This report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. The nature of a city's organized space and the resulting dynamism create difficulties for a commander striving to maintain control of forces and respond intelligently to threats. Coming to grips with this is difficult, but can be done as the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) demonstrated. The IDF have consistently faced these challenges more than any other western-style military. They have struggled with the dilemma of preparing for state-centric maneuver war while remaining ready for asymmetric non-state forces in an urban environment. By tracing the evolution of the IDF's operational art in urban warfare, military planners have a vital reference point for how western militaries have responded to these challenges. From the 1982 siege of Beirut, to the recent forays into the Gaza Strip, the IDF engaged in a series of urban campaigns against asymmetric adversaries who adapted rapidly and exploited the urban environment to their advantage. The study evaluates the changing IDF understanding of a city's physical space, how it contests the information domain, and its operations process over time. Ultimately, it finds that the IDF developed the boldness to re-image the space of a cityscape, to contest their adversary's hold on global audiences, and to learn as they fight.
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Literature Review 3. Understanding Urban Conflict and Evaluating the Military Response 4. The IDF Context 5. Urban Campaigns of the IDF 6. Themes, Trends, and Patterns in the Israeli Experience 7. Conclusion: Around the Walls of Jericho
The modern Jewish state again finds itself fighting in cities and although urban warfare appears different now than it did to Joshua, the same basic challenges of asymmetry remain as they have since antiquity. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) defends an ancient nation, but a young state. The Israeli identity is at once modern and ancient and there exists a tension between conservatism and progressive attitudes that affects the manner in which the IDF confronts the changing world. In the urban battlefield, which more and more frequently sets the stage for Israeli operations, the IDF has faced substantial change in a relatively short period. From its 1982 war in Lebanon to the present, its enemies have adapted themselves to the vulnerabilities of modern state armies by reinventing themselves.4 Not without struggle, the IDF realized the aggressive pace of change and has come to grips with it. It came at a cost, but the IDF have developed the boldness to re-imagine the space of a cityscape, to seek opportunity rather than fear its environs, to consider action systemically, to learn as they fight, and to contest their adversaries' hold on global audiences. They have learned that to win in the city, you must sometimes march around it.