Study: Israel would be unable to repel all-out Arab attack
- Study: Israel would be unable to repel all-out Arab attack
By Daniel Sobelman, Ha'aretz CorrespondentHa'aretz Correspondent, and Ha'aretz Service
A study published in recent days by an American research institute for strategic and international
studies states that Israel would not be able to repel a comprehensive surprise attack from the Arab
nations for a prolonged period of time. The study, headed by historian Anthony Kurdsman and
published in its entirety in Saturday's edition of Al Hayat, says that the quantitative advantage of
the Arab armies would eventually outweigh the qualitative advantages the IDF has over the Arab
According to the study, one of the reasons for the expected lack of Israeli success in repelling
such an attack stems from the sensitivity of the Israeli public to casualties. Another of Israel's
weaknesses mentioned in the report is the reaction to psychological warfare waged by enemies such as
the militant Lebanese group Hezbollah, who have successfully used this tactic in the matter of the
three IDF soldiers abducted by the group in October of last year.
The study, which also focuses on the balance of power in the Middle East, states that Saudi Arabia
is the Arab country with the most modern air force, matching that of Israel. Kurdsman claims that
Israel's efforts in recent years to develop a missile defense system have been at the expense of the
Intelligence reports on Israel's nuclear capabilities states that Israel's arsenal contains some 400
The study determines that Russia and China are Iran's main sources for weaponry. With regards to
Syria, the study estimates that last year the Syrian army tested a Scud D missile with a
600-kilometer range. It was noted that according to information held by the United States Central
Intelligence Agency, Egypt "has not given up its plans" to develop a ballistic missile, called
"Victor" with a 1,200 kilometer range.
The editors of the study points out that unconventional weapons are the greatest danger in the
region, saying that Iran will be able to develop a nuclear bomb in the next five years. Syria, the
study states, will be able to produce bombs containing anthrax, a type of biological warfare, which
according to the study, has an effect similar to that of a small nuclear warhead.
The study concludes that the Middle East is the most armed region in the world and that in 1997 the
Arab countries spent some $20 billion on arms deals.