Bar-Ilan’s BESA Center regularly publishes Perspectives Papers, which provide analysis from research associates and other outside experts on the most important issues pertaining to Israel and the Middle East.

In this Perspective Paper, Col. (Res.) Shai Shabtai, a senior researcher at the BESA Center, discusses the evolving concept of victory in Israeli national security. Shabtai outlines four levels of victory: tactical, operational, strategic, and grand strategic, each involving different goals and outcomes in the military context.

He examines the shift from seeking decisive victories to prioritizing deterrence over the past three decades, a change prompted by various strategic, operational, and political considerations. However, the events of October 7, 2023, prompted a reevaluation of this approach, highlighting the need for a clear definition and pursuit of victory. Shabtai argues that achieving a “total victory” in the context of Gaza would involve extensive military, civil, and economic strategies to ensure long-term stability and security.

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