in the Middle East.