The evolution of Israeli civil-military relations domestic enablers and the quest for security
Moran, Daniel J.
Robinson, Glenn E.
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For 61 years, Israel has confronted intractable external hostility that has tested the mettle of its democratic foundation and institutions. Its effects are particularly pronounced with respect to the relationship between the country's civil and military spheres. Unlike other contemporary Western democracies, Israel has embraced an arrangement whereby the normally distinct boundaries separating government, military and society have been allowed to become blurred. While the Israel Defense Force (IDF) remains officially subordinate to elected leadership, and the likelihood of its intervention in Israeli politics remains exceedingly remote, its pervasive influence on policy formation and implementation is distinctive and troubling to some. As the direct threat to Israel's existence has receded, the IDF has begun to shed its identity as the embodiment of the nation-at-arms in favor of a new emphasis on military professionalization. It remains to be seen what impact this will have on Israeli society, its sense of security, and its view of military institutions. It is safe to assume, however, the changing social attitudes will continue to shape the state's often obscure civil-military dynamic, which will, in turn help to define the prospects for cooperation, stability and regional peace.
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