The Campaign Between Wars: How Israel Rethought Its Strategy to Counter Iran’s Malign Regional Influence

September 4, 2019


Gadi Eisenkot and Gabi Siboni


The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

The architects of a landmark shift in IDF doctrine explain why the change was necessary, and how it has helped delay full-scale war even while forcefully confronting Tehran’s hegemonic ambitions.

The state of Israel has rarely known peace; at best, it has enjoyed short periods of quiet between intermittent conflicts. These periods are cherished by Israelis and serve as incubators for the country’s extraordinary growth. Yet Israel’s enemies often take advantage of these periods as well, using them to refill their arsenals and evolve their tactics and capabilities.

Most of Israel’s current security challenges stem from a single threat: Iran’s aspirations of hegemony over the Middle East. These aspirations are manifested not only in the regime’s military nuclear activities, but also in its efforts to deploy weapons and build spheres of influence in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and elsewhere. In particular, Iran has sought to improve and expand its arsenal of precision missiles and other standoff fire, in part to export these capabilities to armed Shia factions throughout the region.

To counter such threats while maximizing the state’s ability to develop during times of quiet, Israel has endeavored to maintain what it regards as a reasonable security routine. Traditionally, this routine was maintained through territorial defense operations and threat-neutralizing endeavors below the threshold of war, but more recently it has been augmented by what the Israel Defense Forces call the “Campaign Between Wars” (CBW).


Read the full report at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.