Study Claims Israel Maintains Balance of Military Power in the Middle East

Israel is in no danger of attack by any of the Arab confrontation states in the near future because the balance of military power in the region continues very much in its favor and the Arab world is deeply divided, according to “The Middle East Military Balance, 1983,” the first year book published by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies of Tel Aviv University, which came out today.

The annual review noted that the war in Lebanon demonstrates vividly the disarray in the Arab world. No single Arab state could expect to confront Israel successfully in the near future unless it was able to achieve total surprise, the review contended. A broad Arab coalition against Israel also appears unlikely, the study said.

But it warned: “While a major outbreak of fighting in the near and middle term is not indicated by recent developments, the possibility of war cannot be excluded. If a new war should erupt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia might be drawn in regardless of their intentions. Any indication of Egyptian support for other Arab belligerents might force Israel to reoccupy strategic areas in eastern Sinai.”

‘ISRAELI’S ACHILLES ‘HEEL’

The review described Israel’s reliance on its reserve forces as “Israel’s Achilles’ heel” because the time required to mobilize the reserves makes it vulnerable to surprise attack, particularly by Syria. The 385-page year book, published in Hebrew and English editions, is divided into three sections. The first is a review and analysis of events in the region, with emphasis on the situation in Lebanon and the Iraq-Iran war.

The second part analyzes the armed forces and equipment of 20 states and the Palestine Liberation Organization and makes a qualitative assessment of the military capabilities of eight regional powers. The third part is a professional analysis of the military balance between the countries likely to become involved in armed conflict now or in the near future. It contains maps and tables of comparative strengths. The year book is a joint publishing venture of the Jaffee Center and The Jerusalem Post.

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