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Escalation and Intrawar Deterrence During Limited Wars in the Middle East

Escalation and Intrawar Deterrence During Limited Wars in the Middle East

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A central purpose of this monograph is to reexamine two earlier conflicts for insights that may be relevant for ongoing dangers during limited wars involving nations possessing chemical or biological weapons or emerging nuclear arsenals. These conflicts are the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the 1991 Gulf War. Both of these wars were fought at the conventional level, although the prospect of Israel using nuclear weapons (1973), Egypt using biological weapons (1973), or Iraq using chemical and biological weapons (1991) were of serious concern at various points during the fighting. This monograph will consider why efforts at escalation control and intrawar deterrence were successful in the two case studies and assess the points at which these efforts were under the most intensive stress that might have caused them to fail.
A central purpose of this monograph is to reexamine two earlier conflicts for insights that may be relevant for ongoing dangers during limited wars involving nations possessing chemical or biological weapons or emerging nuclear arsenals. These conflicts are the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the 1991 Gulf War. Both of these wars were fought at the conventional level, although the prospect of Israel using nuclear weapons (1973), Egypt using biological weapons (1973), or Iraq using chemical and biological weapons (1991) were of serious concern at various points during the fighting. This monograph will consider why efforts at escalation control and intrawar deterrence were successful in the two case studies and assess the points at which these efforts were under the most intensive stress that might have caused them to fail.

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05/29/2011

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ESCALATION AND INTRAWAR DETERRENCEDURING LIMITED WARS IN THE MIDDLE EASTW. Andrew TerrillSeptember 2009
The views expressed in this report are those of the author
and do not necessarily reect the ofcial policy or position of
the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, orthe U.S. Government. Authors of Strategic Studies Institute(SSI) publications enjoy full academic freedom, provided
they do not disclose classied information, jeopardizeoperations security, or misrepresent ofcial U.S. policy.
Such academic freedom empowers them to offer new andsometimes controversial perspectives in the interest offurthering debate on key issues. This report is cleared forpublic release; distribution is unlimited.*****This publication is subject to Title 17, United States Code,Sections 101 and 105. It is in the public domain and may notbe copyrighted.
Visit our website for other free publicationdownloadshttp://www.StrategicStudiesInstitute.army.mil/
 
ii*****I would like to thank Mary J. Pelusi, Lieutenant Colonel JohnA. Mowchan of the U.S. Army War College Center for Strategic
Leadership, Dr. Steven Metz of the U.S. Army War College
Strategic Studies Institute, Major David M. Burke, U.S. AirForce, and Sarah E. Womer for useful and insightful commentson earlier drafts of this work. My special thanks also go to Dr.Norman Cigar for insightful comments about my research asI went forward with this monograph. I am also grateful to Dr.Cigar for all that I learned from him when we served together atthe Pentagon together during Operations DESERT SHIELD and
DESERT STORM (myself as a mobilized reservist). All mistakes
in this work of fact, omission, interpretation, and speculation are,nevertheless, entirely my own.*****Comments pertaining to this report are invited and should beforwarded to: Director, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army WarCollege, 122 Forbes Ave, Carlisle, PA 17013-5244.*****All Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) publications are availableon the SSI homepage for electronic dissemination. Hard copiesof this report also may be ordered from our homepage. SSI’shomepage address is:
www.StrategicStudiesInstitute.army.mil
.*****The Strategic Studies Institute publishes a monthly e-mailnewsletter to update the national security community on theresearch of our analysts, recent and forthcoming publications, andupcoming conferences sponsored by the Institute. Each newsletteralso provides a strategic commentary by one of our researchanalysts. If you are interested in receiving this newsletter, pleasesubscribe on our homepage at
www.StrategicStudiesInstitute.army.mil
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ISBN 1-58487-406-6
 
iii
CONTENTS
Foreword …………………..........................................……vSummary …....................................................................… xiIntroduction ….................................................................... 1The Concept of Intrawar Deterrence ….......................... 4The 1973 Arab-Israeli War …........................................… 8Background …..........................................................8The Egyptian/Syrian Decision to Initiate Warand the Efforts to Control Escalation …......… 13The Course of the Fighting and the Israeli
Struggle to Dene Military Options …........… 22
The Challenge to Israeli Decision-Makers andthe Potential for Israel to Escalate the War …..30
Additional Military Developments Inuencing
Israeli Decision-Making and Israeli Conven-tional Strikes against Syrian StrategicTargets …...........................................................…3
8
The Turning of the Tide and the Potential forArab and Soviet Escalation of the War …........ 40Egyptian Attempts to Contain Israeli MilitaryGains and the 1973
Scud
Launches …............... 43The 1991 Iraq War …....................................................… 48Deterrence and Escalation Control ….................… 48Iraq’s Initial Efforts to Assess the Danger Posedby the United States …...................................… 54Iraqi Chemical, Biological, Missile, and NuclearCapabilities in 1990 ….....................................… 59Iraqi Efforts to Deter a U.S. and Coalition Attackwithout Withdrawing from Kuwait …........… 65Efforts to Deter Iraq from Using Weaponsof Mass Destruction Before and During
the Conict …..................................................… 72
Iraqi Efforts to Deter U.S.-Led Regime Change … 81
Conclusion: Lessons for Other Conicts …..............… 86
Endnotes …...................................................................… 95

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