Military intelligence as the national intelligence estimator: The case of Israel

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Although Israel constitutes an interesting case for the study of civil-military relations, the role played by its Directory of Military Intelligence (AMAN) has rarely been discussed in this context. This role is of special interest, since Israel is the only liberal democracy today in which a military intelligence service functions as the leading national estimator not only in military but also in civilian affairs. The unique Israeli model is usually justified by Israel's security concerns-primarily the threat of a sudden conventional attack. To test this model's validity, this article (1) traces and elucidates its historical development; (2) employs five crucial mini case studies to test its practical success or failure; and (3) explains how, in light of the fact that AMAN failed in four of the five cases, its military characteristics create inherent weaknesses that hamper its ability to serve as a high-quality national intelligence estimator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-525
Number of pages21
JournalArmed Forces and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Israel
  • Military intelligence
  • National intelligence estimate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Safety Research


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