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Six Days War Thesis Statement Essay

In 1973 the Arab countries of Egypt and Syria, who were still upset over their humiliating defeat by in Israeli forces during the Six Day War in 1967 planned a military attack on Israel. While their intent was not to destroy the country of Israel, they did want to weaken Israel’s power and reclaim the lands that they had lost during the Six Days War. The lands that the Arabs wished to reclaim were the Suez Peninsula and Golan Heights. Israel had stated that they would be willing to return the majority of the lands to both Egypt and Syria keeping for themselves the strategic strongholds of the area.

The nations of Syria and Egypt refused Israel’s demands and instead implemented the three no’s. The hostilities between the Arab nations and Israel continued to grow culminating in the Ramadan War which took place between October 6th to October 25th 1973. In this paper I will discuss the United Arab Federation intelligence procedures that were in place during the Ramadan War and how they contributed to the Arab coalition surprise attack of Israel as well as their early victory. Background History There had been an ongoing conflict between the Arabs and the Israeli’s since 1948, when Israel was created.

In the Six Days War in 1967, Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula had been captured by Israel along with the Syrian’s Golan Heights and a number of territories on the West Bank which had been under the ownership of Jordan since 1948 (cite). Shortly after the Six Days War on June 19 1967 the Israeli government elected to return by the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights to Egypt and Syria in exchange for peace accords. This was not made known to the Arab States, which consisted of Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Sudan and Syria.

According to what was known the Israeli government was willing to return the majority of Sinai and the Golan Heights, except for some strategically placed areas to their respective countries. This would be done in “exchange for a permanent peace settlement and a demilitarization of the returned territories”. The Israeli government also wanted to employ direct negotiations with the Arab nations in question rather than going through a third party. This was rejected by the Arab States at the Khartoum Arab Summit. The Arab States instead entered into a resolution that would become knowns aa the “three no’s”.

This was the declaration that there would be no negotiations, no peace and no recognition of Israel. After the Six Days War there were still a number of small skirmishes before a ceasefire was put into effect in August 1970(cite). Anwar Sadat took over as President of Egypt in 1970 after then President Gamal Abdel Nasser died (cite). Even though both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict contended that they wanted peace. They both refused to undertake the measures necessary to secure a peaceful resolution to their situation.

The Israeli government refused to adhere to any “preconditions to negotiations” and the Egyptian’s would not negotiate until Israel withdrew their military from the Sinai Peninsula and went back behind the pre 1967 lines. The Israeli government refused to agree to this provision. While Sadat had hoped that the situation could be rectified by Israel agreeing to the provisions that the Arab States put before them. The leader of Syria Hafez al-Assad did not care for negotiations and saw the retaking of Golan Heights as a mere military exercise. Assad had hoped to establish Syria as the dominate power in the Arab States.

He felt that with the help of Egypt his military could defeat Israel and strengthen Syria’s position in the Middle East. He would only agree to negotiations once Israel had relinquished Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza. The other Arab states were not ready to commit to a war. Egypt was suffering an economic decline and the reforms that Sadat wanted to put into place would not be popular with the people. Sadat realized that if he wanted the reforms to have a chance he needed to reinvigorate Egyptian nationalism by defeating the Israeli’s, boosting the countries self-esteem and his popularity.

Jordan’s King Hussein did not want to lose any more territory as the country had during the Six Days War. He had already lost over half of Jordan’s population, when he lost the West Bank. During this time Sadat was endorsing the claim of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to the West Bank and Gaza and had promised Yasser Arafat that he would be given control of them if they won (cite). Iraq and Syria did not get along and Iraq refused to join the first attack. Lebanon was too unstable and their army was too small, so they were not expected to join. Sadat got more than one hundred states to support him and his upcoming war.

These included members of the Arab League, Organization of African Unity and Non- Alignment Movement (cite) along with Britain and France, who sided with the Arabs on the United Nations Security Council. (cite). Henry Kissinger who was United States Secretary of State sent a message to Sadat’s by way off his emissary Ismail in which Kissinger offered having Israel withdraw their troops from Sinai, this returning all of Sinai to Egyptian control, minus a few strategic points. No reply to Kissinger’s offer was ever given because Sadat was unwavering in his desire to go to war.

The only thing that may have prevented this would have been the United States being able to fulfill all of the demands of the Arab nations in a short period of time. Egypt began building up its military forces in 1972. The Soviet Union sent them antiaircraft missiles, antitank weapons including an antitank guided missile, jet fighters, and tanks. The Soviets also helped the Egyptian army with improving their fighting and military tactics. In July of 1972 Sadat banished nearly 20,000 Soviet military advisors from the country and rewrote the Egyptian foreign policy to be more favorable to the United States (cite).

Neither the United States nor the Soviet Union wanted the Middle East to go to wat as they realized that this would farther destabilize the region. In a meeting with President Nixon, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev suggested that Israel return to its pre-1967 borders. In 1973 President Sadat threatened war with Israel and executed a number of military procedures that put the Israeli military on alert. During this time Israel was aware of two things (1) Egypt wanted to regain the entire region of Sinai, but would only go to war if they were able to obtain MiG-23 fighter bombers and scud missiles.

This would make it possible for them to neutralize the Israeli military and prevent the Israelis from attacking Egyptian infrastructure. (2) Syria would only go to war against Israel if Egypt joined them. Israel was not overtly concerned with Egypt actually going through with their threat to attack Israel. This was because the fighter-bombers and the scud missiles had just arrived in August of 1973 and they expected it to take at least four months for the Egyptians to adequately train their military.

The blase attitude of the Israeli government would come back to bite them a couple months later. The Israeli government organization called AMAN had been aware of the Arab States plan to go to war and to cross the Suez Canal since mid-1973. They were also aware that the Arab states intended to send divisions to Mitla and Gidi and that they planned to capture Sharm el-Sheikh. The mistake of Aman was not believing that the Arab States would actually go through with their intention of going to war.

There was a number of reasons for the Israelis and their allies to believe that war was not imminent, such as (1) the ineffectiveness of the Egyptian Army due to the loss of the Soviets (2) the false information that was supplied to Israel in regard to the lack of personnel and maintenance issues on the weapons (3) the Egyptians also made sure that information about the lack of spare parts got back to Israel (4) President Sadat had spent so much time threatening was that no one actually thought he would go through with it. In both May and August of 1973 Egypt’s Army engaged in military exercises near the border.

This cause Ashraf Marwan in inaccurately declare that there would be a surprise attack on Israel in May 1973. The Israeli army initiated their troops to respond to these exercises only to discover that the Arab States were not engaging in any activities near the border that they would have to be concerned about. These military exercises were red herrings designed to distract the Israeli military while the Arab States made and implemented their actual war plans. The Ramadan War The Ramadan War which is also referred to as the Yom Kippur War, October War and the 1973 Arab-Israeli War was a war that was fought by a coalition of Arab states.

They were led by Egypt and Syria. The war was against Israel and it lasted from Oct 6 to Oct 25 1973. Most of the military action during the war took place in the Sinai and Golan Heights(Cite). These were territories that had been occupied by Israel since the Six Days War in 1967 (cite). The territories of Sinai and Golan Heights had belonged to Egypt and Syria respectively and they wanted to regain the lands. The President of Egypt Anwar Sadat had also wanted to be able to reopen the Suez Canal (cite). The war started when the Arab coalition attached the Israeli positions in a joint surprise attack.

Egypt attacked first by crossing the Suez Canal which was a cease fire line. This was followed by Egypt advancing into the Sinai Peninsula. In the course of three days Israel was able to stop the Egyptian offensive. During this time the Syrians had planned their attack on Golan Heights to coincide with Egypt’s attack. The Syrians were able to make headway into Israeli territory, but within the span of three days Israel was also able to push Syria out of their territory and back behind the cease fire line. The Israeli’s then initiated a four-day counterstrike on (cite). The Israeli Army first attacked the Syrian city of Damascus.

Sadat ordered his troops to go on the offensive in order to capture two more strategic areas in the Sinai Peninsula (cite). Sadat had hoped that doing this would make his position stronger when it came time for peace negotiations. (cite). The attack by the Egyptian’s was quickly put down. The Israeli’s counterattacked by crossing the Suez Canal and entering into Egypt. They advanced southward and westward to the city of Suez (cite 55, 58). The attack was carried out on Yom Kippur, which is the holiest day in the Jewish faith. That year the month of October was also the Ramadan, which is the Muslim’s holy month.

The cease fire that had been established by the United Nations was broken on October 22 1973. On October 24 the Israeli’s completed their entrapment of Egypt’s Third Army and Suez (cite). The result of this action was the escalation of tensions between The United States and The Soviet Union. Another ceasefire was established on October 25 in order to end the war. The use of Arab intelligence in the Ramadan War Supplying False Intelligence to Israel The ineffectiveness of the Egyptian Army The Red Herring Attack of May 1973 The Failings of Israel in the Ramadan War The Israeli Government does not Preemptively Attack Three members of the Israeli government, which included Prime Minister Golda Meir met on the morning of the Ramadan War to discuss rather or not they should carry out preemptive attacks on Syria.

They decided that they would not go through with the preemptive strikes. The Israelis did not want to be blamed for starting a war because they had been told by the United States that if they did the United States would not help them. The country of Israel was dependent on the US for its munitions supplies as the other countries would not help them because they were afraid they would lose their oil supplier and that trade would be boycotted.

Kissinger upon hearing from Meir that Israel would not preemptively attack Syria tried to get the Soviets and other Arab Nations to help him prevent war, but his efforts were futile. The Israeli military was indecisive and overconfident in that they did not listen to the warnings regarding the significance of Egypt’s actions. Their overconfidence was a result of their devastating defeat of the Egyptian military in 1967, which led military analysts to believe that Egypt would be unable to sufficiently recover for at least a generation.

The Israeli’s also felt that the Arabs were not capable of mounting a successful military operation using modern weaponry and tactics. How the Arab States Were Successful On October 6, 1973 the country of Israel was subject to a surprise attack by Egyptian and Syrian forces. The 3rd Army of Egypt attacked from across the Suez Canal the Egyptian military then proceeded to gain a significant amount of the Sinai Peninsula before being driven back. The surprise attack on Israel was a success because of the deception of the Egyptian government and military and their willingness to exploit Israel’s weaknesses.

This deception was carried out in the following ways The Strategic Level The Egyptian government gave the illusion that they would not attack without the ability to neutralize the Israeli Air force. They also gave the impression that they would not attack unless their actions were part of a unified effort with the other Arab nations. the Egyptian government pulled off its biggest strategic deception when it was able to convince the Israeli government that the tactical maneuvers that they had been doing were only because they were afraid of Israel retaliating against them for terrorist activity that had occurred in Israel. globalsecurity. org) The Operational Level The Egyptians created the illusion that the buildup of their troops, their maneuvers and mobilization were part of the country’s annual military exercises. The repeatedly engaged in exercise tactics that showed an intent to cross into the Suez Peninsula, but these actions were repeated so much that the Israeli army began to ignore them. This was part of the reason that the Israeli army was so slow to respond when the actually attack occurred.

The Tactical Level The Egyptian military were able to hide their equipment and they were able to successfully lie about any increased military activity. They were also willing to exploit Israel’s overconfidence in their military’s ability to respond to the threat of an Egyptian attack. The Egyptian military elected to proceed with their plan to attack Israel on Yom Kippur, because it is a the most holy day in the Jewish faith. This would mean that the Israeli military would be greatly reduced in numbers. In the early part of the Ramadan War the Egyptian military was able swiftly overcome Israeli forces.

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