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Lebanon 1982: The Imbalance Of Political Ends And Military Means
CSC 1985
               WAR SINCE 1945 SEMINAR
                    Lebanon 1982:
   The Imbalance of Political Ends and Military Means
                      1 April 1985
         Marine Corps Command and Staff College
      Marine Corps Development and Education Center
                Quantico, Virginia 22134
Author:  DAVIS, M. Thomas, US Army
Title:   Lebanon 1982:  The Imbalance of Political Ends and
                                  Military Means
Publisher:  Marine Corps Command and Staff College
Date: 1 April 1985
     On June 6, 1982, the Israeli Defense Force, following
the directions of Ariel Sharon, Israeli Defense Minister,
launched a large scale invasion across the northern border
into Lebanon.   The invading force consisted of nearly 60
thousand Israeli soldiers organized into 9 division sized
formations and supported by portions of the Israeli Air
Force and Navy.
     The announced purpose of the attack was to push back
those  elements  of  the  Palestine  Liberation Organization
(PLO)  operating  in  southern  Lebanon  to  a  distance  40
kilometers north of the border between Israel and Lebanon 50
that Israeli settlements and villages of northern Galilee
would be beyond the range of PLO artillery.   The Israeli
government under Prime Minister Menachem Begin declared that
it had no broader designs on the territory of Lebanon and
that "Operation Peace for Galilee" would be over in a few
days as had "Operation Litani" in the Spring of 1978.
     Despite  the  limited  aims  initially  established  by
Jerusalem, it soon became obvious that the Israelis had in
mind objectives of considerably greater scope.  Considering
the rather dubious nature of the initial justification for
the operation, as well as the Israeli Defense Force's early
crossing of the 40 kilometer line, it became apparent that
the true objective was destruction of the PLO and elimina-
tion  of  not  only  that  organizations  limited  military
threat, but more significantly its political threat to the
established policies of the Israeli government.   Addition-
ally, the Begin government evidently hoped to foster the
development in Lebanon of a political order which might be
more capable of controlling events in southern Lebanon and
more conducive to signing a peace agreement with Israel.
     By January 1985, the Israeli army was still in Lebanon
occupying  that part of  the country north of  the Alawi
River.    The  operation  in Lebanon had cost  the Israeli
Defense Force (IDF) over 600 killed, losses which on a per
capita scale approach those the United States suffered in
Vietnam over nearly ten years, had created serious rifts
within  Israeli  society,   its  armed  forces,   and  its
government, and had toppled from power the government of
Prime Minister Begin and Defense Minister Sharon.  Worse,
from both  a political  and military point of  view,  the
invasion  had  failed  to achieve  in any certain way  the
objectives for which it had been launched -- objectives
which  were  never  so  clearly  enunciated  that  they were
clearly reducible to military terms.
     The purpose of this study is to argue that the Israeli
adventure in Lebanon was a costly failure.  The period since
World War II has been one of limited war, one in which
conflicts   have  been  restricted  in  either  space,  time,
objective,  means,  or  combinations   of  all  four.    This
international  condition  necessitates  that  the  political
objectives for which military forces are employed be more
clearly and concisely defined than ever before;  that the
nature of the conflict, and the probable conditions of its
termination, be rigorously analyzed.  These imperatives are
the same ones which Clausewitz identified nearly one hundred
and fifty years ago, but which modern man seems ever so slow
to internalize.   This paper will review the war from its
root causes, through its operational execution, and conclude
with an analysis from a Clausewitzian perspective on why it
assumed the character it did.
     The sources for the study include the few books that
have been written on the subject, numerous articles from the
journals that cover international affairs, and media analy-
ses and reportage.  Primary source material includes inter-
views with scholars having both Israeli and Palestinian per-
spectives; interviews with American military personnel who
served in the area during the conflict; interviews with some
State Department officials; and my own personal observations
and  notes  from  a  brief  tour  at  the  State  Department
coinciding with the war.  My observations will have to be
accepted at face value;  those of the observers will be
referenced with their anonymity respected and preserved.
                   TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction                                            p.  1
Chapter 1.  Clausewitz and the Philosophy of
                      War and Politics                  p.  5
       --Clausewitz Considered                          p.  9
       --The Nature of Contemporary Conflict            p. 14
Chapter 2.  The Arab-Israeli Condition:
                    Coming Full Circle                  p. 21
       --The Roots of Conflict                          p. 25
       --The Arab-Israeli Wars in Brief                 p. 33
       --The Combatants                                 p. 49
       --Strategic Concerns                             p. 58
       --Summary                                        p. 64
Chapter 3.  Escalation in Lebanon, 1981-1982
       --The Lebanese Condition                         p. 65
       --1981, Setting the Stage                        p. 74
Chapter 4.  The Conduct of the War                      p. 88
Chapter 5.  Conclusions                                 p. 120
       --Lack of Clearly Defined Goals                  p. 121
       --Failure to Focus on the Center of  Gravity     p. 127
       --Failure to Merge War and Politics              p. 130
       --The Result                                     p. 133
Figure 1: Israeli Political Parties and Coalitions       p. 51A
Figure 2: Organization of the PLO and the PNC            p. 53A
Figure 3: Israeli Tactical Organization                  p. 92
Map 1:  Lebanon Under the Ottomans                       p. 65A
Map 2:  Confessional Groups Within Lebanon               p. 68A
Map 3:  Lebanon After March 1978                         p. 73A
Map 4:  Operations  -  6  June  1982                     p. 93A
Map 5:  Operations  -  7  June  1982                     p. 99A
Map 6:  Operations  -  8  June  1982                     p. 101A
Map 7:  Operations  -  9  June  1982                     p. 104A
Map 8:  Operations  - 10  June  1982                     p. 106A
Map 9:  Operations  - 22-25 June 1982                    p. 110A
     The Middle East has been a regular scene of conflict
for centuries.  Since the establishment of the modern state
system in the region and,  more specifically,  since  the
founding of  the modern  state  of  Israel  in  1948,  this
condition has not only worsened but has become chronic at
best and institutionalized at worst.
     Military  men  throughout  the  world  have  carefully
followed the wars that have all  too frequently erupted
between the Arabs and Israelis seeking in them clues about
the  performance  quality  of  modern  equipment  and  the
intellectual logic of modern tactics.  Both Superpowers have
invested heavily to ensure the success and survivability of
their local clients and allies while making those military
procurement and doctrinal adjustments that these wars seemed
to suggest as prudent.  Lessons in these areas of interest
have been numerous;  but in the study of the cause and
advisability of resorting to military force in the modern
era, both camps of the contemporary bipolar balance have
been less vigorous in building solid analyses.
     Henry Kissinger once suggested that the major question
about military power is not how it is to be employed, but
whether it is to be employed.  With the December 1984 speech
by Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, during which he
described his own specific test as to the appropriateness of
any resort to arms, this debate has been opened once again
in the American defense and foreign policy community.  The
major concern of the Secretary of Defense,  and for all
military leaders,  is that military power,  once engaged,
should be used to secure clear military objectives support-
ing attainment of precisely defined political aims.   This
necessary  linkage,  of  political  purpose  with  military
objective, is the most basic of the precepts established by
the German military philospher Karl von Clausewitz more than
a century and a half ago.  Yet, despite its logic and the
fact  that  it  is often referenced and  repeated  in both
military and political writing,  this  simply-comprehended
association seems to be the one observation of Clausewitz
that  is  the  most  universally  remembered  yet  the  most
frequently disregarded.   The consequence is painful recol-
lection and dissatisfaction following combat.
     The evidence from the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon
indicates that the eventual failure of the operation has its
basis in the failure of the Israeli government to make this
elementary  association.    The  decision  for  a  military
operation where one was not clearly warranted was then com-
pounded by mistakenly seeking a political objective that was
simply beyond the capability of its military instrument.
The result was a weakening of the Israeli military, both in
its internal cohesion and its external perception, as well
as  a  lessening of  the  deterrent  value  of  the  Israeli
military muscle.   Lastly, the collapse of the government
that had embarked on this ill-advised undertaking followed
as a final consequence of indecision.
     The 1982 War in Lebanon is now regarded as the fifth
Arab-Israeli war, but unlike its predecessors, this conflict
pitted a conventional force against an opponent that was
primarily unconventional --   although there were battles
fought between regular army units of Israel and Syria.  This
war was one where the evidence, although somewhat disputed,
indicates there was no immediate, substantial threat to the
continuing existence of Israel as a state that forced its
resort to military force.  Finally, this war did not have a
clear, decisive, and definite conclusion allowing for the
usual  measurement of  success  or  failure.    Accordingly,
unlike  previous wars,  this one  is destined  to be  less
dissected and analyzed.  But in its own way, this war has
lessons that may be more significant than any of the others.
     We now live in a period of limited conflict where the
clashes of man will be most frequently on the low intensity
end of the scale of conflict.  In many ways, both military
and political, this new condition places additional burdens
on  the  national  leadership  of  all  states  to  find  a
reasonable  balance  between  political  ends  and  military
means,  to  ensure  that  the  ends  of  the  one  are  both
proportional and reducible to the means of the other.  The
United States experienced the consequences of imbalance in
Vietnam.   Israel has duplicated, to a great extent, this
failure in Lebanon.  We would all be wise to consider this
example  and  investigate  its  political  as  well  as  its
battlefield lessons.
                         CHAPTER 1
            "No war is begun, or at least, no war should
            be begun, if people acted wisely, without
            first finding an answer to the question: what
            is to be attained by and in war."1
                                      Karl von Clausewitz
     On 26 May  1982,  Secretary of State Alexander Haig
appeared before the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations and
delivered what  had  been  billed  as  a  major  address  on
American policy in the Middle East.  The Secretary observed
that  the  on-going  turmoil  in  the  Middle  East  was  of
considerable concern to  the United States  and  that  the
Reagan administration would soon initiate actions to end the
Persian Gulf war between Iraq and Iran that had been raging
since  September  1980;  would  invigorate  the  Palestinian
Autonomy  Negotiation  designed  to  consummate  the  final
details of the Camp David Agreement mediated by President
Carter; and would end the growing internal strife that had
paralyzed Lebanon since the days of its bloody Civil War of
the mid 1970s.2
     The policy bureaucracy of the State Department had been
busy  during  the  weeks  prior  to  the  Secretary's  speech
designing and proposing a diplomatic strategy that would
hopefully generate movement and progress in all three areas
identified by Haig.   Outside of the administration, this
activity  was  seen  as  a  positive  sign  that  the  early
proclivity of the administration for viewing the Middle East
in a strictly East-West context; of seeking the creation of
unrealistic anti-Soviet structures such as the "strategic
concensus" proposed by Haig in early 1981; and of assuming
what  many  considered  to  be  an  excessively  pro-Israeli
position throughout the area, would soon be brought to an
end.  Unfortunately, this was not the case.3
     Less than two weeks after Secretary Haig's speech in
Chicago, Israel launched a long anticipated attack across
its northern border into Lebanon.   The effects of this
action by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem
Begin had a most deleterious impact on the the plans of the
United States for addressing those problems identified in
Chicago by Secretary Haig.   By the end of the summer of
1982, the war in the Persian Gulf continued to roll along in
full fury; the Camp David Autonomy Talks between the United
States, Israel, and Egypt had been suspended indefinitely;
the internal conditions within Lebanon were more complicated
and destructive  than ever;  and Alexander Haig had  been
forced to resign his position as Secretary of State.
     The 1982 war in Lebanon created many changes in the
Middle East, but perhaps none were more profound than those
experienced by Israel herself.   When a state resorts to
arms, it supposedly does so with the idea of achieving some
political purpose.  The decision to fight should come after
careful consideration of the purpose for the introduction of
military forces; of the risks involved; of the demonstrated
or perceived inability to secure the desired objectives
through other means;  and of the probability of success.
Historically,  the  Israelis  have  well  understood  the
essential  linkage  between  military  might  and  political
purpose.   They have often used force to achieve certain
immediate political goals.4  In Lebanon, however, something
went wrong.
     On 3 June, the Israeli ambassador to Great Britain had
been wounded and permanently disabled in an assassination
attempt by a splinter group formerly associated with the
Palestinian Liberation Organization  (PLO).   Although the
group, known as Abu Nidal, had been expelled from the PLO in
1974,5  Israel responded to this terrorist action with an
air attack on Beirut directed against known PLO positions.
The PLO countered with an  artillery  and  rocket  attack
against northern Israel, known as the Galilee, reportedly
killing one Israeli.6   Until this action,  a cease fire
between Israel and the PLO, which had been negotiated by
American Ambassador Philip Habib the previous summer follow-
ing a confrontation over Palestinian and Syrian actions in
Lebanon, had held.  As Israeli authors Dan Bavly and Eliahu
Salpeter noted in their book Fire in Beirut, when Israel
attacked "it was after ten months of outward peace and
tranquility, in which not a single Israeli in Galilee had
been killed or wounded by the PLO."7 Therefore, considering
the situation that existed along the Israeli-Lebanese border
in the spring of 1982, Israel did not need to invade Lebanon
to end a terrorist barrage maiming its citizens and dis-
rupting their lives.  Jacobo Timerman, an Israeli journalist
and intellectual has charged that: "For the first time, war
was not a response to provocation."8   Clearly, the Begin
government had something else in mind when it voted to cross
the border, something that had little to do with either the
Galilee or avenging Ambassador Argov.
     By September 1982, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) had
won, at best, a most elusive victory.  Although the PLO had
been pushed back to a distance which placed the Galilee well
beyond hostile artillery range, the PLO itself had not been
destroyed.  Not only had the IDF failed  to capture  the
expected number of PLO "fighters", but the intensification
and aggravation of the chaos in Lebanon made an Israeli
withdrawal most difficult, if not impossible.9
     There are many explanations as to why Israel found
itself in  such a quagmire after invading Lebanon, and why
the government of Prime Minister Begin and Defense Minister
Sharon ultimately was compelled to step aside.  But at least
part of the answer is to be found in an apparent disregard
by the Prime Minister and his Defense Minister for an adage
of  war  first  clearly  enunciated  by  the  famous  German
military  scientist,  Karl  von  Clausewitz.    Indeed,  the
evidence clearly indicates that Clausewitz would have found
much objectionable in the manner in which the Israelis both
conceived and executed their operation in Lebanon.
                    CLAUSEWITZ CONSIDERED
     Karl von Clausewitz  (1780-1831) has become the high
priest of the relationship of military matters to mankind's
other societal interests and endeavors.  Although he lived
during  the Napoleonic period,  and never commanded large
formations  in battle nor even directed  a campaign,  the
cogent observations contained in his masterpiece On War have
shaped the thinking of military leaders and statesmen for
years.  Clausewitzian thought is easily discernible in the
modern works of such disparate personalities as military
theorist J.F.C. Fuller and political scientist Henry Kissin-
ger.10  His influence has been unquestionably enormous.
     In reflecting on the significance of Clausewitz, Fuller
expressed the belief that, "his penetrating analysis of the
relationship of war and policy has never been excelled, and
is even more important today than when first expounded."11
     Without questions Clausewitz's most famous contribution
to the  literature of military affairs  is  the seemingly
self-evident  observation  that  "war  is  nothing  but  a
continuation of political intercourse with an admixture of
other means."12   Many have read this to mean that war is
politics, that the one can revert to the other and vice
versa.  But a closer reading of Clausewitz clearly indicates
that this is not an accurate analysis of his assessment.
     Although  war  may  be  a  continuation  of  politics,
Clausewitz clearly believed that it was an instrument of the
political art  and not a creature with a life of its own.
On this point he was quite specific.  He noted: "War is only
a part of political intercourse, therefore by no means an
independent thing in itself."13   To emphasize the major
importance of this observation, Clausewitz added that: "The
subordination of the political point of view to the military
would  be  unreasonable,  for policy has  created  the war;
policy is the intelligent factor, war only the instrument,
and not the reverse."14
     With  this  statement,  Clausewitz  was  attempting  to
indicate  that  war,  if  it  were  to  be  successfully  and
prudently practiced, must have as its basis the attainment
of a political objective.  This objective could conceivably
be changed or altered during the course of the conflict, but
the achievement of the political goal must be the paramount
objective of warfare.   Implicit in this argument is the
belief that the political goal must be within "the nature of
the means at its disposal".15   For national policy to be
reasonable and responsible in the utilization of military
power,  its  architects must establish  a  clearly defined
political goal that military means can achieve.  Creating a
master plan requiring the application of military force
beyond the capabilities of that force is folly on a grand
     According to the Clausewitzian perspective, therefore,
politics and war are  inexorably  interconnected,  the one
directing and using the other as its selected instrument to
achieve  some purpose.    Clausewitz  never  identified  any
rationale  for  war  that  existed  beyond  the  political
context.   In fact, so firmly did he believe that military
means  were  the  servant  of  the  political  will  that  he
declared:  "War  can  never  be  separated  from  political
intercourse,  and  if...  this occurs  anywhere...  we  have
before us a senseless thing without an object."16
     But what of using the military instrument?  Clausewitz
had numerous observations on the nature of what we would
today call operational issues.   Many have slowly slipped
into  irrelevancy before the rush of technology and the
massive  changes  that  have  permutated  the  practice  of
warfare.   But there are two important arguments, relative
today in both the tactical and strategic senses, that have
survived unaltered.
     First is the argument that the war should be completed
as quickly as possible.  The uncertainty of combat, a factor
that Clausewitz called "friction" but today is most usually
described as "the fog of war", would  inevitably create
conditions in which plans, and perhaps even policies and
objectives, would have to be altered or re-thought.  One way
to prevent large alterations in the original concept of the
war was to finish it as quickly as possible.  For this and
other  reasons,  Clausewitz  felt speed was  an  essential
ingredient in warfare.
     Second, and in many ways closely related to the first,
Clausewitz  declared  that  the forces employed  should  be
judiciously used -- that they should be directed against
that point of the enemy most important and most vulnerable.
He observed that, "a centers of gravity, a center of power
and  movement,  will  form  itself  upon  which  everything
depends; and against this center of gravity of the enemy the
concentrated blow of all the forces must be directed."17
By extension,  it can be assumed that Clausewitz believed
efforts which were not directed  towards  the  center  of
gravity might eventually yield success, but not without a
significant wastage of time and recources.   Some military
historians, by way of example, have argued that the Allied
effort during World War II was guilty of  ignoring  the
centers of gravity of both the German Reich and Imperial
Japan  thereby  prolonging  the  war  and  unnnecessarily
increasing its destructiveness.18
     The  significance  of  Clausewitz  on  modern  military
thought has been profound, but his influence has been less
significant than one might expect on many of those charged
with the repsonsibility of developing and executing modern
military and political strategy.  The immediacy of acting;
the necessity to respond to situations of high fluidity; the
strong  pressures  to  produce  results;  and  the  equally
powerful  imperative to protect valuable and increasingly
expensive  resources,  have  served  as  wedges  separating
quality political from relevant military thinking in recent
times.   Few, if any, modern states are immune from this
dangerous tendency.  For modern decision-makers, both in and
out of uniform,  the  implications of this condition are
enormous  for  the  very  nature  of  contemporary  conflict
demands that the political-military relationship be given
greater consideration than ever before.
     Since the end of World War II, warfare has clearly
changed in kind.   It would not be completely accurate to
argue that we have entered a novel period where warfare has
become  limited,  for historically wars have usually been
limited in some aspect.   But following the experience of
World War II, the concept of total war was so expanded in
both scale and intensity that for a war to achieve general
acceptance as  "total",  it would have to be fought on a
global scale and probably include the employment of nuclear
weapons.  The prospect of engaging in such a war has sobered
the leaders of both superpowers, along with most of their
colleagues of the world community, into vigorously analyzing
ways in which conflicts can be contained.   To date, the
United States and the Soviet Union have both adopted "rules
of orders which have served to limit conflicts around the
world, although the degree to which either power seeks to
limit a conflict varies according to their evaluation of
the interests involved.19
     Presently, there are two primary dimensions in which
conflicts may be limited.   The first is in geographical
scale.   If a conflict erupts, its impact and implications
will be contained if the conflict itself does not exceed
certain geographical  limits.   If one,  or  both,  of  the
belligerents have totally committed his resources to achieve
an unlimited objective, the conflict will remain controlled
as  long as its boundaries are restricted.   Despite the
violence of their natures, both the Vietnam War between the
United States and North Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War
between Iran and Iraq were limited in space thus moderating
their impacts on the world at large.
     In practice, there are considerable pressures brought
to bear internationally to localize modern conflicts.  After
hostilities  erupt,  the  United  Nations  Security  Council
usually calls for an immediate cease-fire and a negotiated
settlement.   Simultaneously,  the superpowers measure and
evaluate their  interests and normally make an effort to
control the size of the conflict, particularly if they can
discern a probability that war might eventually lead to a
clash between them.  Since both Washington and Moscow have
widely recognized interests, the unmitigated expansion of
even a small flareup has the potential of drawing one or the
other into a cauldron each would prefer to avoid.
     Despite the pressures which limit modern wars in scope,
the most common limitation has been in objective.   This
condition is not the result of some ingrained desire for
lower levels of destruction, nor some late twentieth century
mellowing of human nature, but simply the objective calculus
of what can be achieved within reasonable costs.   A real
limit is established if there is clearly an insufficiency of
means for a total commitment.  This power deficiency may be
the result of many things, but its presence dictates that
objectives must be established which are proportional to the
force one has the ability and will to employ.
     In the modern world, this limitation in the availabil-
ity of means contains within itself something of a self-
regulating device.   As Adam Smith first observed over two
hundred years ago, the cost of the modern implements of war
is increasing at a pace which dictates that conflicts simply
must  be  restricted  in  scale.20    Today,  the  costs  of
weapons,  their supporting infastructure, their operators,
and their replacement components, have become so extreme
that only the wealthiest of nations can afford the burdens
of a large, standing military force.  Since the states that
have such forces are reluctant to see them employed under
con-ditions of general conflict, and since such forces are
very difficult for the smaller and poorer states to either
raise or maintain, these limited means dictate strategies
designed for limited objectives.
     For these reasons, modern conflict has clearly shifted
to the low intensity end of the spectrum of violence.21
Ironically, perhaps, this condition places increased burdens
on national policymakers who must rigorously analyze the
objectives for which their scarce and expensive forces will
be used.  Given that the objective will have to be limited
in  some  degree,  the accuracy of  their  judgment on the
correct conditions for employment becomes more significant
because the opponent will most likely have to be influenced
rather than forced to change his policies.  He will have to
be convinced that although his regime may not be totally
annihilated,  it is nonetheless in his  interest to yield
because  the  costs  of  further  resistance  outweigh  the
benefits to be gained.   The calculations on both sides
thereby  become  as  much  economic  and  psychological  as
          Returning to Clausewitz, in one essay he observed
     The more it will be concerned with the destruction
     of the enemy, the more closely the political aim
     and the military object coincide, and the more purely
     military, and the less political, war seems to be.
As just discussed, the modern world has witnessed a marked
increase in warfare where good reason dictates that the
destruction of the enemy will NOT be the primary objective.
Therefore, our time is one in which conflict is ordained to
be highly political.
     Former  American  Secretary  of  Defense  James  R.
Schlesinger  has  noted  that  the  present  decline  in  the
relative strength of the United States,  as well as the
post-World War II diffusion of power to numerous smaller,
regional  actors,   has  created  a  situation  in  which
Washington will have to be more "clever" than it has been in
the past.  According to Schlesinger: "When the United States
was  believed  to  possess  overwhelming  power,  political
blunders   mattered     relatively   little."23       Current
conditions, however, require that American forces be used in
situations where they complement effective "diplomatic and
political tactics".  This means that the relationship that
Clausewitz identified so many years ago is not only still
operative,  it is in fact stronger than ever.   As Field
Marshal Michael Carver has noted, modern war is still able
to support state policy by other means, but one must always
ask:  Was it worth the costs?24
     Although this discussion has tended to focus on the
modern  political-military  condition  from  a  superpower
perspective, the principles are the same for smaller powers
and are probably applicable to an even greater degree.
     Small countries obviously have military establishments
on a reduced scale.   But despite this, the investment and
opportunity costs paid to raise and establish a military
force gives a small state a stake in its force that is at
least as significant as that of the major nations.   The
necessity for selectivity in deciding the correct manner in
which to employ this force is essentially the same, except
that the costs of failure may be much higher.   Thus all
states face much the same problem in varying degree:  how to
employ a military force  in a manner which will achieve
something of political value, achieve it before the stakes
involve superpower attention, and preserve the viability of
local military power.
     This last point, preserving the viability of military
power, deserves some explanation.   Modern conditions have
greatly  expanded  the  utility  of  military  force  in  the
perceptual  rather than the actual context.   The actual
capability of a military force today is often less important
than its perceived capability.   Coupled with this is the
expectation that such force will be skillfully used by its
political  leadership  in a way to achieve results while
maintaining a perception of strength.  In essence, this is
the theory of deterrence applied to small scale conventional
     Whether this is a desirable condition or not is a moot
point.    It  is,  nonetheless,  the  condition  under which
contemporary political and military leaders must operate.
It demands that national  leaders be more analytical and
measured in the ways they decide to use military power.
Basically this means they must carefully isolate political
aims sought; determine if military power is the proper means
for achieving these aims; and then commit forces appropriate
for and precisely proportional to the ends desired.   In
short,  there  must  be a balance of political  ends with
military means.  The failure to establish this balance is a
clear  formula  for  disaster,  and  unfortunately  we  are
presently accumulating a wealth of examples which prove the
                     CHAPTER 1 ENDNOTES
1.   Karl von Clausewitz, On War (Washington:  Combat Forces
Press, 1953), p. 569.
2.   See U.S. Department of State, "Peace and Security in the
Middle East," Current Policy No. 395, 26 March 1982.
3.   See Bernard Gwertzman, "Mideast Strategy:      The 1950s
Revisited,"  The New York Times, 13 October 1981, p. A14.
4.   Richard A. Gabriel, Operation Peace For Galilee:   The
Israeli-PLO War in Lebanon (New York:  Hill and Wang, 1984),
p. 15.
5.   Very little is known about the actual organization known
as Abu Nidal.   It is widely acknowledged to be a renegade
faction that has little respect for PLO Chairman Arafat or
representatives of the established Arab states.   See Dan
Bavly and Eliahu Salpeter, Fire in Beirut (New York: Stein
and Day Publishing, 1984), p. 32.
6.   See James E. Akins, "The Flawed Rationale For Israel's
Invasion of Lebanon," American-Arab Affairs, No.  2, Fall
1982, pp. 33.
7.   Bavly and Salpeter, p. 234.
8.   Jacobo Timerman, The Longest War:     Israel in Lebanon
(New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1982), p. 11.
9.   Ibid., pp. 112-116.
10.  J.F.C. Fuller, The Conduct of War, 1789-1961 (Westport,
Connecticut:   Greenwood Press,  1961),  p.  60.   For the
Kissinger summation see Henry A. Kissinger, Nuclear Weapons
and Foreign Policy (New York:  Harper and Brothers, 1957),
p. 141.
11.  Fuller, p. 60.
12.  Clausewitz, p. 596.
13.  Ibid.
14.  Ibid., p. 598.
15.  Ibid., p. 16.
16.  Ibid., p. 596.
17.  Ibid., p.  586.     For a discussion expanding on the
comments of Clausewitz see Fuller, p. 68-70.
18.  For a critique of the Allied effort, and its presumed
failure to attack the enemy centers of gravity, see Fuller,
p. 279-303.
19.  For a thorough discussion of this significant change in
the international setting following World War II, see Robert
E.  Osgood,  "The  Reappraisal  of  Limited  War",  American
Defense Policy, 3d ed., Richard G. Head and Ervin J. Rokke,
eds.  (Baltimore:    The Johns  Hopkins  Press,  1973),  pp.
20.   See Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations  (New York:
Random House, 1937), pp. 653-669.  Smith's discussion on the
"Expence of Defence" (sic) is fascinating.  With only minor
revision, the trends and implications that Smith perceived
in defense spending are as true today as they were two
hundred years ago.
21.  For a discussion of this trend, see William J. Taylor,
Jr. and Steveb A. Maaranen, The Future of Conflict in the
1980s (Lexington, Massachusetts:   Lexington Books, 1982).
The views of the corporate authors are summarized in pp.
22.  Clausewitz, p. 17.
23.  The comments of Secretary Schlesinger are contained in
Taylor and Maaranen, p. 16.
24.    Michael Carver,  War Since  1945  (New York:   G.P.
Putnam's Sons, Inc., 1981), p 282.
                           CHAPTER 2
          "The Zionist movement had always been convinced
           that the Arabs would receive it with open arms,
           and be happy for its bringing the values, the
           ideas and the know-how of West European and Amer-
           ican civilization into the Middle East.  Because
           of this illusion... Zionism committed the unin-
           tentional error of ignoring the importance of the
           Arab attitude for the realization of Zionist
                                         Nahun Goldmann, 1978
     Conflict  in  the  Middle  East  has  been  endemic  for
centuries,  but during the present century it has become
chronic.  In addition to the strifes of religious and ethnic
origin  that  have  historically plagued  the  area,  modern
international politics has now grafted a seemingly insoluble
Arab-Israeli  dispute  onto  the  crazily  woven  regional
backdrop.  This new component serves not only as a conflict
in its own right, but as a complicating additive to the
clashes that existed in its absence.2
     This condition has served to create in the Middle East
something of a testbed for modern warfare.   Wars in the
region  since  1945  have  covered  the  entire  spectrum of
violence.    The  Middle  East  has  witnessed  civil  war,
insurgency, guerrilla war, and open conventional war of both
mobile and static natures.   The 1982 War in Lebanon is
merely the latest in a continuing series of conflicts that
have  been  so  costly  and  so  damaging  to  the  region's
prospects for economic development.  But for the purposes of
studying conflict in the modern world, it has much to offer
in the way of lessons learned and re-learned.
     Like all the post World War II conflicts in the Middle
East, this one was a small war.  In terms of the criteria
previously discussed, it was a limited war in both space and
time.  It was also limited in objective.  The Israelis did
not attempt to completely destroy all the opponents they
faced in the war.  They do not now, and never have had, the
resources required to destroy all the Arab regimes hostile
to Israel.3  Nevertheless, the objectives that the Israelis
established for their armed forces were not sufficiently
limited to make them achievable at acceptable costs.
     This  is what makes  the war  in Lebaon  in  1982  so
fascinating as a case study in the modern use of force.
Here was an instance in which a conventional force was sent
against an opponent consisting primarily of irregulars or
guerrillas who fought when they chose to on familiar and
favorable terrain.   Simultaneously, a second front matched
conventional forces neither of whom had a strong desire to
become  decisively engaged.   But even  in this clash of
conventional forces,  the mechanized and tank-heavy units
comitted by Israel were forced to fight in an unfavorable
     The nature of this conflict from both a military and
political perspective indicates that the Israelis should
have taken care to establish political objectives that were
both  unambiguous  and  reducible  to  military  terms.    In
addition, given the small size of the Israeli forces that
can be deployed without resorting to a major reserve call up
that severely disrupts the national economy, and considering
the American and Soviet sensitivities in the region, there
existed a clear necessity for Jerusalem to fight a quick war
securing the carefully established political objectives.
     But Jerusalem did not apply this logic to the war in
Lebanon.  The goals initially announced seemed to conform to
this paradigm, but the actual conduct of military operations
belied this early announceed intent.   The history of this
conflict indicates that Israel's political aims were unclear
and inconsistent.   For reasons that will be long debated,
after early successes the Israelis expanded the operational
objectives of the conflict to the point that they quickly
exceeded the capability of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).
     The costs of this effort at political over-reach were
excessive to Israel in both political and military terms.
The government of Prime Minister Menachem Begin was soon
subjected to extensive internal pressure  leading to the
abrupt resignation of disheartened leader on September 15,
1983.   The principal architect of the invasion,  Defense
Minister Ariel Sharon, was also forced from office because
of events associated with the seige of Beirut and as of
early 1985 had gone to court in a suit with an American
periodical in an effort to rehabilitate and broaden his
stature with the Israeli electorate.4
     The war was ultimately costly for the United States as
well.  Not only did the conflict drive Syria closer to the
Soviet Union, creating conditions for the re-introduction
into the Middle East of regular Soviet forces, but it also
dragged  the United States  into an expensive and futile
involvement in Beirut resulting in nearly 300 casualties for
the  United  States  Marines,  and  reopening  in  American
politics questions pertaining to the War Powers Act of 1974
and  the appropriate role  for US  Forces  in contemporary
     In order to understand the context of these events and
the  conflict  in  Lebanon,  it  is  necessary  to elaborate
somewhat on the recent history of the Middle East.   The
sources of the conflict in Lebanon are deeply rooted in the
history of the Arab-Israeli dispute, a confrontation which
has now finally telescoped down to a familiar essence -- the
contradictory  interests of  the peoples of  the State of
Israel and the land of Palestine.6
                  THE ROOTS OF CONFLICT
     Most people seem to assume the conflict between the
Arabs  and  Israelis  is  a  struggle  between  conflicting
religious beliefs, between two antagonistic but religiously
based ideologies.  This is simply untrue.  Not too long ago,
this conflict was frequently described as one between "the
Muslims and the Jews".  That it is now predominantly labeled
as a dispute between" Arabs and Israelis", words indicating
its true nationalistic and secular nature, is indicative of
an increased awareness that has taken hold over the past few
     It  is  certainly  true  that  in  history  there  are
instances where Muslims have persecuted and often destroyed
Jewish tribes and communities.   Following the battle of
"The Ditch"  in 627, Muhammed, convinced that one of the
Jewish tribes of Medina had collaborated with his enemies
led by the Quraish clan of Mecca, ordered the men of the
Jewish tribe executed and the women and children sold into
slavery.  The Prophet was angered that the Jewish citizens
of Medina had failed to accept his new religion, and began a
campaign to divest Islam of certain practices which seemed
to have a Jewish basis.   For example, originally Muhammed
had directed that Muslims face Jerusalem during prayer, but
after the clash with the Medinese Jews, this was changed to
     The ancestral homeland of the Jews,  where they had
constructed the first and second temples, was in the ancient
land of Israel with its capital at Jerusalem,  but this
polity existed as an established state under Kings David and
Solomon for only about 80 years between 1010 and 930 BC.
After being brutally conquered by the Romans,  the major
Jewish communities were scattered in 135 AD.  When the Arabs
conquered the region during the reign of the Caliph Umar in
637,  there was no longer any large,  established, Jewish
community.8 Many  of the Jews who had remained in the area
following the Arab conquest converted to Islam; while others
maintained  the  faith  in  small  groups  located  primarily
around Jerusalem.
     During  the  reigns  of  the  great  Arab  Empires  and
dynasties such as the Ummayads and the Abbasids, and through
the time of the Ottomans, Jews lived and even served in high
places throughout the ancient Middle Eastern world.   As
religions that preceded Islam, Judaism and Christianity were
accepted by Muslims as legitimate faiths and their adherents
were largely free of persecution -- although Arab toleration
was  sometimes  unevenly  applied.    Accordingly,  there  is
little  indication  in  past  history  of  sectarian  strife
between Arabs and Jews.9
     All of this began to change in the period following
World War I when the conflict between Zionist Jews and
Palestinian Arabs began to  fester.  This was not a conflict
based on an ethnic or religious component; primarily, it was
a confrontation between two nationalisms being played out
during a period of rising nationalism.
     The Zionist movement began to gather momentum after
Theodore Herzl called the first Zionist Congress in Basle,
Switzerland, in 1897.  The Zionist aim was to re-establish
the  ancient Jewish  homeland  in  the  area  now  known  as
Palestine.   Their program was succinctly captured in the
phrase:    "a people without  a  land  for  a  land without
people."  It was a simple and catchy slogan, but it was also
false; Palestine had people, the descendents of the Arab
conquerers  who had  been on the  land  since  the seventh
     During the course of World War I, driven by the desire
to defeat the Central Powers, the British had created for
themselves a morass of  conflicting promises.   With the
Hussein-McMahon Correspondence of 1916, they had promised
the Arab areas of the Ottoman Empire to Arab forces repre-
sented by Sharif Hussein of Mecca, patriarch of the House of
Hashim.   In 1917, however, the British issued the Balfour
Declaration  stating  that  London viewed  "with  favor  the
establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish
People."  The effort of the Entente to square these promises
at  Versailles  with  President  Woodrow  Wilson's  avowed
principle of self-determination ultimately resulted in Great
Britain  being  granted  a  mandate  for  Palestine  and
Trans-Jordan with the responsibility of satisfying both the
Arab and Jewish communities.10
     In 1921, Britain's Colonial Secretary, a colorful chap
named Winston Churchill, divided Palestine and Trans-Jordan
establishing Sharif Hussein's oldest son, Abdullah, as the
Amir of the latter.11 Practically, this meant that only the
portions of Palestine west of the Jordan River would be con-
sidered for the site of the Jewish homeland.  But between
1922 and World War II, the growing antagonism between the
Jewish and Arab communities because of Jewish immigration
created constant problems for London.   By 1936, with the
Arabs  in  revolt,  the British were dealing with a  full
fledged insurgency.
     In answer  to the difficulties  in Palestine,  London
organized a study of the problem under Lord Earl Peel, a
former Secretary of State for India, who in 1937 issued the
report of the Commission bearing his name.  As Peel saw it,
the only solution was to partition Palestine between the two
communities.    The  following  year,  however,  a  second
commission sent to study Peel's partition proposal declared
that  such  a plan  would  be  unworkable  because  of  Arab
resistance and the limited space suitable for incorporation
into the Jewish province.12 In 1939, the British issued a
White Paper announcing their intention to slowly restrict
and  then end Jewish  immigration  into  the  area.    This
wasstrongly resisted by the both the Palestinian Arabs and
World Zionist communities.  As they entered World War II in
September  1939,  the  British  found  themselves  hopelessly
caught between the aspirations of two determined national
     The devastation of Europe and Hitler's campaign of
extermination directed against Jews left millions of Jews
homeless after the end of the war.   Many wanted to leave
Europe and re-settle in Palestine, but this would create
renewed  problems  for  the  British  with  the  local  Arab
population.  As thousands of Jews fled Europe for Palestine
in old tramp steamers and other vessels which were barely
seaworthy, the British dilemma intensified.  If they allowed
the Jews in, they faced the consequences of a Palestinian
Civil War;  if they didn't,  they faced the wrath of the
Zionist organizations and world opinion which was growing
increasingly incensed at pictures of European Jews being
again herded into camps -- only this time by the British on
     Having few ideas and no solution; heavily burdened by
the costs of the war; and uncomfortable at maintaining a
large Army contingent in Palestine where its soldiers were
the targets of both Arab and Jewish extremists; the British
referred the issue to the newly formed United Nations on
April 12, 1947.   Shortly afterwards, the UK announced its
intention to leave Palestine by May 15, 1948, the day their
Mandate was scheduled to expire.13
     The  United  Nations  General  Assembly  adopted  a
resolution establishing an eleven nation Special Committee
on Palestine.  This became known by the acronym UNSCOP, and
immediately began to study the various questions and issues
related to the problem.  Between 26 May and 31 August 1947,
UNSCOP investigated all apects of the dilemma and in late
September rendered a divided report containing both majority
and minority suggestions.  The majority report recommended
partition with an economic union, much as Peel had proposed
in 1937.   A minority report,  authored by three states,
suggested the establishment of autonomous Arab andJewish
states in a federal union following a three year transition
period in which further immigration would be allowed within
the  limits of  the  absorbtive  capacity  of  the  country.
Neither plan offered many details as to how the UN would
deal with the violent opposition expected from both parties
during the execution of the proposals.14
     The  Arabs  denounced  both  proposals  as  unfair  and
undemocratic  noting,  among  other  things,  that  in  the
proposed Jewish state Arabs would constitute nearly half of
the  population,  and  that  the  "best  part"  of Palestine
containing the citrus land would go to the Jews along with
80% of  the cereal  area and  40% of Arab industry.   In
addition, the Jewish state would receive 55% of the land
area of Palestine in question despite the fact that they
owned only 7% of the land.  As one Arab scholar has argued:
"We were asked to accept half a loaf, but we rejected the
baker's analogy.  We believed the principle in question was
the Solomonic analogy,  and we were the ones who opposed
dividing the baby."15
     The Zionists firmly rejected the minority report, but
their General  Council  meeting  in Switzerland  found  the
partition proposal  acceptable  although  they had  certain
reservations about the area allotted to the Jewish state as
well as the status of Jerusalem.  Nonetheless, recognizing
their position as being essentially strengthened by the
UNSCOP proposals, the Zionist  Organizations launched a well
planned campaign to have the majority report adopted by the
General Assembly.
     On 29 November 1947, after considerable maneuvering by
both sides,  and after some alterations  to the original
UNSCOP proposals by a General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee,
partition was voted by the Generals Assembly by a vote of 33
to 13 with 10 states abstaining.
     By this time, Britain had firmly announced intentions
to leave Palestine regardless of the outcome of the UN
vote.  Economically, financially, and militarily weak after
World War II, Britain was anxious to shed its imperial
outposts.   It had reluctantly decided to give up India; to
terminate its role in the eastern Mediterranean; and to move
some of its military bases to Kenya.   At the time, the
British had stationed in Palestine a substantial military
contingent in an effort to keep order.  Harrassed by both
sides, often savagely by the extremists Zionist groups, the
British force equalled one troop for every 1.5 able bodied,
male   member of the Jewish community in Palestine,  the
Yishuv.    Since  they  had  decided  to  leave  India,  the
strategic importance of Palestine was greatly diminished and
the Foreign Office in London saw no good reason to pay for
forces there.   Accordingly, Britain abstained from the UN
vote  declaring  that  she  would  abide  by  any  solution
acceptable on both sides, but that she would not impose with
military force any solution opposed by either side.   The
British had clearly washed their hands of Palestine.
     Following the United Nations vote on 29 November 1947,
a Civil War erupted in Palestine between the Arab and the
Jewish communities.   The Arabs probably fired the first
shot, but the war exacted a heavy cost from both sides.  The
period of Civil War which lasted until the departure of the
British on 14 May 1948, was a cruel and vicious struggle
between two societies placed on a collision course because
neither could accomodate the irreducible minimum demands of
the other.  Because of the limited means available, the war
started with an initial flurry of random killings, but it
soon settled into a recognizeable pattern of fighting as
both sides added to their stocks of men and equipment.  But
it was a deadly affair: between 1 December 1947 and 1 Febru-
ary 1948 the UN recorded 2778 casualties including 1462
Arabs,  1106 Jews,  and 181  British.16  In the first four
months of the conflict, the Israelis suffered five times the
relative losses of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war which included
greatly expanded firepower and 15 times more soldiers.17
     By May 1948, the Yishuv had done relatively well in the
war and had clearly taken better advantage of the frequent
lulls and cease-fires.  Although constituting only a third
of the population, the Jewish community eventually mobilized
the totality of its resources and actually fielded an armed
force that was larger, better led, and better trained than
that of the Palestinian Arabs.18
     After the declaration of the establisment of the State
of  Israel  on  14  May,  the  war  changed  in  complexion.
Pressured  by  their  aroused  masses,  and  in  some  cases
motivated by the possibility of national and territorial
gain, the established Arab states bordering Israel had been
planning for a possible armed intervention since mid-April.
Ruled   by   governments   with   different   ideological
orientations, and plaqued by several dynastic rivalries, the
Arabs  were,  however,  unable  to  develop  a  coordinated
strategy.  When the five Arab states, consisting of Egypt,
Trans-Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon attacked on 15 May,
it marked the high water mark of Arab unity of effort.  As
the war drug on through the remainder of 1948, the Arab
states each fought on their own front with little effort to
coordinate strategies or even to share intelli- gence.19
This Arab disunity allowed the Israelis to take maximum
advantage of interior lines in shifting forces from one
front to another as the situation required.  After the first
two weeks, the war dragged toward stalemate and the United
Nations became involved in an effort to mediate.   On 29
May, the UN appointed Count Folke Bernadotte as its official
mediator  and  he  arranged  the  first of many  truces  and
cease-fires which went into effect on 11 June 1948.
     During this cease-fire, the Israelis resupplied their
under-equipped armed force and strengthened it with newly
arrived immigrants.  The Jewish army expanded to somewhere
between  60,000  and  100,000  combatants  armed  with  new
equipment including fighter aircraft and bombers.   By the
time fighting resumed, the Israelis probably outnumbered the
Arabs who had to withhold some of their forces for internal
security duties at home.  This meant that during the later
stages of the war, the Arabs were forced by the availability
of forces to adopt a larely defensive strategy.20
     Fighting was renewed on 9 July 1948 and raged for some
ten days although it was mostly contained in the center
sector around Jerusalem and the Egyptian front in the Negev
desert.   During the course of the fighting, the Israelis
were  able  to  further  widen  and  secure  the  road  that
connected Tel Aviv with the Jewish community in Jerusalem.
They then broke through Egyptian lines in the south to open
a corridor to Jewish enclaves which had been isolated in the
Negev.   Although there were some gains in the north, the
increasing Arab inability to effect a coordinated military
effort  allowed  the  Israelis  to  maximize  the  growing
capabilities of their young army.21
     Although Israeli efforts to seize control of as much of
the  area  allotted  to  the  Jewish  state  by  the General
Assembly partition resolution were succeeding,  they were
becoming   increasingly  isolated  diplomatically.     This
isolation was aggravated on 17 September 1948 when the Stern
Gang, a Jewish extremist group, assassinated Count Berna-
dotte.    The attack on Bernadotte had been in response to
his proposal that the partition plan be modified in a manner
that would give the Arabs control of the Negev, annex the
Arab territories in Palestine to Jordan, turn Jerusalem into
an international city, and allow the swelling horde of Arab
refugees to return to their homes.22 The Arabs rejected
this proposal because it would have added to the Jordanian
territory controlled by King Abdullah,  but the Sternists
found the parts about the Negev and Jerusalem so objection-
able that they decided to murder the UN mediator who they
now adjudged to be hopelessly in sympathy with the Arabs.
Bernadotte's position  as UN Mediator  was  filled  by  an
American diplomat, Dr. Ralph Bunche.
     Deciding that they had to take concrete steps to alter
the military conditions which supported Bernadotte's pro-
posal, the Israelis launched a third offensive on 14 Octo-
ber 1948.  By this time, the Israelis had all of the mili-
tary advantages on their side.   They had a larger, better
led  force;  one  that  had  a  certain  degree  of  central
direction;  and one that enjoyed the perogatives of  the
attacker -- initiative and surprise.   In a quick nine day
campaign, they routed the Egyptians in the south; seized
control of the entire Negev desert; and cleared all of the
central Galilee in the north.23
     Following one more period of combat in November, the
war came to a conclusion with an armistice signed by Israel
and Egypt on 24 February 1949.   Lebanon quickly adopted
Egypt's lead and settled on 23 March followed by Jordan on 3
April, and Syria on 20 July.  Baghdad refused to conclude an
armistice with Israel and not needing to worry over a common
border simply withdrew her  forces,  returning them Iraq.
Since the Saudis had contributed only a small token force,
they also saw no need to sign a separate agreement and
followed the Iraqi example.  Thus by the summer of 1949, the
new state of Israel existed behind armistice lines that
reflected the realities of the battlefield more than any
logic of economics or demography.24
     Little  is  written  these  days  about  the  first
Arab-Israeli war, but its nature, setting, and termination
have  colored  the  Arab-Israeli  conflict  ever  since  for
several reasons.
     First, beyond the concrete success of establishing the
modern state of Israel, the psychological implications of
the victory of the Yishuv complicated the possibility of
future Arab-Israeli relations.  The decisive nature of the
Israeli victory, against odds that were perceived to be far
greater than they actually were, instilled in the Israelis
and  their  fledgling  government  a  sense  of  pride  and
self-confidence that lessened considerably their willingness
to make the kinds of concessions to the Arabs that were
necessary  for  genuine  reconciliation  and  peace.    This
established a mental boundary on Israeli flexibility that
has been evident ever since, although, as we shall see, the
Lebanon experience in 1982 has begun to force changes.  In
1975, while attempting to negotiate the Sinai II agreement,
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger observed how this legacy
of the 1948 war had impacted on his ability to negotiate
with  Israeli  Prime  Minister  Yitzhak  Rabin.    Kissinger
reported that:
     When I ask Rabin to make concessions, he says
     he can't because Israel is too weak.  So I give
     him arms, and he says he doesn't need to make
     concessions because Israel is strong.25
     Second, on the Arab side, the extent of their defeat
was a deep blow to their pride and self-esteem.  Their sense
of  humiliation  was  so  complete  that  they  refused  to
recognize the existance of Israel, even going to the extreme
of removing  references  to  it from maps  and periodicals
shipped into Arab countries, refusing to even use the name
"Israel" in official business until the early 1970s.26 Ac-
cording to Henry Kissinger, President Sadat's decision to go
to war in 1973 was primarily to force Israel into realizing
that it was not invincible, and to demonstrate to the Arabs
that they were not militarily and technologically incom-
petent.  In Kissinger's judgment: "Sadat fought a war not to
acquire territory but to restore Egypt's self-respect and
thereby increase its diplomatic flexibility."27
     Third,  and  most  significantly,  was  the  refugee
problem.   When one discusses  the refugees,  it must  be
realized that this means Palestinian Arabs who left the
areas that became the state of Israel.   They lost their
homes,  their possessions  and,  by their reasoning,  their
identity.  A protracted debate has raged for years over why
the Arabs abandoned their homes.   Israeli historians have
insisted that the Jewish leaders encouraged the Arabs to
remain, but the Palestinian Arabs elected to leave their
homes and farms because of the encouragement of their own
leaders.  Arab historians have vigorously denied this.  They
maintain  that  there were  no  instructions  for Arabs  to
abandon their land, and that the Arabs did so because they
were forced out by a combination of Israeli military force
and psychological warfare.  Arabs are quick to single out
the widely known Deir Yaseen incident of April 1948,  in
which Jewish extremists from the Irgun destroyed an entire
Arab village  killing  some 250  of  the  Arab  inhabitants
including women and children, as an example of the coercive
tactics used by the Israelis.28
     The truth will never be known, but it probably lies
somewhere between the two poles of opinion.   Indeed one
respected scholar with strong Israeli connections argues
that as long as the partition proposal was in doubt, the
Arabs, expecting to avoid trouble and return after the issue
was  decided,  left  voluntarily  in  the  face  of  Jewish
insistence that they remain.  After the war began and the
advantage swung to the side of the Israelis, the Arabs were
then forced from their homes as the Jews attempted to make
their  area more  homogenous,  lessen  the  danger  of  Arab
espionage  and  sabotage,  and  secure  additional  land  and
buildings for the expected influx of Jewish immigrants.29
     Regardless of  the exact cause,  the effect was  the
same.   By the end of the war,  there were approximately
700,000 Arabs refugees displaced from lands now occupied by
the Israelis.   About 60% of these refugees wound up in
Jordan while the remainder were evenly divided between the
Egyptian  controlled  Gaza  Strip,  and  areas  of  southern
Lebanon  and  Syria.    These  people,  confined  to  camps,
primarily representing excess agricultural labor, and forced
to live off meager handouts of various Arab states and the
United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), have become
the breeding ground of the discontent that has spawned the
contemporary  Palestinian  national  movement.    To  these
Palestinians, the establishment of the state of Israel is
known merely as "the catastrophe" and they continue to look
upon the Jewish state as imperialistic, western, coercive,
and dispossessive.30 This is the major engine driving the
emotional dispute that continues to thrive in the region.
     The  final  major  result  of  the  1948  war  was  the
instability it created among the Arab states in the region.
Because established governments had been beaten so badly,
and  unexpectedly,  their  regimes  came  under  considerable
pressure.  In Egypt, the monarchy of King Farouk, which had
suffered the most humiliating defeat,  was  toppled.   On
22 July 1952, Farouk was overthrown by a group of young Army
officers who were very disillusioned by the course of the
war.  Within two years, Gamal Abdul Nasser had emerged as
the primary leader of this movement and Cairo became the
focus of his Pan-Arab exhortations calling for a united Arab
effort to purge the shame of 1948.
     In Syria the government was overthrown and replaced by
a military clique in 1949.  By the mid-1950s, the Arab Baath
Party, another force with a strong Pan-Arab message, had
come to power in Damascus.  The message of the Baathist was
that only through the establishment of a larger secular Arab
state could the memory of the debacle of 1948 be erased.
     In Jordan, which had annexed the portions of the West
Bank that it controlled following the war, the composition
of the population was greatly altered by the results of the
war.  Because of the number of refugees who fled east across
the  Jordan  river  into  the  Hashemite  Kingdom,  Jordan's
population became instantly nearly two-thirds Palestinian.
This presented King Abdullah with serious political prob-
lems.  In addition, it strained the limited resources that
his country could employ to care for its new and unwelcome
guests.   Abdullah engaged in a series of secret meetings
with the Israelis in an effort to address their mutual
problem, but many of the Palestinians considered this to be
traitorous behavior.  An enraged refugee murdered Abdullah
in Jerusalem on 20 July 1951, as Abdullah's grandson Hussein
watched.    For many,  this event  is  the explanation  for
Hussein's continuing political caution in dealing with the
Palestinian  issue  since his assumption of the Jordanian
     It is within this framework that one should view the
major Arab-Israeli  wars  that occurred  between  1949  and
1982.  The Sinai war of 1956 was a war that Israel elected
to enter in collusion with the governments of Britain and
France.   The three states found themselves with a conver-
gence of interest over the nature of the Nasser regime in
Egypt.  The British under Prime Minister Anthony Eden were
at   odds   with   Nasser's   nationalistic   actions   and
pronouncements, an antagonism which reached its peak when
Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, the vital link between
Europe and trading partners to the east.
     For the French, the major concern was Nasser's meddling
in their insurgency in Algeria.  Nasser had provided encour-
agement to the Algerian rebels and had made support for
their struggle against Paris a common theme in his foreign
     For the Israelis, Nasser's Pan-Arab philosophy and his
often stated desire to avenge the embarrassment of 1948 were
interpretted  as  an  immediate  and  serious  threat.    In
addition, his failure to take assertive action to prevent
Palestinian  guerrilla  activities  being  launched  against
Israel  from the Egyptian administered Gaza strip caused
continual tension.
     In late October 1956, in an effort to eliminate or at
least mitigate this Egyptian menace, Israel attacked Egypt.
Shortly afterwards,  the British and French intervened to
protect their national interests.   The result was a quick
victory for the Israelis, who conquered the Sinai desert in
less than a week, but a political disaster for all three
attackers.  Not only did Nasser emerge from the assault with
his power and heroic image increased, but the attackers were
disavowed by the United States whose President compared
their actions to those being used simultaneously by the
Soviet Union in Hungary.31  Washington forced Israel to give
back the Sinai in exchange for a promise to support its
contention of free passage through the Straits of Tiran at
the southern tip of the peninsula.
     In 1967, a series of events involving Israel, its Arab
neighbors, and the Soviet Union came together to create the
conditions which led to the 1967 "Six Day War".  Again, the
Arabs were attempting to demonstrate their military ability
and were probably overcome by the inertia of events once
they had started things into motion.  The Israelis, although
evidently not involved in any of the actions which initially
precipitated  the  crisis,  apparently  decided  to  take
advantage of the moment to demonstrate once again their
military prowess.   One United Nations official recalled
that, "I don't think Eshkol  [the Israeli Prime Minister]
wanted  a  war,  but  it  was  quite  clear  the  military
establishment,  including the intelligence services,  badly
wanted a showdown with the Arabs."32  During this period,
Israel's two top military leaders, Chief of Staff Yitzhak
Rabin, and Air Force General Ezer Weizman, the first of a
new generation of native born leaders who were to play
important roles in Israeli politics in the future, decided
that it was imperative that they demonstrate that "Israel
could not be intimidated."33   Following several bellicose
statements  by Nasser,  and  his  threatening military  re-
occupation of  the  Sinai,  the  Israelis  attacked  on  the
morning of 5 June 1967 destroying the bulk of the Egyptian
Air Force on the ground.  By 11 June the war had ended in a
complete Israeli victory.
     This war left Israel with a dual legacy.  First it
reinforced the Arab Problem of having to explain and address
again the spectre of complete destruction and defeat.  The
Arab  psycological  problem  was  complicated  and  expanded
leaving them once more with the inability to either settle
or admit defeat, while the Israelis were left with victory
but inadequate resources and power to impose a preferred
     Second, the Israelis captured a considerable amount of
territory.  To the west, the Sinai deserts was once again in
their hands and there were now no pressures from the United
States  to  return  it.    Washington,  in  fact,  having  no
particular fondness for Nasser or his other Arab allies, and
caught in the deepening gloom of Vietnam, was happy to share
in the reflected glory of the Israeli military achievement.
Israel  therefore gained a significant buffer area which
terminated on the West with one of the world's best tank
ditches,  the Suez Canal.   To the north,  the successful
battle with Syria had left Jerusalem in possesion of the
strategic  Golan  Heights  controlling  the  entire  Galilee
area.  This meant that the farming areas below the heights
would  be  free  from  indiscriminate  artillery  and  rocket
attacks from Syrian gunners able to see all of Northern
Israel from their lofty perch.  In the center, the Israelis
had captured the entire West Bank and the whole of the city
of Jerusalem.  This eliminated their vulnerable center which
was at places only nine miles wide along the 1948 armistice
lines, and shortened their frontier while anchoring it along
the more defensible and definable Jordan River.
     Unfortunately, this turn of events which promised such
great military advantage brought with it the kernal of a
dangerous dilemma.  These new territories, particularly the
West Bank and the Gaza Strip, contained nearly one million
Arabs who would now have to be controlled, governed, and
administered.    As  Professor  Nadav  Safran  of  Harvard
University has noted,  "The Israelis had been completely
unprepared to deal politically with the situation they faced
as  a result of their military victory and were deeply
divided in the views they improvised after the event."34
     To keep the conquered lands, advocated by many because
of religious and nationalistic beliefs, would  leave Israel
in the position of accepting into its body politic an Arab
plurality half the size of the Jewish portion of Israel.
This, especially when added to the much higher birth rate of
the Arabs, meant that in the future the Jewish character of
the  Zionists  State  would  be challenged  if  not  altered.
Keeping the Arabs out of political life, meant basically an
army of occupation for an  indeterminate period and the
abandonment, in part, of cherished democratic principles.
The Israelis have never solved this rudimentary contradic-
tion whose implications haunt them to this day.
     Jerusalem decided to live with the status quo, creating
a diplomatic log-jam that led to the 1973 war.   Nasser's
successor, Anwar El Sadat, could not surrender his land in
the Sinai, he could not overtly abandon the Pan-Arab
principles of his revered predecessor, and he could not
elicit from the government of Israeli Prime Minister Golda
Meir any pragmatic concessions short of what Sadat perceived
to be capitulation.  Seeing no way out, Sadat decided on war
in an effort to end the stalemate and colluded with Syria
and Saudi Arabia to launch a limited objective attack
against Israel in an effort to demonstrate that the Arab
military option would have to be seriously considered by
Jerusalem.  Syria eagerly provided a second front, while
Saudi Arabia provided the necessary financing.35
     The 1973 Arab-Israeli war accomplished much of what
Sadat had hoped for.  It ended in a negotiated settlement
allowing both Egypt and Syria to argue that they had made
concrete advances from their resort to arms.  It also lifted
from them, although more so in the case of Egypt than Syria,
the onus of military impotence.  Indeed, the Egyptian
achievement at crossing the Suez Canal during the early days
of the war is one of the major military accomplishments of
this half of the century.  The 1973 war, created the
conditions which allowed Sadat to go to Jerusalem in 1977
and start the process which found its final expression in
the Camp David Agreement of September 1978.
     It can be seen from this brief perusal of the major
Arab-Israeli wars since 1949, that one starts and ends with
the Palestinian issue.  The wars between Israel and the Arab
states actually had little to do with the Palestinians,
although they were obviously an ingredient that added to the
atmosphere of conflict.  The Arab states bordering Israel,
commonly known as the first tier states, have slowly dropped
out of the conflict, and with the 1982 war in Lebanon, we
have returned to the starting blocks.   The antagonists
were once more, just as they had been in 1948, the Israelis
and  the  Palestinians now  represented  by  their  own
nationalist organization, the PLO.
                      THE COMBATANTS
     Although there is little possibility that one would
ever find an Israeli and a Palestinian member of the PLO who
would  openly  agree,  there  are  tremendous  similarities
between the structures, processes,  and strategies of the
Israeli  government  and  the  Palestine Liberation Organi-
zation.  This is primarily due to two factors: (1) they both
seek the destruction of the other, to some degree giving
them  a  similarity  of  purpose;  and  (2)  they  both  are
coalition-based political organisms giving them a similarity
of operation.
     Israel  is a democracy with a hertiage of political
pluralism inherited from its pre-state experience.   Since
the World Zionist Movement was voluntary, consisting of many
peoples  from many countries,  often expressing differing
opinions,  the  dynamics  of  early  Jewish  politics  were
purposely  designed  to  encourage  particip[ation  and  to
protect  minority  positions.    This  desire  has  greatly
influenced Israeli politics as they have evolved since 1949.
     Although the original intent of the founders of modern
Israel was to draft a constitution, an inability to agree on
certain key points, such as the exact nature of the state
and its basis of law, resulted in this goal being set aside
in favor of a Transition Law.   This basic law was to
establish the nature of the governmental process until a
constitution could be drafted; but none ever has.   Thus,
Israel's government is founded on the provisions of four
basic  laws  and  the  traditions established by the early
Zionist movement as well as the actions of the first Prime
Minister, David Ben Gurion.
     The supreme power in Israel is the country's Parliament
known as the Knesset, a 120 member body elected for a four
year  term unless  it votes  to  dissolve  itself  earlier.
Election to the Knesset is indirect, the Israeli voter casts
his ballot for a party, not an individual.  There are no
small constituencies which are represented as all Party
members run nation-wide.   After the vote is counted, the
party,  which  has  submitted  a  prioritzed  list  of  its
candidates, will receive the number of seats in the Knesset
which  is  proportional  to  its  percentage  of  the  total
national vote.  After reviewing the vote, the President of
Israel invites the leader of the party which has the best
chance of creating a government to form a Cabinet and submit
it to the Knesset as a whole for approval.  Once accepted by
the Knesset, this Cabinet becomes the executive branch of
the government.   The Cabinet has no fixed size and its
members, except for the Prime Minister, do not have to be
members of the Knesset although most, especially those that
hold the key cabinet posts, usually are.
     Clearly  this  system  protects  minority  rights  and
opinions,  but  it  also  encourages  a  proliferation  of
political parties that, in the United States, would remain
as interest groups attempting to influenmce rather than join
the government (see Figure 1).   Consequently, Israel has
never had a political party or alliance win a clear majority
of the seats in the Knesset.   Since Israel's founding, it
has always been led by coalition governments.  Small parties
which  have  strong  ideological  or  religious  bases  are
Click here to view image
therefore co-opted into the Cabinet in order for the larger
parties to establish a working majority.36
     There are two practical effects to Israel's coalition-
based political system.  First, the ability of the
government to make sweeping or significant changes is
significantly limited.  Since members of any ruling
coalition establish pre-conditions for joining a cabinet,
they are able to prevent the introduction of laws or
policies that  they find to be too objectionable.37  Because
of this, many of the controversial issues regarding security
as well as many of the more daring and risky proposals
relating to Arab-Israeli peace issues have been largely
removed from the political agenda.  In this way, minority
opinion is not only protected by the Israeli political
system, it is frequently exaggerated.
     Second, because Cabinet positions are given out to
individuals who have political constituents that must be
served, there is often a narrow base in the leadership of
those who understand the broader implications of policy.
This creates the conditions in which one minister can often
inact policies whose controversial implications only become
obvious well down the road.  This is particularly true, as
the 1982 experience demonstrated, if the minister is an
eccepted expert in a narrow area and is given support by the
Prime  Minister  and  other  powerful  voices  within  the
Cabinet.  The Prime Minister is the head of the government,
but in many instances throughout Israeli history the nature
of coalition government and the Cabinet system have made his
control over certain ministers and their ministries somewhat
     The Palestine Liberation Organization is not represent-
ative of a liberal democracy,  but there are nonetheless
certain similarities with its organization and that of the
Israeli government.  As the organizational chart on the next
page  shows  (see  Figure  2),  the  PLO  is  a  part  of  a
semi-governmental system headed by the Palestine National
Council (PNC).  This council which meets about once a year
is for all practical purposes the Palestinian Congress in
exile.   It approves programs, establishes budgets for its
various departments and organizations, and coordinates the
activities  (to  the  extent  possible)  of  its  various
components.   It also elects an Executive Committee,  an
organization similar to a cabinet, which carries out the
agreed upon programs and is responsible to the PNC.   The
current Chairman of the Executive Committed is Yasir Arafat
who is also the leader of Fatah, the largest of the PLO
guerrilla groups.38
Click here to view image
     This is the current nature of the PLO which reflects
its  rather  truncated development  since  its  founding  in
1964.  The PLO was initially established under the auspices
of  the Arab League,  and with the  blessing of  Egyptian
President  Nasser,  in  an  effort  to  not  only  give  the
Palestinians a political organization, but also to get them
under control.   Before 1964, the Palestinians had worked
primarily with the radical and revolutionary segments of the
Arab political spectrum in an effort to achieve the Arab
unity that they considered essential for the liberation of
Palestine.  After the 1956 war, Nasser became the symbol of
this effort towards Pan-Arabism,  the  integration of the
Arabs into a larger political unit.
     But Nasser, and other Arab leaders, were concerned that
Palestinian guerrilla attacks against Israel would involve
them in a confrontation with Jerusalem before they were
ready.  The PLO was in their minds designed to be a device
to coordinate  the  Palestinian effort  with  that  of  the
established Arab states.  The need for such an organization
had been accentuated after the 1961 break-up of the United
Arab Republic of Egypt and Syria.   The Palestinians had
reacted very adversely to this development in Arab politics
because the failure of Nasser, the symbol of Arab unity, and
the Syrian Baath Party,  the vanguard of Arab Unity,  to
successfully integrate showed that the Pan-Arab idea was a
long way from fruition.  The following year, the success of
the Algerian's FLN in winning their independence from France
through a protracted guerrilla war led many Palestinian
leaders to theorize that they could model their own effort
on this regional example although others argued that there
were significant differences in the two cases.39
     The  PLO,  initially  led  by Ahmed  Shuqairy,  placed
considerable faith in the established Arab governments until
the  1967 war.   After the dust settled  from this Arab
disaster, control of both the PLO and the PNC were seized by
the guerrilla movements and their younger more energetic
leaders -- among them Yasir Arafat.   Convinced that the
narrow interests of the Arab states would always supercede
any Pan-Arab or Palestinian interests, the PLO became more
independent in its actions.   It also absorbed within its
ranks numerous other groups having various political and
military strategies for both dealing with Israel in the near
term, and establishing the Palestinian entity which would
follow the ultimate victory.   The PLO grew to contain a
membership which reflected traditional Palestinian vested
interests along with others, such as young Marxists, who
wanted to establish a secular state.  In short, Arafat leads
a coalition of groups with strongly differing ideas each
having sufficient strength to insist that their positions be
honored and that certain other options be tabled.
     Following the 1967 war, the PLO moved its main area of
operations  to Jordan.   From there  it launched numerous
terrorist attacks across the Jordan River into Israel.  This
war against Israel reached a critical phase in late 1970
when King Hussein decided that he could no longer tolerate
the effects of having the PLO state-within-a-state making
him vulnerable to Israeli reprisals.  Following a bloody war
in which the King turned the Jordanian army against the PLO,
Arafat  and  his  followers  were  forced  from Jordan  into
Lebanon where they had previously entered into an agreement
with the Lebanese government giving them certain freedom of
action in limited areas of the country.40  From 1970 until
1982, Lebanon became the fulcrum PLO activities.
     The PLO is for all practical purposes something like a
government.   In fact, the late President Sadat frequently
advised that the PLO declare itself to be a government-in-
exile.  It is also, as is the Israeli government, coalition
based, clearly subject to the limitations imposed upon it by
the  firm demands  of even some of  its  less significant
members.  Both parties, therefore, have political processes
which make compromise difficult where it concerns issues
that certain key components find non-negotiable.
     There are numerous groups within the PLO "umbrella"
that operate with a great degree of autonomy.  In addition
to Arafat's group, Fatah, which is generally considered the
most moderate following its announcement after the 1973 war
that it was ending terror attacks against Israeli targets,
are several more strident groups  that are only loosely
controlled.  The most ideologically strident is the Popular
Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a Marxist-
Leninist group led by a former doctor, George Habash.  This
group has been reponsible for many of the airline hijackings
and bombings attributable to the PLO and carried out the
highly publicized ones of late 1970 that led to King Hus-
sein's expulsion of the organization from Jordan.
     The PFLP General Command (PFLP-GC), a splinter group of
Habash's led by Ahmad Jabril, a former Syrian Army officer,
has been active in several PLO fratricidal confrontations.
The Saiqa faction of the PLO is controlled directly by the
Syrians, while the Arab Liberation Front (ALF) is linked to
Iraq.   Both are rejectionist on issues pertaining to a
possible settlement with Israel.  The Abu Nidal group, which
evidently left the PLO in 1974 following the decision of the
PNC to use political as well as military means  in the
struggle with Israel, is an ultraradical faction which has
attacked numerous targets throughout the world including the
Syrian  embassies  in  Italy  and  Pakistan.     Generally
considered to be beyond the pale of the PLO leadership, it
was apparently Abu Nidal that wounded Israeli Ambassador
Argov in London setting off the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.41
       As this discussion makes apparent, both the Israeli
government and the PLO are subject to constraints imposed by
their most doctrinaire and extreme elements.  This is not to
say that both sides use the same tactics, or have the same
strategic concerns, but the ability of either to propose
responses to the other is severely limited by the reality of
dealing with the political least common denominators that
clearly exist.
                       STRATEGIC CONCERNS
       The  Israelis  and  Palestinians  each  have  several
strategic objectives that explain many of their actions on
the international scene.  Clearly they both share the common
interest of all states and organizations -- to survive.  As
a state, this translates largely into military considera-
tions for Israel; but for the PLO, with limited military
means, the major components of its current strategy are more
     Israel,  even after 37 years of statehood,  is still
seeking a secure place in the moden world.   Its position as
a regional outcast has greatly complicated its ability to
establish a self-sustaining national economy.   Therefore,
Israel has traditionally looked abroad for support in terms
of money, supplied from both the Jewish dyaspora and foreign
governments, and markets.  A major goal of the Israelis is,
of necessity, the avoidance of international isolation, a
condition which has from time to time forced them to find
unlikely friends in unlikely places.42
     The Israelis also must maintain a sensitivity to the
requirements of internal control.   They are surrounded by
hostile opponents who over the years have shown an ability
to infiltrate the country, and they have a significant Arab
minority  population  within  their  borders  which  has
questionable  loyalty  to  the  national  government.    The
Israelis cannot afford to be indifferent to the nature of
their internal conflicts which always have the possibility
of expanding to dangerous dimensions.
     The Israelis, from a military as well as humanitarian
perspective, have a great sensitivity to the safety of their
citizens.  The Jewish population of the country is only a
little over three million, which means that Israel bears a
heavy burden in any situation which threatens the lives of
its  citizens.    They  cannot  accept  large  numbers  of
casualties under any circumstances without the loss being
quickly  reflected  in  both  the  national  well-being  and
national politics.  This is why, in the past, the Israelis
have always been willing to exchange thousands of captured
Arab soldiers for just a hand full of their compatriots.
     The Israelis have constantly been concerned about their
strategic depth.   Because the armistics lines along which
the country was formed in 1948 were so abnormal, there were
places in which the Israeli state was at severe military
disadvantage.  At one place in the center, the country was
barely  nine  miles  wide.    Although  the  modern  era  of
long-ranged missiles and aircraft has clearly made this less
significant,  the fact remains  that  for Israel defensive
depth is virtually non-existent.     Practically this means
that numerous places throughout the country are within range
of potentially hostile fire.
     Because of its small population and lack of military
depth, the Israelis have adopted military strategies that
emphasize  the  offensive  and  short,  intense  conflicts.
Since the country has no depth around which to organize an
area defense, the IDF has long recognized that during any
conflict it had to quickly go on the offensive and carry the
war  away  from Israel's  borders.   As  a  corollary,  the
Israelis emphasize pre-emptive war in which a hard early
blow would stun the opponent facilitating the early assump-
tion of offensive action.
     The quick offensive gives the Israelis the initiative
and allows them to push the conflict to the earlist possible
conclusion.  They simply lack the resources to fight long,
costly wars, especially ones in which casualties are high.
This  has  re-inforced  the  desire  to  pre-empt  whenever
possible for such action offers the best possibility that
the duration of the war will be minimized -- and the 1967
experience seems to vindicate this perspective.
     From the Israeli position, it can be seen that among
the conditions Jerusalem would naturally seek to avoid would
be those where it faced international isolation, especially
from its major supporter in the West, the United States,
where it was concerned about a disruption in its internal
security situation, and where it feared losing the initia-
tive and with it strategic depth.  Some of these conditions
existed in the summer of 1982, but the solution adopted by
Jerusalem created difficulties for  itself that  it might
normally have avoided.
     For the Palestinians, the goals and strategic interests
are much different.  Their major concern is simply to keep
the ball in play -- to keep the issue of Palestine open, to
keep the world community aware of it, and to work to the
disadvantage of Israel whenever possible.   Their ultimate
goal,  the  achievement  of  a  Palestinian  state  and  the
destruction of Israel, is increasingly recognized by those
Palestinian leaders with sufficient rationality to apply
objective analysis as simply impossible.  The objective has
become, therefore, to create the conditions for cutting as
good a deal as possible.
     Although the PLO has continued to use terror, despite
Arafat's announcement in 1974, and although it is clearly a
major player in the international terror network, the PLO
did attempt to downplay its use of this tactic in the late
1970s.  The new strategy adopted was to whittle away at the
Israelis in the international political arena.
     In 1974, Yasir Arafat became the only representative
without a country to address the UN General Assembly which
shortly thereafter, on November 23, 1974, granted the PLO
observer status.43  Apparently liking this format, the PLO
and its Arab supporters have since influenced the General
Assembly  to  pass  numerous  resolutions  condemning  the
Israelis and calling for a settlement of the Palestinian
issue.  These efforts have included the controversial 1975
vote in which the UNGA labeled Zionism "a form of racism".
     The United States has long attempted to minimize the
impact and influence of the PLO.  During the days before the
1967 war, Presidential National Security Advisor Walt Rostow
noted that the US and Israel had attempted to block recogni-
tion of the PLO hoping that "it would die from lack of
support."44 However, during the Hostage Crisis with Iran in
1979, Washington, at one time, used the good offices of the
PLO in one of its efforts to secure the release of the
American captives.45  Former American Ambassador to Syria,
Talcott Seelye, reported that during a trip to Beirut in
1976 the PLO provided for his security and that of his
family as well as passing information that enhanced the
security of the US embassy.46 Thus by 1982, not only had
the PLO achieved a considerable degree of  international
recognition under the leadership of Arafat,  it had also
succeeded  in  being  recognized  diplomatically  by  more
countries than Israel.47
     The strategy of the PLO was in transition in the early
1980s.    Although  no  senior  PLO  official had  publicly
acknowledged that the organization was prepared to recognize
Israel's right to exist, a long stated American precondition
for dealing  with the organization, there were clearly cir-
cles within the PLO leadership that were thinking along
those lines.   But as the murder of PLO moderate  Issam
Saratwi indicated in the Spring of 1983, these can often be
unhealthy thoughts.
     There are three major points that this discussion has
attempted  to  make.    First,  the  major conflict in  the
Arab-Israeli dimension of Middle Eastern politics is that
between  the Israelis  and  the Palestinians.  The other
factors that play in this issue, the support and involvement
of  the  other  Arab  states,  the  interests  of  the  two
Superpowers, and the concerns of the world at large, are all
peripheral to this central kernel.
     Second, the two sides have each established a political
process  that  creates  for  itself  a  sort  of  structural
stalemate.   The key issues are very difficult for either
party to address because the nature of each political regime
gives a veto power to those minority groups having extreme
views.    Although  there  is  some  evidence  that  this  is
currently changing, it has been a condition that has aborted
numerous  efforts  from  various  sources  to  influence  a
     Finally, the Arab-Israeli wars seem to have come full
circle.  The first half of the first war was a clash between
the two communities of Mandatory Palestine -- essentially a
civil war.  In 1982, the next generation continued the clash
that had started with the 1947 UN partition vote.
                   CHAPTER 2 ENDNOTES
1.   Nahun Goldmann, "Zionist Ideology and the Reality of
Israel", Foreign Affairs, Vol. 57, no. 1, Fall 1978, p. 74.
2.   See M. Thomas Davis,  "Conflict in the Middle East",
chapter in William J. Taylor and Steven A. Maaranen, The
Future of Conflict in the 1980s (Lexington, Massachusetts:
Lexington Books, 1982), pp. 237-259.
3.   Nadav Safran, Israel:   The Embattled Ally (Cambridge,
Massachusetts:   The Harvard University Press, 1978), p. 224.
4.   See James Kelly, "A General Loses His Case", Time, 4
February 1985, pp. 64-66.
5.   See "Debating the Military Option", Time, 10 December
1984, p. 34.
6.   That the Palestinian issue is central  to a Middle
Eastern peace can be drawn either directly or by implication
from numerous sources.  See for example, George W. Ball, The
Past Has Another Pattern (New York:   W.W. Norton & Co.,
1982),   pp.    466-467;   Walid   Khalidi,    "Thinking   the
Unthinkable", Foreign Affairs, Vol.  56, no. 4, pp. 698;
American Friends Service Committee, A Compassionate Peace
(New York:  Hill and Wang, 1982), pp. 39-40; and Talcott W.
Seelye, "Can the PLO Be Brought to the Negotiating Table",
Arab-American Affairs, No. 1, Summer 1982, p. 76.
7.   See Philip K. Hitti, History of the Arabs, 7th ed. (New
York:  St. Martin's Press, 1960), pp. 117-118.
8.  Safran, pp. 10-11.
9.   See Don Peretz, The Middle East Today, 3d ed. (New York:
Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1978), pp. 57-60.
10.  For an analysis of the events after World War I and the
American role in them, see M. Thomas Davis, "The King-Crane
Commission and the American Abandonment of Self-Determina-
tion", Arab-American Affairs, No. 9, Summer 1984, pp. 55-66.
11.  Don Peretz, The Middle East Today, 3d ed. (New York:
Holt Reinhart and Winston, 1978), pp. 106-108.
12.  Ibid., p. 278-280.
13.    Fred J. Khouri, The Arab-Israeli Dilemma (Syracuse:
Syracuse University Press, 1976), pp. 43-47.
14.  Ibid., p. 56.
15.  Interview with Professor Walid Khalidi of Harvard
University, 5 March 1980.
16.  Khouri, p. 59.
17.  Safran, p. 47.
18.  Khouri, pp. 69-70, and Safran, pp. 45-46.
19.  Khouri, p. 70.
20.  Khouri, pp. 77-79, and Safran pp. 56-57.
21.  Safran, pp. 58-59.
22.  Khouri, p. 83.
23.  Safran, p. 59.
24.  Khouri, pp. 95-98.
25.  Ibid., p. 357.
26.  Ibid., pp. 100-101.
27.  See Henry A. Kissinger, Years of Upheaval (New York:
Little, Brown, and Co., 1982), pp. 459-460.  Sadat was very
sensitive to the perception of Arab military inability.  See
also Anwar  El-Sadat,  In  Search of  Identity  (New York:
Harper and Row, 1978), pp. 181-186.
28.  See Khouri, pp.  123-124; Khalidi interview 5 March
29.  Safran, p. 62.
30.  Interview with Professor Walid Khalidi, 13 February
31.  Although numerous studies with both a political and
military  focus  exist  on  the  1956  Suez Crisis,  a very
interesting recent work which draws heavily on newly de-
classified American and United Nations sources is Donald
Neff, Warriors at Suez (New York: The Linden Press, 1981).
32.  Neff's second book on the Arab-Israeli wars covering
the 1967 conflict retains his basic theme that the Israelis
have done much to excite Arab passions against them through
their policy of disproportional response to guerrilla raids,
and inflexible reaction to diplomatic overtures.  See Donald
Neff, Warriors for Jerusalem (New York: Simon and Schuster,
1984), p. 58 (Hereafter cited as Neff, Jerusalem).
33.  Ibid., p. 194.
34.  Safran, p. 429.
35.  Sadat, pp. 184-186, and Khouri, pp. 361-370.
36.  This description of the workings and its historical
underpinnings of  the  Israeli Government  comes  from Don
Peretz,  The Government and Politics of Israel  (Boulder,
Colorado:   The Westview Press,  1979),  pp.  141-169;  and
Safran, pp. 126-160.
37.  Ibid.
38.  See Samih K. Farsoun, "The Palestinians, The PLO and US
Foreign Policy", Arab-American Affairs, No. 1, Summer 1982,
pp. 81-94.
39.  Interview with Khalidi, 2 April 1980; also see Farsoun,
p.  85.
40.  The text of this 1969 agreement known as the "Cairo
Agreement"  is  contained  in Walid Khalidi,  Conflict  and
Violence in Lebanon (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Center for
International Affairs, 1979), pp. 185-187.
41.  Dan Bavly and Eliahu Salpeter, Fire in Beirut (New
York: Stein and Day Publishing, 1984), p. 28.
42.  In addition to its well known aid to such Central
American countries as Guatemala,  the Israelis have also
recently been on a campaign to garner American support in
such unlikely places as the American Evangelical movement.
At Prime Minister Begin's insistence, the 1980 winner of the
Vladimir Jabotinsky Award was Reverend Jerry Fallwell of the
politically active Moral Majority.    In  addition,  Begin
invited  Reverend  Bailey  Smith,  who created  a  storm of
protest by declaring that "God Almighty does not hear the
prayer of a Jew", for a visit to Israel.  See for example,
David  K.  Shipler,  "Israel  is  Cultivating  Unlikely  New
Friends", The New York Times, 1 December 1981, p. A2.
43.  Khouri, p. 377.
44.  Neff, Jerusalem, p. 173.
45.  Bavly and Salpeter, p. 28.
46.  Talcott W. Seelye,  "Can the PLO Be Brought To The
Negotiating  Table",  Arab-American  Affairs,  No.1,  Summer
1982, pp. 75-80.
47.  Farsoun, p. 92.
                         CHAPTER 3
           "I know  that whoever sets his foot in Lebanon
           has sunk into the Lebanon swamp."1
                                      Yizhak Rabin, 1985
     Like all of the modern Middle Eastern states, Lebanon
is a creation not an evolution.  Its present borders reflect
neither natural nor national boundartes,  but simply the
whims of the French administration assigned to control it
following the Paris Peace Conference of 1919.
     But in other ways,  Lebanon is a state unlike many
others.  It has a culture and history that have given it a
close link to the West that is uncommon for other Arab
states.   That link has been both  its blessing and  its
     In 1649, the Ottoman Sultan who ruled Lebanon as one of
his provinces,  granted to King Louis XIV of France the
privilege of "adopting" the Maronite Christian community of
the small area of Mount Lebanon (see Map 1).  These Maronite
Christians had previously established a relationship with
the Pope and were already quite familiar with western ideas
and thought.  With this connection, the Maronites hoped to
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cultivate a patron who would protect them from absorption
into the great Muslim sea that existed all around them.
     It was natural that the Ottoman Sultan would allow such
an  association.    The  Ottomans  ruled  a  far-flung  and
multi-national empire very loosely,  and had it organized
primarily along religious lines known as millets.   Giving
this small Christian community a link to other Christians
was  hardly  something  that  they  would  have  considered
unusual.  Nonetheless, there were enormous implications.
     The Maronite community of Mount Lebanon grew prosperous
and quite well educated.   By 1861  it had established an
early majlis, or parliament, that was elected on the basis
of religious representation.  Thus, the Maronites accepted
the idea of democracy, and along with it the principle that
representation in the elective ruling establishment would be
based on religion.  This was a wedding of western thought
with  the  normal  organization  of  the  intricate  Ottoman
governmental system.  The confessional system of Lebanon was
     As Lebanon entered the twentieth century, its Maronite
community was  clearly dominant.   Its members considered
themselves to be "from" but not "of" the Middle East and
were as comfortable with French as Arabic.  Many were better
versed  in  French  literature  than  that  of  their  native
language.  As one scholar has described it:
     Their spiritual and cultural Meccas were Rome and
     Paris, respectively.  Their mythology stressed their
     non-Arab or Pre-Arab ancestry.  To these Maronites,
     the French-protected Grand Liban of which they were
     at once the core, linchpin, raison d'etre, and chief
     beneficiary, was an act of historic justice.  It was
     tantamount to the lifting of a putative Moslem seige
     laid as early as the 7th century with the advent of
     Primarily because of this French connection, France was
given the Mandate for Lebanon and Syria by the Paris Peace
Conference which allocated the former territories of the
Ottoman Empire following World War I.  Although the area was
supposed to be ruled as separate parts of one political
entity, the French immediately took steps to divide Lebanon
from Syria enlarging considerably  the  territory of  the
former.   This action,  taken in part because the French
desired to weaken the position of the Muslims of western
Syria while  simultaneously ensuring  that  the Christians
would require continued French protection, formed the basis
for modern Lebanon.   The final dimensions of the country
included Mount Lebanon, the traditional Maronite enclave, as
well as the Bekaa Valley, and the anti-Lebanon, the mountain
range to the east before one descends to Damascus,  the
Syrian capital.
     In  1919,  the  French  established  the  first  native
Lebanese government when the old majlis was restored.  When
this was replaced by a newly elected council, the system of
religious representation was restored, thus the confessional
practices of the previous century were perpetuated.  This
was codified in a constitution written in 1926 that stated
how the seats  in the executive,  legislative,  and civil
services were to be equitably distributed among the major
confessional groups (see Map 2).  Unwilling to allow things
to run their natural course, however, the French controlled
the  actual  distributions  and  avoided holding a regular
census.   One was held in 1922, and a second with certain
procedural questions, in 1932.   Based on the 1932 census,
the Christians were declared to be the majority sect, which
they unquestionably were, at the time, and were granted the
preponderance of political and administrative power -- a
conclusion quite satisfactory to the French.4 There has
never been another census conducted in Lebanon.
     When France fell in 1940, it meant the effective end of
French rule in Lebanon and Syria.  Urged by the British, who
still  controlled  Palestine  to  the  south,  two  Lebanese
leaders, Bishara Khoury and a Pan Arabist Sunni Muslim,
Riyad Solh, established the National Pact of 1943 paving the
Click here to view image
way for a stable Lebanese government and independence from
     The National Pact called for the division of political
power in Lebanon along confessional lines.  In exchange for
a Muslim pledge to drop demands for participation in a
greater Arab union, Lebanese Christians agreed to renounce
Western protection and  limit  their association with the
French.  In addition, the former constitutional provisions
for  the  equitable  distribution  of  power  were  slightly
redefined.  In terms of high office, it was agreed that the
President of Lebanon, the most powerful national position,
would  always  be  a  Maronite  Christian  while  the  Prime
Minister would be a Sunni Muslim, and the Speaker of the
House a Shiite.  The House itself would be divided so that
there would be six Christian representatives for every five
Muslims.   Since the President was directly elected by the
Parliament, therefore only indirectly elected by the people,
the allocation of the principle governmental positions would
be preserved so long as the distribution of House seats
remained unchanged.  This system of Parliamentary distribu-
tion explains why the number of seats have always been
divisible  by  eleven:  to  allow  the  maintenance  of  the
specified 6:5 ratio.
     Certain factors began to upset the delicate balance in
Lebanon shortly after the establishment of  the National
Pact.   These have been magnified through the intervening
years.  First, the 1948 war created a significant influx of
Palestinian refugees into Lebanon, a demographic change that
added to the numbers of Muslims in the country.   Second,
during the mid-1950s, the heydey of Arab Nationalism, the
Pan-Arab idea that the Muslims had agreed to renounce in
1943  became,  once  again,  the rage of Arab intellectual
circles.  This put pressure on the political system and led
to the Crisis of 1958 in which the United States first
landed Marines in Beirut.   Third,  the second influx of
Palestinians in 1970, following the war in Jordan in which
King  Hussein  expelled  the  PLO,  added  to  the  Muslim
population.  Finally, the fact that the Christians were the
more educated, prosperous, and privileged segment of the
society  meant  that  they  were  experiencing  the  lowest
birth-rate.  Therefore, in addition to the political factors
which were serving to upset the confessional balance, the
course of nature was also weighing heavily against the
peaceful perpetuation of the Lebanese system.
     Following the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the Palestinians
in Lebanon launched a new guerrilla campaign against Israel
which shortly created a rising spiral of destruction as the
Israelis  retaliated  with  increasing  strength.     Major
segments  of  Lebanese  society  began  to  take  sides  with
certain  Christians  and  others  of  the  political  right
objecting to the damage being caused by the Palestinian
actions,  while a broader Muslim-dominated left supported
continued confrontation.
     The relations between the Lebanese confessional groups
began to deteriorate as a result and, on 13 April 1975, a
group  of  prominent Lebanese Christians of  the Phalange
Party,  the  most  powerful  of  the  Maronite  political
organizations,  was  attacked  by  an  unknown  number  of
assailants  firing  from  a  passing  car.    One  prominent
Phalangist was killed and several others seriously wounded.
Later  in the day,  the Phalangist retaliated killing 28
Palestinians   on   a   bus   passing   through   the   same
neighborhood.   This was the  Sarajevo of Lebanon and the
country plunged into a period of deadly civil war.
     By mid-1976,  a coalition of  the National  Front,  a
leftist-Muslim alliance, and the Palestinians, under Arafat
and the PLO, had gained the upper hand.  Then, in one of the
surprising moves of the decade, the Syrian Army entered the
war on the side of the Christians saving them from what
appeared to be certain destruction.  Evidently fearing that
the  success  of  the  Muslim  left  could  lead  to  a  new
radicalized Lebanon which would serve as a lightening rod
for Israeli action, and concerned that this could drag it
into a war under adverse circumstances, Damascus decided to
intervene  to  support  the  status  quo.    Later,  when  it
appeared that the Phalange and its allies were about to
fatally  cripple  the  PLO  and  the  Muslims,  the  Syrians
switched sides.
     By 1977 the Syrian occupation had taken on a certain
legitimacy as Saudi pressure forced Damascus to limit the
extent of its control over Lebanon which by then had become
quite extensive.  The Arab League stepped in and designated
the Syrian Army in Lebanon as the" Arab Deterrent Force" and
the context of the 1969 Cairo Agreement was re-activated
giving the PLO considerable license.  For the Lebanese, the
country became more divided than ever as the people of
Beirut  separated  themselves  into  Christian  and  Muslim
enclaves,  and  the Maronites expanded  the small port of
Junieh north of Beirut in an effort to give themselves an
economic and transportation system independent of the rest
of Lebanon.
     During this period, Israel began to provide consider-
able support to the Maronite community, particularly the
Phalange Party of Pierre Gemayel.   By the summer of 1982,
they were very closely allied in a joint effort to control
the activities and influence of the PLO.5
     Tensions continued along the Lebanese border between
Israel and the PLO and in March 1978 the Israelis invaded
Lebanon up to the Litani River following a PLO terrorist
attack.   Under American pressure, Israel withdrew and was
replaced by the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon
(UNIFIL).  The Israelis also left behind a renegade Lebanese
Major named Saad Haddad whose small force they equipped and
sustained to create a second buffer for themselves as well
as a check on the effectiveness of UNIFIL (see Map 3).  Some
argued that Haddad also gave Israel a built in excuse to
re-cross the border to support their little ally whenever
they deemed it necessary.
     The situation calmed somewhat, or at least moved off
center stage of Middle Eastern politics, during 1979 and
1980 when the attention of the Israelis and United States
focused on the Camp David Agreement and the subsequent
Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty.  During the early stages of
the  treaty,  and  the  Palestinian  Autonomy  Talks  which
followed it, all major actors throughout the region slowed
the pace of their normal activities while they attempted to
determine the nature of the changes occurring.  This created
a lull in the Lebanon which the factions used to try and
strengthen their positions relative to each other.  During
this period, the Israeli support of the Phalangist Party,
Click here to view image
particularly in the military arena, reached new heights.
The Israelis had created for themselves a powerful ally
capable of exercising considerable influence in the chaotic
world of Lebanese politics.
                    1981: SETTING THE STAGE
     During 1981, the picture began to change for numerous
reasons.  First, the Israeli government became considerably
more hard-line and doctrinaire in terms of the nationalistic
tendencies of Prime Minister Begin.   The  two  important
cabinet officers who had served as a check on Begin during
his  first  government,  Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan  and
Defense Minister Ezer Weizman, had both resigned in protest
by late 1980.  Dayan was replaced by Begin's old political
colleague Yitzhak Shamir, who as a member of the Knesset had
opposed the Camp David Agreement, while Begin followed the
tradition  of  Ben  Gurion  and  assumed  the  Defense  Post
himself.  This removed men from office who were considered
to be key obstacles to adventurous Israeli actions in the
immediate region.6
     Second, and related to the first, the Reagan admini-
stration assumed office in the United States.   Because of
his campaign rhetoric, Reagan was considered to be the most
pro-Israeli President since Harry Truman.   Spurred by his
foreign policy advisor, Richard Allen, Reagan had emphasized
his belief that Israel was a strategic asset in addition to
being an ally of the United States.  He indicated little
interest in the Palestinian issue.  In reference to the
construction  of  Israeli  settlements   on  occupied  Arab
territories,  a major program being  fostered by the Begin
government, Reagan broke with the Carter Administration and
previous US policy by stating that the settlements in his
view were "not illegal" and were allowed by the provisions
of UN Resolution 242.7  This was the kind of talk Begin
wanted to hear.  It signaled to him that the rough days with
Carter were coming to an end and that Washington would soon
reveal a new set of concerns -- which it did.
     Third,  the Syrians  and PLO  became  more  active  in
Lebanon.    Concerned  about  the  growing  strength of  the
Phalangist  and  other  Christian  groups,  Syria  launched
several military actions  in the Spring of  1981  against
Christian controlled areas, particularly the town of Zahle.
Responding to requests from his Lebanese Allies for help,
Begin used the IAF to relieve the pressure on the town and
in the process downed two Syrian helicopters.  The Syrians
responded by deploying SAM-6 missile batteries  into the
Bekaa valley expanding their air defense umbrella.  Seeing
this as a military threat, Begin threatened to destroy the
missile batteries unless they were withdrawn.  Only pressure
from Washington prevented Israeli action.8  During this same
period,  the PLO became more active  in  its portions  of
Lebanon further complicating  the problem.   In response,
President Reagan sent Ambassador Philip Habib,  a retired
diplomat, to the Middle East in an effort to find a solution
to end the growing confrontation.9
     Facing an election in late June, Prime Minister Begin
was in no mood to compromise; nonetheless, Habib's efforts
succeeded in defusing the situation.   But the respite was
short lived.  On 7 June 1981, Begin's Air Force destroyed
the Osirak nuclear reactor outside Iraq claiming that it was
being prepared for the construction of nuclear weapons for
use against Israel.   This created a considerable interna-
tional controversy which left the United States and Israel
on different sides in the ensuing UN debate.10
     In July, the situation heated up again when PLO forces
in Southern Lebanon launched an artillery barrage against
Israeli urban areas in the northern Galilee and the Metulla
finger.   Israel  responded with a devastating attack on
Beirut  killing  hundreds  of  Lebanese  civilians.    This
retaliatory  attack  occurred  while  President  Reagan  was
attending a summit conference of western powers in Canada.
When the Europeans  issued  a strong denunciation of the
Israeli  action,  the President was  forced  to take steps
expressing American displeasure and he further delayed the
delivery of a set of F-16 fighters promised to Jerusalem.
     By  late  July,  Ambassador  Habib  had  negotiated  an
agreement between Israel and the PLO establishing a truce in
southern Lebanon.   Although no paper was actually signed,
and the American link with the PLO was handled through
Lebanese intermediaries, a cease-fire went into effect and
the shelling came to an end.  Shortly afterwards, there were
cries from various circles in Israel that Begin had added to
the PLO's growing stature by indirectly negotiating with
it.  Indeed, one month later, Arafat made a visit to Japan
in which he received a welcome on par with those normally
afforded to visting heads of state.11 Through the rest of
the year, however, the cease-fire held.
     Still,  there  remained  the possibility  for  trouble.
Clearly, Israel and the PLO (and the United States for that
matter) had differing ideas on what the terms of the cease-
fire  actually  were  --  differences  which  became  more
significant as the year wore on.  The Israelis claimed that
the cease-fire was total,  binding the PLO to avoid any
attacks against any Jews anywhere.  The PLO claimed that the
cease  fire only applied  to attacks directly across  the
Lebanese border,  while  the United States broadened this
somewhat applying it to the flank areas thereby including,
for example, incursions into northern Israel from the sea.
This perceptual and legalistic difference was to have major
consequences in the Spring of 1982.12
     The last significant occurrence of 1981, setting the
stage for 1982, was the appointment of a new Israeli cabinet
following Begin's unexpected  re-election.   On 4 August,
Begin acquiesced to considerable pressure and appointed as
the Defense Minister former General Ariel Sharon.   Sharon
had served during the first Begin government as Agricultural
Minister.  In that position, he had been the driving force
behind the settlements program that Washington had found so
troublesome.  He had long coveted the Defense portfolio, but
had been denied it because of the perception in Israel that
he  was  an  ultra  hawk  with  tendencies  towards  extreme
action.   As one close observer commented,  "Begin will do
what must be done; Sharon will do ten times what must be
     Although he had been the commander of the Irgun during
the pre-state period, Begin was not a military man and had
little military training.  He was visibly awed by Israel's
senior military officers and according to one source, "felt
inferior in their company."14 Because of Sharon's military
reputation, Begin was strongly disposed to defer to his
judgment on matters of security -- but there was also a
personal component.  Not only was Sharon's grandmother the
midwife  who  had  delivered  Begin,  but  the  general's
grandfather and the Prime Minister's father had been best
     Sharon had used these personal connections to advantage
during his tenure as the Minister of Agriculture.  Champion-
ing the cause of the more fervent settlements advocates,
Sharon  pushed  numerous  settlement  projects  through  the
cabinet by arguing that they were essential to security.  To
create "facts on the ground" during the Sinai negotiations
with  Egypt,  Sharon  had  even  proposed  that  Jerusalem
construct dummy settlements.  His opponent in many of these
cabinet  debates,  Begin's  first  Defense  Minister,  Ezer
Weizman, wrote:
     "Sharon always had the knack of presenting his views
     in such a manner that made them acceptable to most --
     if not all -- of the cabinet members.  His fingers
     ran up and down the maps, which many of the ministers
     were incapable of understanding.  There were occasions
     when I suspected that the markings on Sharon's maps
     were not totally accurate.  In any case, not one of
     the ministers was prepared to concede that he had not
     the faintest idea what it was all about."16
In  Weizman's  opinion,  whenever  Sharon  used  the  word
"security" to describe some settlement or road junction, his
words "were taken as divine gospel."17
     As Defense Minister, Sharon quickly began to plan for a
war  to wipe out the PLO militarily rather than making
further efforts  to deal with  it  either  politically or
diplomatically.  The Chief of Staff of the IDF, LTG Rafael
Eitan,  who  had  assumed  his  post  in  April  1978  after
"Operation Litani", shared Sharon's feelings.   Therefore,
shortly after the July 1981  cease fire in Lebanon,  the
Israeli government began planning to invade Lebanon.18  By
January, three plans of varying scope existed for waging a
potential war against the PLO.19
     During the next few months, Sharon became quite talka-
tive about his ideas for dealing with the PLO.  A strategy
known  as  the  "Sharon Plan" was described  in  the press
explaining how the Defense Minister planned to drive the PLO
from Lebanon and back into Jordan where they would join with
the Jordanian Palestinian population and force King Hussein
to  yield  them  power,  or  at  least,  greater  political
participation.   This would add strength to the familiar
argument of the Israeli political nationalists that there
was already a Palestinian state -- namely Jordan -- while
simultaneously reducing pressures from the West to curtail
the  settlements  program.    Initially  reported  in  Time
magazine,  this revelation of Sharon's thinking created a
political storm in Israel and set the stage for the Defense
Ministers stormy affair with Time which culminated in his
1984 law suit against the magazine.20
     During this period, leading into the early Spring of
1982,  Prime Minister Begin was  also  issuing  statements
indicating the hardening of the Israeli position towards the
PLO -- despite the fact that the truce along the border was
holding.    Indeed,  one  American  officer  serving  as  an
observer along the border noted that, "The PLO is bending
over backwards to maintain the cease-fire."21 In addition
to  the  doctrinal  positions  of Begin  and Sharon,  their
concerns  about  the  PLO  were  being  magnified  by  two
additional factors, one internal and the other external.
     First, the occupied West Bank was becoming increasingly
hostile and difficult to control.  The Israeli position on
the second phase of Camp David, the Palestinian Autonomy
Agreement, had grown so narrow that it was far from offering
the Arabs of the occupied territories anything meaningful in
terms of self-rule.  This was seen as bad faith on the part
of Begin, who had himself presented the autonomy idea, and
began to stir local Arab officials against the government.
Furthermore,  the  settlements  were  continuing  to  go  up
throughout   the   territories   and   the   government  was
encouraging Jewish settlement through a program offering
subsidized loans and low rental agreements.  There was also
considerable dislike among the Arabs, particularly the local
mayors,  for the civilian adminstration of the territories
established in Novemeber 1981.
     This led to a rising wave of unrest and protest that
the Israeli Army was forced to control with increasingly
harsh measures.  The rigor of this duty began to show within
the  IDF.    General  Danny  Matt,  a  highly  decorated  and
respected soldier who served as the senior Israeli officer
in the occupied territories, resigned in protest after the
establishment of a civilian administration.  In May, a group
of reservists, upset by the severity of the policies they
were ordered to carry out,  called a press conference to
denounce the government policy.22  By late Spring, the West
Bank was a hotbed of discontent and the IDF was growing
increasingly restive about its difficult mission there.
     Begin and Sharon attibuted these difficulties to the
PLO.    As  one  observer  noted:  "The  Israeli  government
believes it has a Palestinian problem because of the PLO;
not that it has a PLO problem because of the Palestin-
ians."23  Although  several  voices  within  Israel's  Arab
community began to adamantly protest that the government's
policies  were  exciting  the  troubles,  Begin  and  Sharon
continued to feel that their problem lay to the north in
     The second concern of Begin and Sharon, one reflecting
an external consideration, was the relative success of the
PLO diplomatically during a period of Israeli decline.  As
Prime Minister, Begin was clearly the most internationally
disliked official in Israeli history -- a position which his
actions throughout 1981 solidified.25 In his zeal to stop
the Reagan administration's AWACS sale to Saudi Arabia in
late 1981, his meddling in American politics had infuriated
even  Secretary  of  State  Haig,  arguably  Israel's  most
strident supporter in the American government.   Earlier,
when Ambassador Habib had attempted to draw the Saudis into
his effort to establish a cease fire during the conflict
with Syria and the PLO, Begin had denounced the effort in a
way  that  was  personally  insulting  to  the  Saudi  Royal
family.  When West Germany had explored the possibility of
military assistance for Riyadh, Begin angered the entire
NATO Alliance by launching a pointed, personal attack on
Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.  All of these actions served to
further  isolate  Israel  from  the  world  community,  most
significantly from those who should by nature have been
Jerusalem's closest friends.
     But perhaps the greatest blow had been when an expected
reconciliation  with  France  following  the  election  of
President  Francois Mitterrand  fizzled.    In  March  1982,
Mitterrand became the first European Head of State to visit
Israel.  But during his visit, he issued an unequivocal call
for Jerusalem to grant the Palestinians their rights and to
allow the establishment of a Palestinian state in an effort
to broaden regional peace.   Begin quickly denounced this
proposal making the new Israeli-French relationship very
     During the same period, Arafat was winnning one success
after another on the international scene.   Having enjoyed
good relations with Eastern Bloc countries for some time,
the granting of  full diplomatic  status  from the Soviet
Union,  East  Germany,  and Hungary  was  of  no  particular
importance; but Arafat was making matching gains in the West
as well.  In addition to receiving the Venice Declaration of
1980, when the European Economic Community (EEC) members
called for direct negotiations between Israel and the PLO,
Arafat had become a regular visitor  to Austria and won
diplomatic recognition from Greece.      But what seriously
concerned Israel, was the apparent spread of this tendency
across the Atlantic.
     In the United States, several members of the Congress
were becoming vocal advocates of American relations with the
PLO, and former Senator James Abourezk had become a Washing-
ton lobbyist for Palestinian interests.  But the real shock
for Jerusalem came in the wake of President Sadat's funeral
when former Presidents Carter and Ford told reporters at an
impromptu news conference that the United Staes would have
to  eventually  deal  with  the  PLO.    When  added  to  an
earlier  statement  by  former  National  Security  Advisor
Zbigniew Brzezinski, who took much the same position,  it
seemed  clear  that  there  were  new,   and  potentially
dangerous, currents in American thinking on the issue.  From
the  Israeli  perspective,  this  deterioration  of  their
international  diplomatic  position  was  considerably  more
serious than the firing of a few random rockets into the
     As the summer of 1982 approached, Jerusalem had its
hands full.  Disturbances were accelerating on the West Bank
in the wake of the new civilian administration's dismissal
of four Arab mayors for their failure to cooperate with
Israeli authorities.  The Army was forced to fire into the
demonstrators and several Arab youths had been killed.  On
26  April,  the  Israelis  turned  over  the  Sinai  to  the
Egyptians in accordance with the Peace Agreement of 1979,
but  not  before  hundreds  of  Israelis  protesting  the
destruction of the Sinai settlements had to be forcibly
removed by Israeli troops.   After the Sinai withdrawal,
Sharon announced that this evacuation represented the limit
of Israeli concessions and two days later Begin announced
the opening of six new settlements on the West Bank.   For
its actions on the West Bank and the Golan,  Israel was
subjected  to a  barrage of  condemnations  by  the  United
Nations although the United States managed to protect it
from some of the more pointed attacks by using its veto in
the Security Council.
     Along  the  Lebanese  border,  the  cease  fire  held
despite certain incidents.  On 21 April, an Isareli Lienten-
ant was killed inside Lebanon when he stepped on a mine.
Although it was unknown whose mine  it had been,  Israel
launched an air strike against PLO positions  in Lebanon
killing 23 people.  On 10 May, a bomb exploded on an Israeli
bus wounding two children; Israel responded with another air
attack into Lebanon killing six people and wounding another
20.   The PLO launched an artillery barrage on northern
Israel in retaliation and both sides accused the other of
violating  the July  1981  cease fire.   During  this  same
period,  reports began to circulate of a large military
build-up of Israeli forces in the north.
     As  tensions  slowly  rose,  the  newly  appointed  US
negotiator  for  the  Palestinian  Autonomy  Talks,  Richard
Fairbanks, arrived in Israel.  The talks had stalled over
Israel's insistence that they be held in Jerusalem, a venue
that Egypt rejected because of its opinion that Jerusalem
was one of the items to be negotiated.  Israel had delayed
the talks since mid-1980, before the American Presidential
election, and enjoyed the respite of 1981  as the Reagan
administration decided how to approach the issue.  But with
Fairbanks'  appointment  in February  1982,  Washington had
indicated that it was prepared to resume the dialogue.
Jerusalem,  however,  was not and raised the venue  issue
undoubtedly knowing that Egyptian President Mubarak would
find it unacceptable.   In addition to all of the other
pressures, Israel now had to deal with a renewed American
interest in the status of the West Bank and the delivery on
Begin's Camp David promise to solve the Palestinian problem
"in all its aspects".28 The stage was now fully set for the
Israeli  invasion of Lebanon and the major international
drama of the summer of '82.
                  CHAPTER 3 ENDNOTES
1.   This is a recent quote from the new Israeli Defense
Minister,  Yitzhak  Rabin,  made  on  the  eve  of  Israel's
unilateral decision to withdraw from Lebanon.   See  "An
Interview With Yitzhak Rabin", Time, 11 February 1985, p.
2.   See Don Peretz, The Government and Politics of Israel
(Boulder, Colorado:  The Westview Press, 1979), pp. 335-368.
3.   Walid  Khalidi,  Conflict  and  Violence  in  Lebanon
(Cambridge, Mass:  Harvard Center for International Studies,
1979), p. 34.
4.   Ibid., p. 35.
5.   Peretz, pp. 359-363; and Khalidi, pp. 47-65.
6.     Amos  Perlmutter,  "Begin's  Rhetoric  and  Sharon's
Tactics", Foreign Affairs, Vol. 61, no. 1, Fall 1982, p. 72.
7.   See "An Interview With Ronald Reagan", Time, 30 June
1980,  p.  15;  and  Daniel  Sutherland,  "Reagan's  Mideast
Policy: Pragmatism Not Ideology", Christian Science Monitor,
6 May 1981, p. 3.
8.   Dan Bavly and Eliahu Salpeter, Fire in Beirut (New York:
Stein and Day Publishing, 1984), pp. 80-81.
9.   President Reagan appointed Habib on 5 May 1981 and he
arrived  in  the  Middle  East  eight  days  later.    For  a
discussion on the Syrian role see John Yemma, "Syria Beefs
Up Its Armor in Lebanon Just As The Talks Begin," The
Christian Science Monitor, 7 May 1981, p. 9.  The chronology
section of "America and the World", Foreign Affairs, Vol.
60, no. 3, pp. 736-737 gives a useful sequential account.
10.  See M. Thomas Davis, "The Politics of Begin's Baghdad
Raid", Naval War College Review, March-April 1982, p. 34.
11.  See Henry S. Stokes, "Japan Sees Arafat Visit As Chance
To Seek Wider Accord In Middle East", New York Times, 13
October 1981, p. A10.
12.  This description of the Cease Fire agreement negotiated
by Ambassador Habib was given by a State Department official
who participated in the process.
13.  Conversation with Professor Nadav Safran, 8 May 1982.
14.  Bavly and Salpeter, p. 74.
15.  Ezer Weizman, The Battle For Peace (New York: Bantam
Books, Inc., 1981), p. 141.
16.  Ibid., p. 142.
17.  Ibid., p. 222.
18.  Bavly and Salpeter, p. 80.
19.  Richard A. Gabriel, Operation Peace for Galilee: The
Israeli-PLO War in Lebanon (New York:  Hill and Wang, 1984),
p. 60.
20.  See "Sharon's Plan", Time, 1 March 1982, p. 24.  For
some of the related actions see "Begin Puts the World on
Notice", FBIS, 24 February 1982, p. 15, and "Sharon Details
'Four Red Lines' in Match", FBIS, 25 February 1984, p. 13.
21.  This comment was made by an American officer who served
as an observer in south Lebanon during the 1982 invasion.
22.  M. Thomas Davis, Recent Events in the Middle East:
Continuing  Dilemmas  for  US  Policy",  Naval  War  College
Review, July-August 1983, p. 9.  Hereafter cited as Davis,
23.  This observation came from an official of the US State
24.  Rafik Halabi, The West Bank Story (New York:  Harcourt,
Brace, and Jovanovich, 1981), p. 117 and p. 231.
25.  Bavly and Salpeter, p. 75.
26.  Davis, Dilemmas, p. 8.
27.  Ibid., p. 9.
28.  See the discussion on the evolution of Prime Minister
Begin's proposal for Palestinian Autonomy in Jimmy Carter,
Keeping Faith:    The Memoirs of a President  (New York:
Bantam Books, 1982), pp. 269-429.
                         CHAPTER 4
          "Begin and Sharon share the sale dream: Sharon
          is the dream's hatchet man.  That dream is to
          annihilate the PLO, douse any vestiges of
          Palestinian  nationalism,  crush  PLO  allies  and
          collaborators in the West Bank, and eventually
          force the Palestinians there into Jordan,
          and cripple if not end, the Palestinian
          nationalist movement."1
                                      Amos Perlmutter, 1982
     On 3 June 1982, Israeli Ambassador Shlomo Argov was
shot in London.   In the U.S. State Department, both the
diplomatic  cable  system  and  the  commercial  news  wire
services came alive with information from various sources on
the nature of the attack.  Immediately the PLO, through its
number two man, Salah Khalaf, announced that it had nothing
to do with the attack, but that it was prepared to respond
to any "Israeli aggression".   Cairo reported that its own
Ambassador  to London had  been  with  Argov  and  narrowly
escaped being shot himself.  In Britain, the police quickly
rounded up three suspects who eventually turned out to be
the assailants.   One was a Syrian Intelligence Officer
(although one source claimed he was an Iraqi), the other two
were associated with the renegade Abu Nidal faction of the
     On 4 June, Israel launched a major air attack against
PLO positions in southern Lebanon and Beirut.  The following
day, as reports coming to Washington indicated that Israeli
mobilization along the Lebanese border was now "total", the
PLO responded with an artillery attack across the border
into  northern  Israel.    The  PLO  attacks  against  Israel
evidently  did  little  damage  wounding  eight  people  and
contributing to one death from a heart attack;  PLO and
Lebanese casualties from Israel's air raids numbered about
45  killed  and  150  wounded.    Secretary  of  State  Haig,
accompanying President Reagan in Europe to the Versailles
Economic Conference, described the situation as serious.  He
was correct.  At 11 AM on 6 June, Israel pushed through the
positions of UNIFIL and into Lebanon.
     During the year preceding the event, the Israelis had
prepared  three plans  for an  invasion of  their northern
neighbor.  The first called for a campaign directed against
the PLO in the south to stamp out artillery and terrorist
positions threatening northern Israel.  This operation would
avoid  an  engagement  with  the  Syrians  and  advance  40
kilometers to the north as measured from the town of Rosh
Hanikra.   Basically,  this plan was a slightly expanded
version of Operation Litani in 1978.
     The second plan also avoided war with the Syrians, but
moved the IDF north to Beirut for a link-up with Israel's
Phalangist allies who would enter Beirut to destroy the PLO
left  in the city.   Again  a  40  kilometer distance was
mentioned,  but  this  time  it was measured  from Metulla,
Israel's northern-most border town in the Galilee finger,
bringing the IDF on line just south of the Lebanese Capital.
     The third plan, known as the "Big Plan", envisioned a
war against both the PLO and the Syrians clearing them from
southern Lebanon and the Bekaa valley up to the outskirts of
Beirut.  Again the 40 kilometer distance was measured from
Metulla and the Phalangist would carry the brunt of the
fighting inside Beirut.2
     The Israeli Cabinet met on the evening of 5 June to
review the situation and decided at that time to give the
Defense Minister permission to cross the border.  It is not
clear what plan the Cabinet authorized for implementation,
but considering the early Israeli identification of the 40
kilometer line and its insistence that Jerusalem hoped to
avoid a conflict with Syria, the evidence indicates that
they had initially opted for plan one or two.3
     Sharon had proposed military poison for the PLO problem
several times, but had been outvoted in the Cabinet in his
efforts to get approval for either the "small" or "big"
wars.  Having won authorization for the attack at the 5 June
meeting, Sharon evidently decided to fight the war the way
he preferred and to inform the Cabinet only as required
using the vaguest military terms to leave the impression
that expanded efforts were necessary to protect Israeli
forces from PLO and Syrian counter-attacks.   The Chief of
Staff, General Eitan, later declared on several occasions
that he and the Army never received any instructions to
limit their advance to 40 kilometers.4  Additionally, the
Syrians initially made an effort to avoid a clash with the
Israelis by withdrawing their checkpoints from the southern
area as far down the coast as Sidon and Tyre.5
     The Israelis organized themselves into 9 division-sized
formations (see Figure 3) for the attack and crossed the
border in strength at three locations.  The forces in the
west and center came under the normal command structure of
the General Officer in Charge (GOC) North, MG Amir Drori,
and his deputy, MG Uri Simchoni.  In the east, opposite the
Syrians,  the Israelis established for the first time in
their history a corps headquarters under MG Avigdor Ben Gal,
known in Israel as "Yanoosh", one of the country's most
celebrated soldiers and a hero on the Golan during the 1973
war.   On  a sabbatical of study at Harvard University,
Yanoosh was called home to assume his command.
Click here to view image
                      6 JUNE 1982  
     At 11AM on 6 June, the three forces moved out.   The
late morning hour was evidently forced by events.  Although
starting the attack this far into the morning yielded to
some extent the element of surprise, as well as sacrificing
six hours of daylight, it was politically required because
Jerusalem feared that waiting until the dawn of the 7th
would subject Israel to political pressure from the United
States to cancel the operation.
     Drori's western force led by BG Yitzhak Mordecai's 91st
Division, and spearheaded by COL Eli Geva's famous 211th
Brigade, headed up the coast road towards Tyre (see Map 4).
Their mission was to by-pass Tyre pinning as many PLO in the
city as possible, reduce the three PLO camps there, and move
rapidly up the coast to Sidon and Damour.   One battalion
split off early at Tyre and head east linking up with a
brigade from the center sector at Jouaiya.  This caught the
PLO in the south in a strong vice.
     BG Amos Yaron and his 96th Division assembled in Ashdod
and Nahariya along the Israeli coast and were loaded aboard
amphibious shipping.  The first wave sailed from Ashdod with
the mission to land just north of Sidon and link up with the
other forces coming up from the south.   It was to be the
largest amphibious operation ever mounted by the IDF.
Click here to view image
    In the center, the two divisions of BG Avigdor Kahalani
and BG Menachem Einan basically had supporting missions.
Kahalani was to cross the Litani river both north and south
of the commanding high ground at Beaufort Castle and capture
the key road junction at Nabitiya.  An elite reconnaissance
battalion was to break off from his advance and attack the
castle which had served as a PLO stronghold for years.
Having secured the junction at Nabitiya, Kahalani would head
towards the coast to link up with Mordecai's division while
Einan's division would head north towards Jezzine, and from
there along the right flank of the Syrians in the Bekaa
Valley orienting on the Beirut-Damascus highway.
     To the east, opposite the Syrian positions in the Bekaa
Valley, the Israelis assembled their largest force.  Led by
MG Ben Gal, the mission in the eastern sector was to advance
into the Bekaa valley and prevent the Syrians from either
reinforcing  from  their  own  territory  to  the  east,  or
shifting forces to the west in an effort to influence the
action along the coastal road.  Ben Gal's forces would head
up  the  flanks of  the  Bekaa  orienting  on  Hasbaiya  and
Masghara, as well as up the center directed towards Lake
Qaraoun and ultimately Joub Jannine.   The Israelis were
clearly  committing  a  substantial  force  to  the  war  in
Lebanon.  Although the order of battle for the other side
is difficult to determine, there were at least two Syrain
divisions and no more than  15,000 PLO fighters  loosely
organized and controlled.6
     Although it was preceded by a heavy artillery prepara-
tion and intensive air strikes, the attack along the coastal
road in the west quickly fell behind schedule.  The road was
narrow and forced the Israelis to advance slowly creating a
monumental traffic jam.  PLO fighters hidden in tree groves
along either side of the road fired at the Israelis with
RPG's  and other  anti-tank weapons knocking  out  several
armored vehicles.   One of Mordecai's lead battalions was
supposed to by-pass Tyre, a PLO stronghold, and establish a
blocking  position  to  the  east  of  the  city  where  the
peninsula on which the  it  set met  the mainland.    The
battalion accidently stumbled into the middle of the city
and was ambushed further delaying the advance.  It was past
eight  in the evening when Mordecai's units crossed  the
Litani and headed north towards Sidon.
     In the center sector, Kahalani's 36th Division passed
on both sides of Beaufort Castle leaving the reconnaissance
battalion to secure it.  In the dark the battalion began to
work its way up the slopes ultimately fighting a fierce six
hour battle, but by the morning of 7 June, Beaufort was
firmly  in  Israeli  hands.    Kahalani's  main  force  had
experienced great difficulty climbing the Arnoun Heights
toward Nabitiya, but by the end of the first day they had
secured the road junction north of Nabitiya and the 162d
Division of BG Einan was passing through on its way to the
next crossroads at Jezzine.
     In the east, Yanoosh's forces had penetrated into the
Bekaa Valley and were moving forward towards the Syrian
positions.  The 252d Division under BG Immanuel Sakel, with
the assistance of Israeli Army engineers, who dozed a road
through the Wadi Cheba, had passed Mount Hermon and cleared
the town of Hasbaiya.  Sakel then oriented his troops to the
right and began to advance in the direction of Rachaiya.  BG
Giora Lev's 90th Division aimed directly at the Syrian
center  around Lake Qaraoun and advanced to a point on line
with Hasbaiya before halting on the morning of 7 June.  The
divisional  formation of BG Dan Vardi moved out  in the
direction of Mashgara and Jezzine followed by Yossi Peled's
force, which was to pass through the Vardi brigade commanded
by COL  Hagai  Cohen  after  it  seized Jezzine,  and  then
continue north to take control of the Jabaal Barouk mountain
ridge and with it the western approaches into the Bekaa.
Peled was to block any Syrian reinforcement attempts and be
in position to support Einan's 162d Division during its
movement to Ain Zhalta.
     By the end of the first day, nearly all of the IDF's
objectives had been secured although the advance in the west
had been slower than anticipated.   In the eastern sector,
the Israelis had halted along the floor of the Bekaa Valley
although Ben Gal's forces were clearly turning the Syrian
flanks to the east and west.   Except for some harrassing
artillery  fire,  the  Syrians  were  offering  very  little
resistance to include their missile batteries which did not
attempt to engage the Israeli Air Force aircraft overflying
the battle area.   The delay in the center lasted nearly
seventy-two  hours  while  Sharon  argued  persistently  for
permission to engage the Syrians and drive them from the
Bekaa Valley while there was a high probability of success.
But the Cabinet was evidently not eager to engage in a wider
war than the one they already had.7
     In the United States, the State Department followed the
events with considerable concern.  Although there has been
wide-spread  speculation  since  the  invasion over whether
Secretary of State Alexander Haig gave the Israelis the go
ahead for their attack, it is very doubtful that any such
encouragement was given overtly.   At worst,  during his
meeting in Washington with Defense Minister Sharon near the
end of May, Haig gave the Israelis a "dim yellow light", but
this  is  not  necessarily  significant.    As  one  State
Department Official noted, "It doesn't really matter what
Haig gave him, Sharon has been known to run lights of all
colors."8 As the first day of fighting drew to a close, the
US government began to examine ways to minimize the damage
from Jerusalem's action and control the peripheral effects.
As a first step, President Reagan called once again for the
services of Ambassador Philip Habib asking him to go to the
Middle East and attempt to arrange a cease-fire.
                       7 JUNE 1982
     As 7 June began,  the Israelis continued their air
attacks all along the coastal highway leading to Beirut.
Reports began to arrive in Washington immediately raising
the issue of Israeli use of cluster munitions in violation
of sales agreements.  Although one American official stated
that there was no way Israel could legally drop a cluster
munition in Lebanon, Sharon brushed aside the controversy by
declaring that,  "In wartime it is necessary to interpret
formal agreements differently than in peace- time."9 Other
disturbing  reports  began  to  indicate  that  there  were
extensive civilian casualties throughout Lebanon as the war
    Along the coast, Mordecai's division continued to move
towards Sidon while some of his forces struggled to clear
the Palestinian camp of Rachidiya outside Tyre (see Map 5).
By mid-day,  Mordecai's  troops  linked  up with  those  of
Kahalani at Zaharani Junction just south of Sidon.  In the
early  morning  hours,  the  Israeli  navy  conducted  its
amphibious  operation  landing  the  lead  elements  of Amos
Yaron's 96th Division.  Using approximately fourteen landing
craft of various types, the Israelis placed ashore the 50th
Battalion of the 35th Parachute Brigade, led by COL Yarir
Yarom, effectively surrounding Sidon in a tight vice.  The
balance of Yaron's division awaited at Nahariya and was
landed  by  turn-around  shipping  after  the  first  wave.
Yarom's assault battalion had been staged further down the
coast at Ashdod harbor to avoid detection.
     Although Sidon was surrounded, it took some time before
the road through the town was opened.   To maintain the
momentum of the advance, COL Geva's 211th Brigade by-passed
the city and pushed up the coast road to Damour.  A fight
erupted in the Ein Hilwe camp outside of Sidon tying down
two Israeli battalions.
     In the center, BG Einan pushed towrads Jezzine running
into  a  Syrian  and  PLO  force  just  south  of  the  town.
Electing to by-pass the town so as to continue his push
Click here to view image
towards Beit ed Din, Einan left the enemy forces to the
460th Brigade of COL Hagai Cohen, a unit of the Vardi's
division.   Cohen captured the town while the rest of the
Vardi elements closed towards Mashgara from the south.  BG
Lev's division remained in place along the floor of the
Bekaa while heavy, mobile Israeli artillery began to set up
near Hasbaiya to his south.  The arrival of these artillery
battalions placed 6 of the 17 Syrian missile batteries in
the  valley  within  artillery  range.    Meanwhile,  Sakel
continued to move  forces along the right  flank  in  the
direction of Rachaiya threatening to catch the Syrians in a
dangerous double envelopment.   Whether they wanted to or
not, the Syrians were being placed in a position where they
would have to react or face the possibility of destruction
in detail and a devastating loss by default.10  Despite the
corps  command  being  exercised  by  Ben  Gal,  Sharon  was
spending a considerable amount of time at  the Northern
Command Post, carefully watching the Syrian situation.11
                       8 JUNE 1982
     As 8 June began, anxiety continued to grow in Wash-
ington -- especially as the Israelis began to creep beyond
the  40  kilometer  line  that  Prime  Minister  Begin  had
announced as the goal of the operation.  Ambassador Habib
had arrived in Jerusalem and several crisis action and
working groups had been established in the American capital
to monitor the action.  Around Washington the feeling seemed
to be coalescing that Israel had apparently started this
fight on its own, but the elimination of the PLO just might
give this otherwise nasty little war some redeeming merit.
     Nontheless, diplomatic cables coming from the region
most were disturbing.   The Arab states were predictably.
outraged, a feeling magnified by their common fears that the
Israelis might for the first time actually occupy an Arab
capital -- Beirut.  From Jerusalem, the messages indicated
that  the  initially  limited  Israeli  objectives might  be
broadening somewhat.   This raised disturbing possibilities
and Washington cabled instructions to pressure Jerusalem to
stick with its initial declaration of advancing only to the
40 kilometer line.
     On the ground in Lebanon, Yaron with Geva still in the
lead continued to move towards Damour (see Map 6).  The road
through Sidon was opened, but what was to become a six day
seige at the Ein Hilwe refugee camp began.  In the air, the
Israeli Air Force (IAF) had its first encounter with the
Syrians over Beirut and southern Lebanon downing six Migs
with no Israeli losses.  Flying close air support missions
Click here to view image
on all three fronts, the IAF came within missile range of
the Syrian batteries in the Bekaa Valley.  Although they
were tracked by radar, no Israeli aircraft were fired upon.
 In the center, a tragedy occurred.   As elements of
Cohen's 460th Brigade moved from Jezzine to Masghara, they
ran into a sister unit from the Vardi division approaching
the town from the south.   Mistaking each other for Syrian
formations, the two units engaged in a pitched battle that
lasted  for  nearly  two  hours  before  the  mistake  was
discovered.  By this time, however, there were a number of
dead on both sides along with several damaged tanks.12
     By nightfall, the Israelis were consolidating in the
center awaiting an opportunity to attack Masghara while to
the west of Lake Qaraoun the force  led by Yossi Peled
climbed the winding roads of the Jabaal Barouk in an effort
to get into position to command the roads leading into the
Bekaa from the west.   In the east little occurred as the
center remained both stationary and quiet while the flanking
movement around Rachaiya continued.  By the end of the day,
Israelis and Syrians were only yards apart along centain
portions of the front.13  As the Israeli Cabinet met that
evening, the only member aware that a clash with the Syrians
was all but inevitable was Ariel Sharon, and as one observer
has noted, his plan was to "hoodwink" his colleagues rather
than enlighten them.14
                          9 JUNE 1982
     On the fourth day of the war,  actions in both the
military  and  diplomatic  dimensions  began  to  intensify.
Ambassador Habib had arrived in Israel late on 7 June and
had begun talks with the Begin government immediately on
achieving  a  cessation  of  hostilities.    The  Israelis,
evidently buoyed by their military successes so far, were
in no mood to yield.  In addition, international pressures
were not yet critical.  Although the UN Security Council had
passed Resolution 509 on 6 June,  calling for Israel to
withdraw and for all parties to observe the previous cease-
fire agreement, the United States had vetoed a resolution on
the  8th  calling  for  sanctions  against  Jerusalem  for
continuing with the invasion.
     Habib and others were increasingly concerned by the
Israelis hardening attitude.  During the debate at the UN on
the 8th, Israel's Ambassador Yehuda Blum had declared that
Israel would stay in Lebanon until "concrete arrangements"
could be established ending the hostilities directed against
the Galilee from Lebanese soil.  After seeing Begin on the
afternoon of  the  8th,  Habib left  for Syria carrying a
message to President Assad for Syria to avoid conflict with
Israel and to have Syrian troops  in Lebanon attempt to
restrain the PLO from engaging in further combat.15
Before Habib could deliver the message, Israel struck at the
Syrian missile positions in the Bekaa destroying 17 of the
19 batteries deployed there by Damascus.
     Before  the  great  air  battles  of  the  9th,  action
elsewhere was limited (see Map 7).  Along the coast, Geva
continued to march towards Damour and the seige at the Ein
Hilwe  camp  outside  Sidon  continued  although  Israel was
finally in control of the Rachidiya camp near Tyre.  In the
center, Einan made contact with Peled's force still moving
along  the Jabaal  Barouk,  but  was  later  ambushed  by  a
determined  Syrian  force  as  he  approached  Ain  Zhalta
suffering considerable losses in his APC's and tanks.  The
battle at Ain Zhalta lasted several hours and halted the IDF
about 12 kilometers south of the Beirut-Damascus highway.
Meanwhile in the east, the situation intensified consider-
     Having won authorization to attack the Syrian positions
from the Cabinet,  Sharon launched a mammoth pre-emptive
strike  against  the SAM missile batteries  in the Bekaa.
Using remotely piloted vehicles  (RPV's)  and decoys,  the
Israelis launched a 96 aircraft attack.  When the Syrian Air
Force entered the action, the Israelis shot down some 22
aircraft with no losses by the IAF.   Taking advantage of
their  superior  aircraft,  pilot  training,  mastery  of
electronic warfare, and especially the new American AIM-9L
Click here to view image
Sidewinder missile, the Israelis decisively won control of
the air.   By mid-day on the 10th, the IAF had destroyed
nearly 65 Syrian MIGs with no Israeli combat losses.
     Taking  advantage of  this  air  superiority,  Ben  Gal
launched an attack up the Bekaa valley.  Lev's division in
the center mounted a major thrust towards Joub Jannine while
Sakel passed through Rachaiya.  Yossi Peled continued down
the Jabaal Barouk providing the flank security to the west.
     Because  of  this  vigorous  Israeli  action,  President
Reagan sent a stiffly worded note to Prime Minister Begin
calling for a cease-fire beginning at 6AM on the 10th.
Begin refused the request arguing that although he accepted
the concept of a cease-fire, he could not comply unless
President Assad agreed to remove both the Syrian and PLO
forces from Lebanon.   Later in the day, reports came from
Jerusalem indicating that Begin and Foreign Minister Shamir
were willing to accept the President's proposal, but that
Sharon was adamantly opposed.  At this time, the Israelis
recommended that Secretary of State Haig come to the Middle
East, but suggested that he not arrive until after midnight
on  the  10th  --  indicating  that  there  were  additional
military  objectives  they  hoped  to  secure  before  they
announced plans to end the hostilities.
                       10 JUNE 1982
     As the 10th began, Geva's force moved past Damour and
began to close on Khalde just south of Beirut.  Syrian and
PLO forces  began to join together and  the  first  clash
between the Israelis and a joint Arab force occurred near
Kafr Sill, in the Beirut suburbs (see Map 8).
     In the center, Ain Zhalta had fallen and the forces of
Menachem Einan began to move towards Ain Dara, one step
closer to the Beirut-Damascus highway, the vital tactical
and logistical route for Syrian forces stationed in Leb-
anon.   Along the valley floor,  the advance towards Joub
Jannine was both difficult and deadly.
     The  Syrians  utilized  the  French Gazelle  helicopter
armed with the HOT missile to execute an orderly retreat up
the valley.  They had also organized their defenses well and
successfully ambushed a battalion-sized Israeli column as it
moved north of Joub Jannine in the direction of the tiny
crossroads at Soultan Yaaquoub.  It was six hours before the
Israelis were able to bring forward enough combat power to
execute an extraction.  This action cost the Israelis about
30 killed and six to eight tanks.   The ability of the
Syrians to withdraw north in good order was winning them
considerable respect from Israeli commanders.16
Click here to view image
                     11-22 JUNE 1982
     Yielding to American and international pressure, the
Israelis and Syrians announced a cease-fire at noon on the
11th, but declared that it did not include the PLO.   Just
before the cease-fire took effect,  however,  there was a
brief clash as the Syrians attempted to reinforce their
units in the Bekaa with a T-72 tank unit.  The Syrians ran
into  Peled's  force  which  inflicted  considerable  damage
largely through the employment of anti-tank missiles.
     Along the coast, Khalde had been captured and fighting
intensified as the Israelis closed in on Beirut airport.
The Israelis' Christian allies began to move down from the
north placing the PLO and Syrian forces in Beirut between
two hostile forces which together controlled  the escape
route to the east.  There were other clashes in the air in
which the Syrians lost 18 more planes bringing to over 90
their total combat aircraft losses since the war began.  The
IAF had, by this time, lost one aircraft to ground fire.
     On 12 June, the cease fire was extended to the PLO, but
the entire arrangement broke down by the morning of the
13th.  As the Syrians tried to reinforce north of Khalde to
get between the Israelis and Beirut, the 35th Brigade of
Yarom moved out in the direction of Baabda, the site of the
Lebanese Presidential Palace where negotiations were being
conducted involving the government of Lebanon, the various
Lebanese factions, and the United States.  After some heavy
fighting south of Baabda lasting over fourteen hours, the
Israelis  captured  the  town  and  early  the  next morning
crossed the highway in strength completing the encirclement
of Beirut and linking up with their Phalangist allies.  Both
sides now settled into positions from which they fought a
series  of  small  skirmishes  and  artillery duels  lasting
through 22 June.   Along the center and eastern fronts,
Israeli advances had also ground to a halt and the tempo of
operations was greatly reduced.17
                       22-25 JUNE
     The  Israeli  movement  north  of  the  Beirut-Damascus
highway, effectively began the seige of Beirut that would
drag into August.  But prior to the the last concentrated
Israeli offensive of the war to clear the highway east of
Baabda, action on the diplomatic and political front became
     In Washington, the traditional American supporters of
Israel, sensing a considerable degree of frustation within
the US government over Jerusalem's actions, launched a major
campaign to convince both the administration and Congress
that  there  were  great  advantages  in  what  Israel  had
accomplished in Lebanon.   Right in their footsteps were
members of the American-Lebanese community arguing that the
invasion offered a chance for the creation of a strong new
political order in Lebanon which would allow the central
government to re-assert control over the nation as a whole.
This  was,   basically,   a  shorthand  argument  for  the
perpetuation  and  consolidation  of  Christian  power  in
Lebanese politics, considered by many to be the root cause
of the country's political  instability.   The efforts of
these two groups won some converts, and certainly calmed
many others, but there remained throughout the US capital a
great  uneasiness  reflected  in  the  cool  reception  Prime
Minister Begin received when he came to visit President
Reagan on 21 June.  Begin's meeting with the Senate Foreign
Affairs  Committee  was  later  described  by  Massachusetts
Senator Paul Tsongas as the "angriest" he had seen in eight
years in Congress.18
     In Lebanon, the National Salvation Council, established
by President Elias Sarkis on 14 June and consisting of the 7
major factional leaders, continued its efforts to create a
national response to the invasion while laying the founda-
tion for a restoration of order after the war.  The progress
was slow and ultimately futile.  Throughout the rest of the
region,  Arab governments dispatched  a  steady  stream of
cables to Washington insisting with increasing alarm that
the US use its influence to restrain the Israeli advance.
These comments were echoed by the American Ambassadors who
began to consider drawing down their Embassy staffs out of
concern that a major backlash directed at the United States
was about to occur.   Saudi Arabia and Egypt were particu-
larly persistent in efforts to force Washington's hand in
controlling Israeli actions.   In exchange for agreeing to
receive Begin during his visit to Washington, President
Reagan managed to secure on 16 June Israel's agreement not
to enter Beirut, a major concern by the Arab states.
     Although a new cease fire had gone into effect on 21
June,  coinciding  with Begin's visit  to Washington,  the
following day the Israelis launched a major attack east to
clear the Beirut-Damascus highway (see Map 9).  Their basic
objective was to drive the Syrians back to Chtaura prevent-
ing any attempts to counterattack and break the seige set-
ting in around Beirut.  Realizing that the loss of Chtaura
would be a serious blow, the Syrians fought tenaciously but
the Israelis succeeded in gaining control of the highway as
far east as Sofar from where they were able to control the
Click here to view image
approaches  to Chtaura with artillery  fire.   After  this
situation stabilized, a cease fire was declared on 25 June.
                25 JULY - 12 AUGUST 1982
     On 25 June it was announced that Secretary of State
Alexander  Haig  would  resign  and  be  replaced  by George
Schultz.  Although it is still not fully understood to what
degree the war in Lebanon contributed to Haig's dismissal,
it is clearly related to some extent.  At the same time, the
Israelis launched a massive artillery and air attack on West
Beirut where Yasir Arafat and his surviving PLO fighters had
ensconsed themselves declaring their intention to make the
city into a modern-day "Stalingrad" if need be.   This air
attack, evidently unauthorized by the Israeli Cabinet, as
was the offensive to clear the Beirut-Damascus highway,
initiated the decline in the authority of Defense Minister
Sharon culminating in his dismissal in early 1983.19
     The seige of Beirut lasted until US Marines and the
multi-national force arrived to supervise the departure of
the PLO from Beirut.  During this period, both the Israelis
and the PLO were largely acting with an eye on political
considerations as both wanted to avoid a bloody fight from
street to street.   During all of July, the Israelis tried
numerous tactics to force the PLO to either surrender or
evacuate.   They bombed the city almost daily,  inflicting
casualties on both the PLO as well as hundreds of civilians,
and drew artillery into close proximity engaging in direct
fire  into  the  outskirts  --  a  most  abnormal  artillery
tactic.   They turned off the water and power for several
days, but finally restored it under considerable interna-
tional pressure.
     During the seige, Ambassador Habib continued with his
efforts to negotiate a withdrawal of the PLO from the city.
The United States felt compelled to take this particular
approach as all of the Arab states in the region friendly to
the West had strongly expressed the opinion that military
destruction of the PLO by Israel would be an unacceptable
conclusion to the war leaving them vulnerable to potentially
de-stabilizing domestic pressure.
     The American government became increasingly uneasy with
the daily media pictures emanating from the be-seiged city.
After the heavy bombardment of 15 July, the United States
formally suspended  the delivery of cluster munitions to
Jerusalem.20 Under pressure from both the Arabs and its
western Allies, the United States had offered in early July
to provide troops to supervise the departure of the PLO from
Beirut, an initiative welcomed by the French and Italians
who agreed to join with Washington in such a venture.  Habib
continued his efforts all through July to negotiate such an
agreement  while  maintaining  a  cease-fire  between  the
belligerents.  One cease-fire after another was declared and
then broken -- as often as not by the Israelis according to
sources on the scene.
     This was because Jerusalem was under growing pressure
to conclude the war and demonstrate some benefit from it.
The early rapid advances had now been replaced by a lengthy
seige during which the Israelis began to suffer much more
than they had during the  initial  four-day dash  up  the
coast.21 Usingincreasingly desperate efforts to force the
capitulation of Arafat and the Syrians  in West Beirut,
Sharon sent the IAF against the enemy positions  in the
city.  A heavy assault on 4 August drew a strong message to
Begin  from  President  Reagan,  which  the  Prime  Minister
defiantly rejected.   Five days later,  Habib presented a
detailed plan to the Israelis for the withdrawal of the PLO
from West Beirut under the protection of the Multinational
Force which would include American Marines.   The Israelis
accepted the plan "in principle", but objected to the PLO
being  withdrawn  under  the  protection  of  an  external
organization,  particularly one  that  included  the United
     On 11 and 12 August, Sharon, without Cabinet approval,
made one last concentrated effort to get the PLO out of
Beirut through the application of Israeli power rather than
American diplomacy.  In the most intensive air onslaught of
the war, the IAF attacked the PLO camps and the high-rise
buildings in the center of the city used by the PLO as
headquarters and control centers.   President Reagan sent
Begin a very blunt message following this action demanding
that the Israelis end their attacks and honor the last
established cease-fire.  Shortly afterwards, Begin accepted
the President's demands.   In addition, the Israeli Cabinet
finally rescinded the authority of Sharon to conduct the
     On 21 August, 350 French paratroopers landed in Beirut
beginning the withdrawal of the PLO by ship to Cyprus and
ultimately Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, and Syria.  On 25 August,
the American Marines arrived to join the French in super-
vising the execution of the evacuation plan negotiated by
Ambassador Habib and accepted by Israel, Lebanon and Syria.
Arafat embarked on 30 August and sailed to Athens where he
received  a  hero's  welcome  from  Greek  Premier  Andreas
Papandreou; two weeks later he was received in Rome by Pope
John Paul II.   On 11 September, the Multinational Force
withdrew, effectively ending the conflict.
               The Aftermath and After Shocks
     On 23 August  1982,  before the final withdrawal of
Syrian and PLO forces, the goal that the Israelis and many
in the Lebanese Christian community had sought was seemingly
accomplished:  Bashir Gemayel, the leader of the Phalangist
Military Force nurtured by Israel since the 1975 Civil War
was elected President of Lebanon.  But like all of the gains
Israel had hoped to secure in Lebanon, this one also proved
to be only passing.
     On 8 September, Bashir came to Nahariya to meet with
Begin and Sharon.  Under heavy pressure to secure something
concrete to justify the war, the Israeli leaders pressured
Bashir to sign a peace treaty with Israel as soon as he took
office.   Bashir refused, arguing that to do so would be
unacceptable to his Muslim compatriots and would isolate
Lebanon from Arab allies such as Saudi Arabia desperately
needed  for  reconstruction  following  the  war.     The
disagreement became intense, perhaps symbolizing a parting
of the ways of the Israelis and the Maronites after a long
period of shared interests.  The full impact of the meeting
will never be fully known, for six days later Bashir was
assassinated and replaced as President by his less forceful
and less pro-Israeli brother, Amin.23
     If Israeli leaders had hoped for the establishment in
Lebanon of a "New Order" that would be predisposed towards
signing a peace agreement with Jerusalem, that effect has
never been realized even though the May  1983  agreement
engineered by Secretary of State George Shultz certainly
brought the dream tantalizingly close.
     Following Bashir's murder, the Israelis entered Beirut
against  strong  American  opposition.    BG  Amos  Yaron's
soldiers  surrounded  the Palestinian  Camps  of  Sabra  and
Shatilla but did not enter  them.    MG  Drori  asked  the
Lebanese regular army to take control of the camps, but they
refused.     Perhaps  under  pressure  to  show  that  the
Phalangists  were  valuable  allies,  as  they  had  so  far
contributed little to the war effort around Beirut,  and
still concerned about the casualties bound to be suffered by
the IDF  in an urban battle,  Sharon  approved  using  the
Phalangists  to  clear  the  camps.    During  the  operation
conducted between 16 and 18 September, over 300 Palestinians
resident in the camps were murdered.
     In Israel, an avalanche of public fury forced Prime
Minister Begin into appointing an investigative commission
whose report released on 8 February 1983 was devastating.
It found the Prime Minister innocent of any direct involve-
ment, but implicated him nonetheless for that very reason.
The picture of Begin was one indicating a lack of interest
and lack of control over his key subordiates.  Sharon, who
had approved the operation, and his Chief of Staff General
Eitan who had supervised it, were both excoriated.   Eitan
was judged derelict in his duty, and Sharon was charged with
indirect responsibility with the thinly veiled recommenda-
tion that he be removed as Defense Minister.  The Chief of
Military Intelligence, who had long doubted the wisdom of
counting on the Phalangists as allies, along with Generals
Drori and Yaron, were also severely reprimanded.24 This
began the deterioration of the Begin government leading to
Sharon's forced departure as Defense Minister three days
after the release of the report, and Begin's resignation in
     Within Israel and its Army, the continued hostilities
steadily eroded support as the seige of Beirut wore on and
it became increasingly obvious that the PLO was not going to
be destroyed.  As early as 28 June, soldiers returning from
the front began to protest the invasion in front of Begin's
offices in Jerusalem.  Following the massacre at Sabra and
Shatilla, over 400,000 Israelis turned out in the streets of
Tel Aviv -- almost 10% of the total population -- demanding
an investigation and an end to the war.25  But the signs of
discontent within the senior levels of the Army were even
more disturbing.
     Before the seige of Beirut ended, Israel was shaken by
the resignation of COL Eli Geva, the commander who had led
the 211th Brigade on the dash up the coast to Beirut.  Upset
about the possibility of an assault on Beirut, and feeling
the war had gone beyond reasonable bounds, Geva asked to be
relieved of his command.  Following a personal meeting with
Begin and Eitan,  he was removed and dismissed from the
IDF.26 Following a speech to the Israeli Command and Staff
College in August 1982, during which he defended the war as
unavoidable, Begin also received the resignation of MG Amram
Mitzna, the director of the college.   Israelis were again
taken aback by criticisms of the war voiced by LT Avraham
Burg,  the  son of  Rabbi Josef Burg,  the  leader of the
National  Religious  Party  and  a  member  of  the  Begin
Cabinet.27   Additionally,  numerous petitions originating
within the army began to circulate expressing opposition to
the invasion and demanding the resignation of Sharon.   A
crisis of confidence was clearly building in Israel directly
attributable to the campaign in Lebanon.
     The PLO was also shaken, and throughout the balance of
1982 and into 1983, it suffered its own internal struggle as
Arafat attempted to retain control in the face of a Syrian
sponsored rebellion.  Arafat had lost considerable influence
as a result of the invasion, but successfully marketed his
defiant stand  in Beirut,  during which he had withstood
Israeli arms longer than any Arab leader in history, into
some minimal political capital.  The challenge to Arafat was
based less on his military "success"  than on continued
belief  that  armed  action  against  Israel  was  futile.
This revolt against both the Chairman and his preferences
for  a  political  solution  clearly  illustrated  that  the
elimination of his wing of the PLO would not result in its
replacement  by  moderate  forces  willing  to  settle  with
Israel.  The alternative to Arafat has always been radical
rather  than  moderate  elements  within  the  Palestinian
movement.   By November 1984, it clearly appeared that the
worst had passed and that Arafat, whose Chairmanship was
renewed by the Palestine National Council,  had somewhat
consolidated his position within the PLO.  By early 1985, he
was once again talking with King Hussein about the possible
parameters of a solution; clearly, both he and the PLO were
still players in the game.28
     In  February  1985,  still  dealing  with  considerable
numbers of troops in Lebanon, and still taking casualties
from insurgents, now generally agreed to be Shiite rather
than Palestinian, the Israeli government of Prime Minister
Shimon Peres,  a  long-time political opponent of Begin,
announced a unilateral withdrawal.
                     CHAPTER 4 ENDNOTES
1.     Amos  Perlmutter,  "Begin's  Rhetoric  and  Sharon's
Tactics", Foreign Affairs, Vol. 61, no. 1, Fall 1982, p. 68.
2.   Richard A. Gabriel, Operation Peace For Galilee:  The
Isreal-PLO War in Lebanon (New York:  Bill and Wang, 1984),
p. 61.
3.   See Gabriel, pp. 62-63; also see Dan Bavly and Eliahu
Salpeter,  Fire  In  Beirut  (New  York:    Stein  and  Day
Publishing, 1984), pp. 98-99.
4.  Bavly, pp. 164-165.
5.  Gabriel, p. 64.
6.  Ibid., p. 81.
7.  Gabriel, pp. 65-66 and pp. 82-84; and Bavly p. 85.
8.   Bavly, p. 214.  The observations on the intentions of
Sharon come from State Department officials.
9.   See Nick J. Rahall II, "Lebanon and US Foreign Policy
Toward The Middle East", Arab-American Affairs, No. 2, Fall
1982, p. 45.
10.  Gabriel, p. 92.
11.  Bavly, p. 85.
12.  Gabriel, p. 94.
13.  Ibid., p. 95.
14.  Perlmutter, p. 74.
15.  See "Chronology", Foreign Affairs, Vol. 61, no. 3, p.
16.  Gabriel, pp. 104-105.
17.  Ibid., p. 108.
18.    These  observations  on  the  actions,  feelings,  and
attitudes  around Washington are drawn  from my personal
observations during the period concerned.
19.  Bavly, p. 98.
20.  Ibid., p. 107.
21.  Gabriel, p. 182.
22.  Gabriel, pp. 156-158; and Bavly, pp. 100-109.
23.  Bavly, p. 192.
24.  Bavly, pp. 152-161; and Gabriel, pp.218-221.
25.  Gabriel, p. 186.
26.  Gabriel, p. 184; and Bavly, p. 168.
27.  Gabriel, p. 185; and Bavly, p. 165.
28.  Edward Walsh, "TV Coverage of Amman PLO Session Lifts
Spirits in West Bank," The Washington Post,  28 November
1984, p. A26.
                          CHAPTER 5
          "Now the first, the greatest and the most decisive
          act of judgment which a statesman and commander
          performs is that of correctly recognizing in this
          respect the kind of war he is undertaking, of not
          taking it for, or wishing to make it, something
          which by the nature of the circumstances it cannot
                                         Karl von Clausewitz
     Clausewitz has taught us that war and politics are
inseparably connected, that the former is a continuation of
the latter through the application of other means.  War has
always been undertaken to achieve certain political goals,
and as the earlier discussion of conflict in the contempor-
ary setting indicated, this is increasingly the case in the
modern era.  Because nations today rarely have the power to
completely destroy their opponents, the use of the military
instrument must  be directed  towards  the  achievement  of
clearly  defined  political  goals  --  goals  which  are
unambiguously reducible to military means.  This is tricky
calculus at best; but when it is not made with an ample
injection of intellectual rigor and objectivity, when the
ends and means are clearly out of balance or proportion, the
inevitable result must be disaster.
     For Israel, the 1982 decision to invade Lebanon, to
undertake a war that it did not need to fight, tragically
illustrates the pitfalls present when the necessary analysts
is not performed, when emotion and ideological zeal are
allowed to supplant good judgment.  The indications of this
basic failure on the part of Jerusalem are to be found in
several places.
           Lack of Clearly Defined Political Goals
     It is not fully clear to this day the precise nature of
the political goals that Israel had in mind when it launched
the attack.  The possibilities span the spectrum from those
which were very narrow and easily achievable, to those which
were very broad and simply beyond the reach of Israeli
military power:
     1.   Establish a Cordon Sanitaire:  The very first claim
by Prime Minister Begin after his troops crossed the border
was that Israel was seeking to establish a zone 40 kilo-
meters deep that would put the settlements of the Galilee
beyond the reach of PLO artillery.  Indeed, Begin added that
Israel had no other interest in Lebanon and did not covet
any Lebanese territory, a claim he repeated when he visted
Washington in mid-June.
     This was clearly within the capability of the IDF to
achieve and it, in fact, had met this objective within the
first four days of the war.   Although the IDF never did
capture large numbers of PLO fighters, which resulted in
many observers declaring the war a failure from the start in
crippling PLO military power, it did uncover large stores of
PLO military equipment.2 This, along with some provision to
establish a buffer in southern Lebanon expanding the Hadad
enclave created after "Operation Litani" in 1978, would have
largely achieved the objective of removing the Galilee from
potential artillery harassment.  But since Jerusalem did not
end the war at this point, it evidently had other goals that
were still unsatisfied.
     2.   Control the Camp David Agenda:   Prime Minister
Begin, Defense Minister Sharon, and Foreign Minister Shamir
shared one goal: they were all dedicated to the retention of
the West Bank and Gaza under Israeli control.  This had been
a central theme throughout Begin's political life and he had
elevated its visibility immediately after assuming office as
Prime Minister in 1977.  Sharon, who had strongly advanced
the settlements program during his tenure as Agricultural
Minister, had a stake in seeing his program both secured
and  expanded.    He  had boasted  to some senior American
visitors of expanding the Israel population to 4.2 million
by the turn of the century with 2 million Jews residing on
the West Bank.  For his part, Shamir had opposed the Camp
David Agreement because of its provisions for Palestinian
     Although Begin had successfully thwarted any progress
on the Palestinian portion of Camp David through the end of
President  Carter's  term,  and  the  Reagan  administration
seemed to have little interest initially, the appointment of
Richard Fairbanks as the President's new Special Negotiator
in February 1982, and the appearance of his negotiating team
in the Middle East later in the spring,  indicated a new
seriousness by Washington.   Begin and his Cabinet delayed
the talks with the venue issue for awhile, but Washington
continued to propose ways to settle this problem.  An attack
against  Lebanon  would  remove  the  West  Bank  from  the
diplomatic  agenda  and  offer  the  associated  benefit  of
calming the rioting in the area bydiscouraging the local
supporters of the PLO, while encouraging those Palestinian
Arabs willing to settle for Begin's narrowly defined version
of autonomy.   If this was an objective, it achieved some
success.     There  have  been  no  Palestinian  Autonomy
Negotiations since the invasion, and the State Department
Team which was handling the negotiations was broken up after
the war with several of its personnel being assigned to the
members being subsequently assigned to the crew conducting
the withdrawal negotiations in Lebanon.
     Along these lines, some argue that the invasion was an
effort to execute "the Sharon Plan": driving the PLO out of
Lebanon  and  back  into Jordan where  it would gain  some
control of the government and eventually satisfy itself with
Jordan as "the" Palestinian state.  Indeed, during a trip to
the United States in late August after the evacuation of the
PLO from Beirut, Sharon raised the issue of Jordan as the
Palestinian state several times, finally prompting the State
Department to issue a statement reiterating Washington's
commitment to Jordan's political and territorial integrity.
If Sharon intended to encourage Palestinians to return to
the East Bank, this clearly did not happen as King Hussein
was  reluctant  to  accept  the  PLO  unconditionally.    In
addition, the Palestinians have never indicated that they
considered Jordan to be a substitute for Palestine -- even
when they were a major force in the country before their
clash with the King in 1970.
     3.   Establishment of a "New Order" in Lebanon: Some
suggest that the invasion was an effort by Israel to firmly
establish the Phalange Party, or perhaps another Lebanese
group sympathetic to Israel, in power in Beirut.  This would
allow  Israel  to  sign  a  peace  treaty  with  Lebanon  and
establish diplomatic relations.  Continuing the process that
began with Egypt after Camp David, this would give Israel
normal relations with two of its neighboring Arab states and
hopefully allow it to assist in the establishment of order
in southern Lebanon.  Since any Christian Government would
require continual Israeli assistance, the necessity for a
prolonged Israeli presence  in southern Lebanon would be
required giving Israel legal standing to remain there.  Un-
fortunately, this plan did not allow for the establishment
of the necessary "new equilibrium" in Lebanese politics, an
essential prerequisite for bringing the contending factions
into the Lebanese political process.3
     4.   Elimination of the PLO: The most expansive goal
that Israel might have been pursuing was the destruction of
the PLO.  Most observers, including Amos Perlmutter and Hal
Saunders, agree that this was the main stimulus for the
invasion.  Jerusalem had been arguing for some time that the
PLO was building in southern Lebanon a large conventional
army and was preparing to make the switch from guerrilla to
conventional arms in its confrontation with Israel.  It was
a compelling argument, but one without much merit.  The arms
that the PLO had were far from the latest in technological
style and PLO forces were never trained or organized for
conventional warfare.  The early stages of the war quickly
revealed this.  The PLO fighters fought numerous small unit
and individual actions, then quickly dropped their weapons
and headed down the road or simply melted into the local
     Arafat was building up his arms supplies, and he was
trying to establish something that looked like a regular
force in southern Lebanon, but sources close to the PLO have
indicated that this was being done not because he had any
illusions of  challenging  Israel  militarily.    Evidently,
Arafat hoped to use the arms, and his control of them, to
gain some increased authority over the various factions
operating throughout the country.  Regardless of what he had
in southern Lebanon in the way of military equipment, he did
not have an Air Force except for a few hot air balloons and
hang gliders, and these could hardly have presented Israel
with a serious challenge.
     It seems quite plausible that the main purpose of the
Israeli invasion was to destroy the PLO infastructure and,
by so doing,  eliminate the  viability of  the PLO  as  a
negotiating adversary in the competition for the West Bank
and Gaza.  Simultaneously, the elimination of the PLO would
halt  the growing diplomatic strength of the Palestinian
movement whose gains were primarily being made at Israel's
     Several possible goals present themselves in addition
to the ones detailed, for example a desire by Israel to
gain control of the water resources provided by the Litani
River.4 But the actual purpose that the invasion sought to
achieve is not known.  It was not simply to prevent artill-
ery attacks on the Galilee, the spark that caused the war
after all occurred in London.   As previously mentioned,
General Eitan clearly had no intention of halting after 40
kilometers, and in the sixth week of the war was quoted as
telling a group of soldiers that they were fighting for
"Eretz Israel" not to resolve the problems of "Lebanon and
Galilee."5 On the other hand, COL Geva obviously had no
intention of attacking the PLO and fighting to the death
inside Beirut.  If the Cabinet ever had specific political
goals in mind, they were never neatly reduced to achievable
military objectives.   But considering the effort invested
against the PLO in West Beirut, it seems clear that whether
the Cabinet ever realized it or not, before 12 August the
military objective of Ariel Sharon was the destruction of
the PLO.
          Failure to Focus on the Center of Gravity
     Clausewitz argues that, in war, a certain center of
gravity forms against which all else depends, and against
this center a concentrated blow must be directed.   In its
attack  on  the  PLO,  Israel  assumed  that  the  military
component of the PLO was its center of gravity and that if
this was destroyed, the PLO would lose its vitality as an
organization.  Yet the military component has never been the
source of PLO strength.
     The PLO is primarily a political organism which, on
occasion, uses terror as one of its tools.  This is a far
cry from a military power that can be eliminated.   The
Israelis found in their advance along the coastal road that
the PLO did not fight as a unit and, when it did, it did not
fight well.6 That was simply because the military organi-
zation  was  little  more  than  a  reflection  of  the  PLO
leadership's desire to retain the instruments of confronta-
tion along with a structure for controlling its diverse
elements.   Three former Israeli Chiefs of Staff, Yitzhak
Rabin, Mordecai Gur, and Haim Bar-Lev had testified before
the Knesset that the Palestinian problem could not be solved
by conventional military means.  The former Chief of Mili-
tary Intelligence, MG Shlomo Gazit, had stated earlier that
as a terrorist organization and a political phenomenon the
PLO could be controlled, but not destroyed; it could only be
dealt with effectively through a political solution.6
     The truth is simply this:     the PLO does not have a
military center of gravity.  It must be confronted primarily
with political action.   If one attempts to confront it
directly with brute military power, it receives attention
and an aura of strength that the facts simply do not merit.
This,  in turn, tends to add to its attractiveness among
Palestinian youth,  many of whom already admire the PLO
"heroes and heroines" who have taken a stand against the
tanks and planes of Israel.8
     The Israeli Army was simply not suited for the role it
was given in Lebanon.  It was not organized for fighting in
mountainous terrain, nor was it prepared to do battle in
urban areas.   The force deployed in Lebanon reflected the
history of the IDF.  It was heavily equipped with tanks and
insufficiently   augmented   with   supporting   infantry.
Accordingly, it suffered heavy casualties as it was forced
to abandon the open terrain of the Sinai and the Golan for
the restrictive turf of Lebanon.   Even if destroying the
military strength of the PLO were decisive, it is doubtful
that  the  force  Sharon  deployed  in  Lebanon  could  have
achieved it.  In Vietnam, the United States elected not to
use power it possessed; in Lebanon, Israel elected to use
power it did not possess.   In both cases, the failure to
carefully  calculate  the  military  strength  required  to
achieve a political objective proved the key to disaster.
In the terms of Clausewitz, Israeli policy had promised
itself  "a wrong effect from certain military means and
      Failure to Merge War and Politics in the Cabinet
     Clausewitz  had  several  salient  observations  about
governments  and  cabinets.    First,  he  noted  that:  "The
influence in the Cabinet of any military man except the
commander-in-chief is extremely dangerous."  Secondly, that:
"the Minister of War  should  not  be  a  soldier,  but  a
statesman who knows just enough about war not to expect
results from military means and measures which they cannot
produce."9 Although these are generalities,  and one can
name  numerous  exceptions,  the  case  in  Lebanon  is  the
exception that proves the rule.
     The Israeli Cabinet system, as previously discussed,
does not allow for controversial initiatives that go beyond
the consensus of the ruling coalition.  In the case of the
first Begin government, there were enough representatives of
groups who did not share the Prime Minister's ideological
purity to allow some latitude for political compromise.  As
President Carter has pointed out in his memoirs of the Camp
David  Agreement,  Begin's  advisors,  particularly  Foreign
Minister Dayan (a former Minister in the Labor Government of
Golda Meir) and Defense Minister Weizman encouraged Begin to
compromise and accept a reasonable degree of risk in the
quest for peace.  In addition, both were former generals and
capable of checking excessive claims on the needs of Israeli
security suggested by the other resident cabinet general,
Ariel Sharon.
     But with their departure, the second Begin Cabinet con-
tained only those personalities who shared Begin's basic
beliefs and were quite willing to accept Sharon's assertions
about the needs of national security.  Sharon was the only
former general then serving at the highest levels of the
Israeli  government,  and  he  successfully  argued  that  a
military attack into Lebanon would destroy the PLO and with
it  the  Palestinian  problem  that  was  causing  so  much
difficulty on the West Bank and abroad.   In addition, he
believed that the destruction of the PLO would create condi-
tions for the establishment of a new political order in
Lebanon  led  by  the  Maronite  groups,  particularly  the
Phalangists, who were closely allied, through mutual inter-
ests, with Israel.  This would lead to a treaty with Lebanon
much like the one with Egypt, or at the very least, similar
to the tacit agreement that Israel had with the Shah of Iran
prior to his overthrow in 1979.  Additionally, a war with
Syria and the destruction of its armed force would discredit
Soviet military arms, strain the Soviet-Syrian relationship
during a period when Moscow was concerned about Brezhnev's
health and the unrest in Poland, and cement the dormant
"strategic consensus" that he had negotiated with the United
States in November 1981.
     Unfortunately, Sharon's concept put the cart before the
horse.   It was a military scheme  that promised  itself
political  results,  rather  than  a  political  strategy
incorporating  the  use of military power.    That  Sharon
evidently never confided to the Cabinet his grand scheme for
Lebanon  at  the  time  he  launched  the  invasion  strongly
suggests that there never was a political goal established.
     In meeting with Peres and the Labor opposition on the
day the invasion was launched, Begin gave assurances that
the IDF would not advance past the 40 kilometer line and
that a clash with  the Syrians would be avoided at all
costs.  With these as the agreed limits, the Labor leaders
gave their support to the war.10 There is little evidence
that  the  Israeli  government  had  control  over  what  was
happening on the battlefield or that it seriously studied
the consequences of attacking the Syrians and forcing the
PLO to defend Beirut.  The evidence does, however, suggest
that Ariel Sharon fought the war in his own way until the
ramifications became so painfully clear that the Cabinet
asserted itself and withdrew his authority.11  In effect,
there occurred in Israel in 1982 a divergence of political
will from military means which Separated the war in Lebanon
from the expected political dialogue.   This created as
Clausewitz would have predicted, "a senseless thing without
an object."
                        The Result
     The war in Lebanon produced few of the results expected
by those who orchestrated it, but yielded several results
that they could hardly have anticipated or desired.  First,
the PLO was displaced, weakened, and shaken, but hardly
destroyed.  It still exists, over three years later, and it
is  still  led  by Yasir Arafat although  there have been
certain  changes  at  the  lower  levels  along  with  some
constraints on his power.  The PLO continues to work with
the moderate Arabs including Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia
-- three close allies of the United States in the Middle
East.    There was  considerable  controversy  and  violence
within the organization after  the war,  and  its  radical
elements attacked the moderates with the most publicized
incident  being  the  murder  in April  1983  of Dr.  Issam
Sartawi, who had advocated the recognition of Israel.  The
radical  attempt  to  gain  control  of  the  organization
ultimately failed,  but not before it had ended Arafat's
efforts to reach an agreement with King Hussein on a united
response  to the Reagan Peace Initiative of  1  September
     Second, Washington and Jerusalem experienced strained
relations  which  lasted  until  the  resignation  of  Prime
Minister Begin and which have only recently started to mend
following the assumption of the Prime Ministry by Labor
Leader Shimon Peres.  The "strategic consensus" so coveted
by Sharon was placed in cold storage for two years and is
only  now  being  discussed  again.     The  Reagan  Peace
Initiative, calling for an end to the construction of new
Israeli settlements and the establishment of a Palestinian
entity  on  the West  Bank  in  confederation with Jordan,
clearly was at odds with  the preferences of  the Begin
government.  The invasion created growing suspicion in the
United  States,  as  former  UN  Ambassador  Donald  McHenry
stated, that Israeli actions often "tend to work against the
interests of the United States."13
     Third, the invasion put the hard won Egyptian-Israeli
peace  treaty  in jeopardy.   Although Egypt has retained
diplomatic relations with Israel, President Mubarak withdrew
his  Ambassador  from  Jerusalem  and  he  has  yet  to  be
returned.  As one Egyptian diplomat stated, the relationship
between the two countries is one of "cold peace".
     Fourth, the chaos in Lebanon has been intensified and
perpetuated.    The  invasion did  nothing  to  address  the
problems  of  the  country  caused  by  its political  power
imbalance.  The terrorism of the PLO splinter groups has now
been replaced by the terrorism of Lebanese splinter groups
including  the  Shiite  and other  minorities.    Since  the
invasion,  the United States Embassy  in Beirut has been
bombed  twice,  with  considerable  loss  of  life,  and  the
barracks  of  the  American  Marine  contingent  of  the
Multinational  Peacekeeping  Force  was  destroyed  killing
nearly 250 Marines.  Throughout, Israeli forces remaining in
Lebanon have been attacked raising their casualties to over
600 killed.
     Fifth, the United States was forced into the commitment
of  Marine  forces  to  Beirut  which  brought  it  into  the
conflict on the side of the established Lebanese order and,
by extension, the Israelis.  Although the initial deployment
of Marines to Beirut to supervise the PLO withdrawal had
some merit, their second deployment in the wake of the Sabra
and Shatilla incident and their continued stay even after
the local political condition had clearly changed was ill-
advised.  The United States was also guilty of failing to
balance political ends with military means resulting in the
eventual withdrawal of the Marines under very controversial
     Sixth,  the  Soviet  resupply  of  the  massive  Syrian
military losses, and the decision to man the newly deployed
SAM  5  sites  with  Soviet  personnel,  strengthened  the
dependency  of  Damascus  on  Moscow  while  increasing  the
Russian presence in the area.   Initially, the poor Syrian
performance placed strains on the close alliance between the
two states which had been formally established in 1980.  But
in the end, the Soviets responded positioning some 5 to 8000
advisors in Israel's back yard.   As the current Israeli
Defense Minister has noted,  "I'm not saying the Soviets
would not have given the Syrians these weapons anyway, but I
believe it would have taken them an additional five or ten
     Finally, the costs for Israel have been high in many
ways.  The IDF has been forced to occupy southern Lebanon
for nearly three years, increasingly becoming the target of
the new Lebanese terrorist groups.  As Yitzhak Rabin noted,
"they received us in the beginning as liberators.  But in
the last year and a half, they have looked at us the way
they looked at the PLO, as a foreign occupation force."15
The war has cost Israel financially adding to an already
difficult economic situation, one which has effectively made
it "a ward of  the United States"  in the words of one
authority.  The conflict that arose between the society, the
government, and the armed forces has raised numerous issues
that  will  be  discussed  for  years.    But  perhaps  most
significantly, during the war Israel squandered its armed
forces in an unsuccessful effort to destroy the PLO.  As one
foreign policy expert has observed, a new condition evolved
in the Middle East because, "an Israel deeply disillusioned
by the outcome of the 1982 war and the casualties from it,
and under heavy economic strains, was simply a lot less
powerful, or at least less willing to use its power, than it
had seemed up to 1982."16  Of all the dangers that Israel
faces or has faced, this one may be the most serious.
                      CHAPTER 5 ENDNOTES
1.   Karl von Clausewitz, On War (Washington: Combat Forces
Press, 1953), p. 18.
2.   Richard A. Gabriel, Operation Peace For Galilee:   The
Israel-PLO War in Lebanon (New York: Hill and Wang, 1984),
p.  116.
3.  See Ghassan Tueni, "Lebanon:  A New Republic," Foreign
Affairs, Vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 84-99; also Amos Perlmutter,
"Begin's Rhetoric and Sharon's Tactics," p. 77, same issue.
4.  See Thomas R. Stauffer,"The Price of Peace:  The Spoils
of War", American-Arab Affairs, No.  1, Summer 1982, pp.
5.  Dan Bavly and Eliahu Salpeter, Fire in Beirut (New York:
Stein and Day Publishing, 1984), p. 165; also see Jacobo
Timerman, The Longest War:   Israel in Lebanon (New York:
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1982), p. 75.
6.   Gabriel, p. 73-74.
7.   Bavly, p. 80; Timerman, p. 7.
8.  See the comments about the PLO position in the occupied
territories in Rafik Halabi, The West Bank Story (New York:
Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, 1981), pp. 272-278.
9.  See Clausewitz, p. 600, and p.xxvii.
10.  Gabriel, p. 67.
11.  Bavly, p. 98.
12.  See the text of President Reagan's Speech contained in
Department of State, "A New Opportunity for Peace In the
Middle East," Current Policy, No. 417, 1 September 1982.
13.    See  "An Interview With Donald F.  McHenry", Arab-
American Affairs, No. 2, Fall 1982, p. 21.
14.    "An Interview With Yitzhak Rabin", Time, 11 February
1985, p. 44.
15.  Ibid.
16.  William P. Bundy, "A Portentous Year", Foreign Affairs,
Vol. 62, no. 3, p. 509.
Primary Source Material:
Department of State.   "A New Opportunity for Peace In The
  Middle East."  Current Policy, No. 417, 1 September 1982.
  This is the speech delivered by President Reagan detailing
  the position of the United States for a peace settlement
  following the war.  His proposals were rejected by Israel
  as going too far, and by the PLO as not going far enough.
_______.  "Peace and Security In The Middle East."  Current
  Policy,  No.  375,  26  May  1982.    This  is  the  speech
  delivered by Secretary of State Haig in Chicago before the
  war containing  the  immediate goals of American Middle
  Eastern policy.
Interviews with Walid Khalidi, Professor of Government at
  Harvard University and the American University of Beirut.
  Professor Khalidi is perhaps the best known Palestinian
  scholar  on  the  Arab-Israeli  question.  A  native  of
  Jerusalem, he has published extensively on the subject and
  is a frequent guest on such American news shows as "Night
  Line."   He favors a negotiated settlement with Israel
  giving the Palestinians a small state on the West Bank.
Interviews  with  Professor  Nadav  Safran,  Professor  of
  Government, Harvard University.   Professor Safran is a
  native of Cairo whose family fled to Palestine in 1946.
  He fought with the Israelis in the 1948 war.   He has
  written numerous books on the Middle East focusing on
  Israel and analyzing the roots of the continual cycle of
Interviews with State Department officials.   Four State
  Department officials were  interviewed,  all  desired  to
  remain  anonymous.     Two  occupy  senior  policy-making
  positions, the other two are lower ranking officers who
  work at the Assistant Secretary level.   The interviews
  were conducted in the fall of 1984.
Interviews  with  Americans  assigned  as  United  Nations
  Observers in Lebanon.   Three American were interviewed,
  two had performed duties just prior to the war, one had
  been an observer during the war leaving his post in July
My own observations and notes have been used throughout the
  paper.   I was assigned as an assistant to Ambassador
  Richard Fairbanks, the President's Special Negotiator for
  the  Palestinian  Autonomy Talks,  during  the  summer of
  1982.    After  the  war  erupted,  I  attended  numerous
  meetings and briefings with members of Congress, lobbyist
  for all concerned parties, American Ambassadors returning
  from the Middle East, various Middle Eastern Ambassadors,
  and senior State Department officials.
Secondary Sources:
American Friends Service Committee.  A Compassionate Peace.
  New York:  Hill and Wang, Inc., 1982.  A study advocating
  a solution involving a Palestinian entity prepared by a
  group associated with the Quaker movement.
Ball, George W.   The Past Has Another Pattern.   New Yok:
  W.W. Norton and Co., 1982.  The most recent memoirs of a
  former Under-Secretary of State and UN Ambassador during
  the  Kennedy  and  Johnson  administrations.    Mr.  Ball
  contributes  frequently  to periodicals  and  advocates  a
  tough American position towards Israel which he argues is
  ultimately in the interest of both countries.
Bavly, Dan and Eliahi Salpeter.  Fire In Beirut.  New York:
  G.P. Putnam and Sons, Inc., 1984.  A Book by two Israeli
  authors highly critical of the rationale for the 1982 war
  as well as the Begin government in general.   The book
  contains certain inaccuracies on its military reporting,
  but  is  quite  accurate  on  the  diplomatic  efforts
Carter,  James  E.    Keeping  Faith:    The  Memoirs  of  a
  President.   New York:  Bantan Books,  Inc.,  1982.   The
  recollections  of  President  Carter  which  reveal  quite
  clearly the difficulty of dealing with Prime Minister
  Begin as well as Carter's suspicions of Begin's ultimate
Carver, Michael.  War Since 1945.  New York:  G.P. Putnam
  and Sons, 1981.  The work of Field Marshal Carver on the
  wars since 1945.  His conclusions on the need to analyze
  the necessity for a war are quite relevant to this topic.
Eban, Abba.   Heritage:   Civilization and the Jews.   New
  York: Summitt Books, 1984.   A recent work by the former
  Israeli  Foreign Minister on the history of the Jews.
  Eban's discussion concerning conditions of the Jews living
  under the early Islamic empires is clear, concise, and
  extraordinarily well balanced.
Fuller, J.F.C.   The Conduct of War,  1789-1961. Westport,
  Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1961.  The renown military
  authority  offers  his  observations  on warfare  and  its
  evolution through the years.  His critique of Clausewitz
  is most valuable.
Gabriel,  Richard A.   Operation Peace for Galilee:   The
  Israeli-PLO War in Lebanon.   New York:   Hill and Wang,
  Inc., 1984.  A frequent writer on military affairs, his
  description of the events of the war itself served as the
  primary source for this study.   His book suffers from a
  total  reliance  on  Israeli  sources,  and  is  full  of
  inaccuracies in detailing the political conditions leading
  to the war.   Gabriel hints repeatedly that the war was
  unnecessary and provoked by Sharon, but can never quite
  bring himself to an unambiguous admission.
Halabi, Rafik.  The West Bank Story.  New York:   Harcourt,
  Brace,  Jovanovich,  1981.   An Arab citizen of Israel,
  Halabi describes the nature of Israeli rule on the West
  Bank as well as his own feelings about the dilemma of
  Israeli citizenship for non-Jews.
Hitti, Philip K.  History of the Arabs, 7th ed.  New York:
  McGraw-Hill Book Co.,  1960.   The best known and most
  exhaustive  history  of  the  Arabs  detailing  the  early
  relationship between Muslims and Jews.  Hitti's comments
  are interesting in comparison with Eban.
Hoffman,  Stanley.    Primacy or World Order.   New York:
  McGraw-Hill  Book  Co.,  1978.   A distinguished Harvard
  Professor of International Affairs discusses his perceived
  need  for  a  new  regime  of  "World Order"  including  a
  discussion  of  the  requirements  for  an  Arab-Israeli
Khalidi,  Walid.      Conflict  and  Violence  in  Lebanon.
  Cambridge,    Massachusetts:        Harvard   Center    for
  International  Affairs,  1979.    The  most  accurate  and
  complete history of the nature of the conflict in Lebanon
  from a Professor of the American University of Beirut.
Khouri,  Fred J.      The Arab-Israeli Dilemma.    Syracuse:
  Syracuse University Press, 1976.  A most complete account
  from the Arab perspective on the nature and causes of the
  Arab-Israeli conflict.
Kissinger, Henry A.  Years of Upheaval.  New York:  Little,
  Brown, and Co., 1982.   Former Secretary of State Henry
  Kissinger's memoirs of his years in office.   He gives a
  fascinating explanation of the events surrounding the 1973
Neff, Donald.   Warriors at Suez.   New York:  The Linden
  Press, 1981.   Donald Neff's first work on the 1956 Suez
  war.    Neff concludes that the disproportionate Israeli
  retaliatory   raids   against   Palestinians   contributed
  significantly  to  the  war  atmosphere  that  eventually
  ingulfed Jerusalem as well as London and Paris.
________.  Warriors for Jerusalem.   New York:   The Linden
  Press, 1984.   The companion piece to Neff's Suez book,
  this  work  covers  the  1967  Arab-Israeli  war.    Neff
  feels that Israeli policy well before the war was largely
  responsible for the events leading to it.  In addition, he
  argues that the United States has not forced Israeli to
  face the necessary hard choices on the Palestinian issue.
Peretz,  Don.    The  Government  and  Politics  of  Israel.
  Boulder,  Colorado:    The  Westview  Press,  1979.    An
  excellent  and  very  readable  book  covering  the  basic
  aspects of the topic.  Widely used as a college text.
_______.  The Middle East Today, 3d ed.  New York:   Holt
  Reinhart and Winston, 1978.  A thorough study of Middle
  Eastern affairs and history through the publishing date.
  Like the reference above, this Peretz book is also widely
  used for college work.
Sadat, Anwar El.  In Search of Identity.  New York:  Harper
  and Row,  1978.     Autobiography of  the former Egyptian
  President.  Although obviously self-serving and inaccurate
  in places, most events are corroborated by other sources.
Safran, Nadav.   Israel:   The Embattled Ally.   Cambrideg,
  Massachusetts:    The  Harvard  University  Press,  1978.
  Professor Safran, who fought in the 1948 war for Israel,
  is one of the foremost authorities on Israeli history.
  His book covers all aspects of modern Israel to include
  its government, its foreign policy, and its wars.
Smith, Adam.   The Wealth of Nations.   New York:   Random
  House,  1937.   Classic work on the free market by the
  famous Scot economist.   His discussion on the nature of
  "modern" armies and weapons is still valid today.  Smith
  tremendously influenced such contemporary economists as
  Milton Friedman who was the intellectual father of the
  Volunteer Army as well as a member of President Nixon's
  Commission that established it.
Taylor, William J. and Steven A. Maaranen.   The Future of
  Conflict  in  the  1980s.     Lexington,  Massachusetts:
  Lexington Books, 1982.  Report of the study conducted by
  Georgetown   University's   Center   for   Strategic   and
  International Studies on the nature of modern conflict and
  the outlook for the years immediately ahead.
Timerman, Jacobo.  The Longest War:  Israel in Lebanon.  New
  York:   Alfred A. Knopf, 1982.   An emotional work by a
  former  Argentinian  who  fled  to  Israel  after  being
  persecuted by the junta in Buenos Aires.   Timerman is
  highly critical of Begin and Sharon in their decision to
  fight a war in Lebanon.
Aikns, James E.  "The Flawed Rationale for Israel's Invasion
  of Lebanon,"  American-Arab Affairs, No. 2 (Fall 1982),
  pp.  32-39.   A former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and
  retired  State  Department  official,  Akins  feels  that
  Israel's excuse for invading Lebanon was a veil for wider
Bundy, William P.   "A Portentous Year," Foreign Affairs,
  Vol.  62,  no.  3,  pp.  485-520.   The editor of Foreign
  Affairs, and a former high-ranking government official,
  Bundy expresses the view that Israel wasted much of its
  perceived power in its futile war against the PLO.
"Chronology", Foreign Affairs, Vol. 59, no. 3; Vol. 60, no.
  3; Vol. 61, no. 3; and The Middle East Journal, Vol. 36,
  no.  4.   The chronology sections listed were valuable
  sources in ordering events and occasionally locating media
Davis,  M.  Thomas.    "The  King-Crane  Commission  and  the
  American Abandonment of Self-Determination," American-Arab
  Affairs, No. 9 (Summer 1984), pp. 55-66.  A review from a
  "noted"  authority of   the  events  surrounding President
  Wilson's Middle East    investigating commission of 1919.
  The Commission was a vehicle to assist the President in
  applying  his principle of  "Self-Determination"  to  the
  former Ottoman Provinces.
______.  "The Politics of Begin's Baghdad Raid," Naval War
  College  Review  (March-April,  1982),  pp.  33-39.    The
  political implications and considerations involved in the
  Israeli decision to bomb Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor are
_______. "Recent Events in the Middle East: Continuing
  Dilemmas  for  US  Policy,"  Naval  War  College  Review
  (July-August,  1983),  pp.  4-14.    An  analysis  of  the
  dilemmas posed to American foreign policymakers by the
  Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
"Debating the Military Option," Time, 10 December 1984, p.
  34.  An article discussing the announcement by Secretary
  of  Defense  Weinberger  of  his  conclusions  on  the
  requirements for the commitment of American forces to
  combat.   Known to have opposed the Marine mission in
  Beirut, Weinberger's views indicated the degree of his
  disagreement with others who had advocated the Marine
Eilts, Hermann F.     "President Reagan's Middle East Peace
  Initiative," American-Arab Affairs, No.  2  (Fall  1982),
  pp.  1-5.   A retired career diplomat and Ambassador to
  Egypt during the time of President Sadat and the Camp
  David  Agreement,   Eilts  supports  President  Reagan's
  initiative of 1 September 1982, finds it consistent with
  the Camp David Agreement,  and details the reasons why
  Prime Minister Begin would find it difficult to accept.
Farsoun, Samih K.  "The Palestinains, The PLO and US Foreign
  Policy," American-Arab Affairs, No. 1 (Summer 1982), pp.
  81-94.  A discussion of the history of the PLO leads to
  analysis of the conditions which would have to exist prior
  to  the  establishment  of  American  relations  with  the
  Palestinian Organization.
Gwertzman,  Bernard.     "Mideast  Strategy:     The  1950s
  Revisited," New York Times,  13 October  1981,  p.  A14.
  Gwertzman discusses how the "strategic consensus" concept
  being advanced by Secretary of State Haig is philosophi-
  cally  identical  to the pacts  that John Foster Dulles
  attempted  to  construct  in  the  area  during  the  early
  1950s.  The author concludes, correctly as it turned out,
  that Haig would be no more successful than Dulles.
Hudson,  Michael  C.    "The  Palestinians  After  Lebanon,"
  Current History (January,  1985), pp.  16-39.   The noted
  historian argues that the power and influence of the PLO
  have been significantly reduced by the war in Lebanon, but
  not eliminated.
"Interview With Donald F. McHenry," American-Arab Affairs,
  No. 2 (Fall 1982), pp. 19-25.  President Carter's former
  Ambassador to the United Nations indicates the existence
  of  frequent  difficulties  in  reconciling  American  and
  Israeli interests.
Kelly, James.  "A General Loses His Case," Time, 4 February
  1985, p. 44.  An article in the magazine sued by General
  Sharon discussing the basis of the case.  Mr. Kelly cites
  several interesting observations of Sharon by influential
  Israelis as well as the Israeli media.
_______. "Where Roots of Violence Grow," Time, 1 October
  1984, pp. 38.  This periodical piece describes the growing
  turmoil in southern Lebanon during the latter phases of
  the Israeli occupation as well as the increasing frequency
  attacks against the IDF.
Kipper,  Judith.     "President  Reagan  Takes  the  Lead,"
  American-Arab Affairs, No. 2 (Fall 1982), pp. 15-18.   A
  veteran Middle East observer, Kipper analyzes the content
  of and likely reactions to the Reagan Peace Plan.
Lustik,  Ian S.     "Israeli Politics and American Foreign
  Policy," Foreign Affairs, Vol. 61, no. 2 (Winter 1982/3),
  pp.  379-399.   An essay in the  influential periodical
  discussing  the  complicated  relationship  that  exists
  between the institutions referenced in the title.
Nakhleh, Emile A.  "A 'Fresh Start' Toward Peace," American-
  Arab Affairs,  No.  2  (Fall  1982),  pp.  6-14.   Another
  evaluation  of  the  Reagan  peace  initiative  and  the
  circumstances surrounding it.
Osgood, Robert E.   "The Reappraisal of Limited War," in
  Richard G. Head and Ervin J. Rokke, eds., American Defense
  Policy, 3d ed. Baltimore:  The Johns Hopkins Press, 1973,
  pp. 156-160.  The noted American strategic thinker offers
  some observations on the nature and likely future of the
  limited war concept.
Perlmutter, Amos.   "Begins Rhetoric and Sharon's Tactics,"
  Foreign Affairs, Vol. 61, no. 1 (Fall 1982), pp. 67-83.  A
  strong supporter of Israel, and a frequent contributer to
  Foreign Affairs, Perlmutter analyzes the reasons behind
  the invasion of Lebanon with clinical objectivity.
Rahall, Nick J.   "Lebanon and US Foreign Policy Toward the
  Middle East,"  American-Arab Affairs, No. 2 (Fall 1982),
  pp.  40-50.   A member of Congress,  Rahall was in the
  delegation that visited vith Arafat during the seige of
  Beirut and announced that it had received a significant
  agreement from him to recognize Israel.  The Congressmen
  were coldly received in Israel and had an interesting
  meeting with Prime Minister Begin described in detail by
  the author.
Saunders,  Hal.    "An  Israeli-Palestinian Peace,"  Foreign
  Affairs, Vol. 61, no.  1  (Fall 1982), pp.  100-121.   A
  former Assistant  Secretary of State  for Near Eastern
  Affairs, and member of the Kissinger NSC Staff, Saunders
  discusses what he perceives as the Israeli objectives of
  the war and compares them with the requirements necessary
  for a durable peace.
Seelye,  Talcott  W.    "Can  the  PLO  Be  Brought  To  The
  Negotiating Table,"  American-Arab Affairs, No. 1 (Summer
  1982), pp. 75-80.  A former Ambassador to Syria, Seelye
  expresses the view that the PLO can be brought to the
  table and serve a useful role in a Middle Eastern Peace
"Sharon's Plan," Time, 1 March 1982, p. 24.   The article
  which' first claimed the existence of a plan by Sharon to
  attack the PLO in Lebanon and drive them back into Jordan.
"Sharon  Deatils  'Four  Red  Lines'  in  Match,"  Foreign
  Broadcast Information Service, 25 February 1982, p. I3.
  Additional media information indicating that Israel was
  considering action against the PLO during the Spring of
Shipler Donald K.    "Israel Is Cultivating Unlikely New
  Friends," New York Times,  1 December 1981, p. A2.   A
  newspaper  article  about  Israel's  efforts  to  win  new
  friends among the American evangelical movement.  Shipler
  also  states  that  Israel  has  entertained personalities
  such as Tom Hayden in an effort to broaden support in the
  United States.
________. "Mitterrand Urges Palestinian State," New York
  Times, 5 March 1982, p. A1.   Newspaper coverage of the
  statements of French President Mitterrand during his visit
  to Jerusalem.   Mitterrand's position disappointed Israel
  which had hoped for improved relations with Paris.
Stauffer, Thomas R.   "The Price of Peace:   The Spoils of
  War,"   American-Arab Affairs, No. 1  (Summer 1982), pp.
  43-54.  A well known critic of Israel and an economist by
  training,  Stauffer  argues  that  a  major  component  in
  Israel's decision to invade Israel was the need to capture
  new markets for its produce and secure access to the
  Litani River waters rising from Lake Qaraoun.
Stokes, Henry S.  "Japan Sees Arafat Visit as Chance to Seek
  Wider Accord in Middle East," New York Times, 13 October
  1981, p. A10.  Coverage of Arafat's visit to Japan during
  which he was well received by the Japanese government.
Sutherland, Daniel.   "Reagan's Mideast Policy: Pragmatism
  Not Ideology," Christian Science Monitor,  6 May 1981, p.
  3.   A review of the early shape of President Reagan's
  Middle Eastern Policy arguing that the focus was more on
  strategic than regional concerns.
Walsh, Edward.   "TV Coverage of Amman PLO Session Lifts
  Spirits in West Bank," The Washington Post, 28 November
  1984,  p. A26.   Media coverage of the meeting of the
  Palestine National Council in Amman and its impact on the
  Arabs of the West Bank.   The  article  indicates  that
  Arafat's leadership of the PLO survived the challenges of
  1982-4 and that strong feelings of support linger in the
  occupied territories.
"We Spent Too Much," Time, 22 October 1984, p. 65.   An
  interview with Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres during
  which he reviewed the numerous problems facing Israel,
  many resulting from the invasion of Lebanon.
Yemma, John.  "Syria Beefs Up Its Armor In Lebanon Just As
  the Talks Begin," Christian Science Monitor, 7 May 1981,
  p.  9.   Newspaper article about Syrian moves in Lebanon
  during the early Spring of 1981.

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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias