“The author of this study was director of the Israeli Defense Force’s Intelligence Research Department in 1973, when Israel failed to see that Egypt and Syria were preparing for war. He has written this book – another version of which was published in Hebrew in 2006 – in order to refute the decision of the Agranat Commission, set up in the wake of the war, to blame him for this expensive intelligence failure and call for his dismissal. He shows that preparations by Egyptian and Syrian forces were closely followed on the days leading up to the war, but the intentions of enemy leaders were not known until the morning before the attack, and Israeli political leadership’s commitment to certain security concepts caused it to misread what was about to occur. Shalev identifies errors, including a misunderstanding of the Egyptian president’s personality, which contributed to the failure, and he suggests ways of avoiding similar mistakes. This solid though repetitive study, based on written assessments coming from the Research Department before war, will be useful to students of the Arab–Israeli conflict and of intelligence assessment in general. Recommended.” —Choice
Brigadier General (ret.) Aryeh Shalev served in the Israel Defense Forces from the War of Independence until 1976, filling many senior command positions. For much of his service he worked in intelligence, and for seven years served as the head of the Research Department within Military Intelligence. His final posting in the IDF was commander of the Judea and Samaria area. In 1978 he joined the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, later incorporated as the Institute for National Strategic Studies.
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