Israel's Northern Eyes and Shield: The Strategic Value of the Golan Heights Revisited

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According to common wisdom, the Golan provides Israel with an ideal platform for its warning stations as well as the best available defense line against a massive Syrian ground attack. Challenging this belief, this article compares the present situation with an alternative defined by (a) a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Golan, (b) a complete demilitarization of the evacuated territory, and (c) considerable limitations on Syrian military presence in the area between the Golan and Damascus. The article reaches two conclusions. First, that a combination of means, primarily airborne and space-based platforms, can effectively answer Israel's northern intelligence needs. Second, the security arrangements set above, combined with recent revolutionary military technologies and its relative advantage in this domain, offer Israel an effective - in some respects even a better - alternative, to the present defense line.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-66
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Strategic Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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