Surgical Strikes & Lessons from Israel 


The actions of Israel and India make a study in contrasts on how the military and civilian governments of the two nations deal with military action against hostile neighbors.

India refuses to disclose details of "Surgical Strikes".

Israel holds public inquiries to evaluate military and civilian leadership.

In July 1948, while Israel’s War of Independence was still going on, the Government established a commission staffed by its leaders from across the political spectrum to hear angry army officers about the government and the military’s conduct and what was believed to be Ben-Gurion’s micromanagement. (Ben-Gurion was Israel’s first Prime Minister.)

Are Israelis stupid, less patriotic than us? And we more intelligent and efficient than they?

Let’s take a look at the ground realities.

Israel has a population of 8.5 million.

One of the smallest nations in the world, its area is only 8000 square miles or about 20,000 square kilometers. That is about the size of Rhode Island and only slightly larger than the Canary Islands! It is only 260 miles at its longest, has a 112-mile coastline, 60 miles at its widest, and between 3 and 9 miles at its narrowest!

Arab nations with whom Israel in conflict ever since it became a nation, number 366, million.

Yet, Israel has won ALL its wars with the Arabs.

How does Israel do this? How do its Defense Forces (IDF) function?

A lot has been said about our “surgical strikes” and people asking for proof of damage inflicted on Pak.

Some say that such questioning is a dishonor to the Indian Armed Forces.

Some others say and perhaps, think that such disclosure could give away our military secrets.

We have a lot learn from Israel in this respect. So, let’s see how Israel deal with its armed forces and government in victory or defeat as far as information to the public is concerned.

The excerpts here are taken from the book by Dan Senor and Saul Singer titled, “Start-up Nation”.

In Israel there is a “debrief” every day, when all ranks sit down to deconstruct the day.

“After each of IDF engaged in far reaching structural reforms based on --- rigorous debate.”

“[A] even in victory, --- self-examination followed by an overhaul of the IDF. Senior officials have actually been fired after a successful (emphasis is mine) war.”

“[It] ----- after --- the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the 1982 Lebanon War and the 2006 Lebanon War – there were full-blown public commissions of inquiry that evaluated the country’s military and civilian leaders.”

Evidently, transparency and accountability to the people of both military and civilian establishments, through objective public evaluation of performance, is the key to Israel’s success.

Should India continue with its obscurantism?