Author Meir Finkel contends that the current paradigm-with its over-dependence on intelligence and an all-out effort to predict the nature of the future battlefield and the enemy's capabilities-generally doesn't work. Based on historical case analysis of successful "under-fire" recovery and failure to recover, he identifies the variables that have determined these outcomes, and he presents an innovative method for military force planning that will enables armies to deal with the uncertainties of future wars "in real time.
He then demonstrates that, when properly applied, this method can eliminate most obstacles to overcoming battlefield surprises. Finkel IDF looks at how modern military forces have coped with surprise in terms of innovative technologies, techniques, or tactics. Nofi, StrategyPage. It begins to fill in a serious hole in our understanding of flexibility or what could better be called 'adaptation under fire. In the future, surprise will continue to characterize the character of modern warfare, and the need to be flexible will be at a premium.
On Flexibility provides great insights on flexibility and will prove to be an enduring contribution to our understanding of military history and to enhancing our ability to adapt when we hopefully do not get things too terribly wrong. Inculcating adaptability, flexibility, and responsiveness to surprise is the chief preoccupation of the major armies of the world. Doctrine writers, practitioners, scholars, and policy-makers concerned with the effectiveness of military force should read this book.
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Tlamim, Moshe, translator. I am deeply indebted to my Ph. Avi Kober of Bar-Ilan University. His intellectual and methodological approaches have been veritable guiding lights, and his classical style of mentor-pupil instruction the ideal relationship for me. I began my research as a student in the thirty-first class of the National Security College and was fortunate to have the willing support of many people. Sincerest thanks are extended to Eado Hecht for his incisive comments on my analysis of historical events, especially the parts on Sagger missiles, the T tank, the blitzkrieg, and German armor in the Western Desert.
I am grateful to both Major General res. Giora Rom for his generous contribution to the chapter on the way the Israeli air force dealt with surprise in the Yom Kippur War, and Brigadier General res. Dani Asher for the knowledge and experience that he collegially shared with me on the surprise effect of the Sagger missile on Israeli armor forces in the Yom Kippur War.
Thanks also go to Dr. Yossi Hochbaum for enriching the book with historical examples and analyses, and to Dr.
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Zeev Bonen for his erudite input on military technology. I wish to extend my heartfelt appreciation to Lieutenant Colonel Hagai Golan without whose abiding support the Hebrew edition of this book would never have been published. Publishing the book in English was not an easy task for me.
Many thanks to those who made the dream of translating and publishing the book a reality. Warm words of gratitude are due to Moshe Tlamim who translated the book into English and to U. Army Brigadier General H. McMaster who encouraged me to publish this book in English.
Last, but not least, many thanks to Stanford University Press, beginning with the director Geoffrey H. Burn, who guided me as a friend, and to his professional and dedicated team: Jessica Walsh, assistant editor; Emily Smith, production editor; and Leslie Rubin, copy editor.