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The Test of Consciousness: The Crisis of Signification in the IDF

Keywords: IDF , Israel , Lebanon , Hizbollah , military , public , military language , strategy , Second Lebanon War

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Abstract:

Conclusions drawn by the IDF from the post-Second Lebanon War debrie ngs and investigations about the language and validity of the documents on doctrine, the applicability of operative plans and their assimilation, and the clarity of commands and their rationale, all point to a crisis of signi cation. This crisis, which has dogged the security establishment as well as its civilian and military foundations, began its slow growth in the early 1990s. Many sectors within the public were tired of war and of internal struggles, especially in the security-political arena. New approaches adopted in the art of war were not always properly adjusted to Israel’s reality, with concessions to post-modern, global ideas imparting a transition to peace-seeking militarism or re ecting new de nitions of old military goals. The two intra-military dimensions of the crisis of signi cation that engulfed the IDF were not approved by the top command structure and emanated without prior warning from command and control bodies, with the exception of the State Comptroller. They stemmed in part from the failure to formulate a concept of the use of force and combat doctrines that would provide a response to the new complex reality facing Israel and give clear, goal-oriented meaning to the understanding of the enemy and its methods.

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