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Short war in a perpetual conflict: implications of Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge for the Australian Army

Defence Conflict management International cooperation Strategic planning Israel Australia

Uses Israel's recent wars to identify issues relevant to the Australian Army’s preparation for future conflict.


Israel is in a state of continuous conflict, frequently of the armed variety, and not uncommonly achieving levels of violence that qualify as war. Significant spikes in that level of violence have occurred several times during the past decade alone. These include – but are by no means limited to – the Second Lebanon War (July-August 2006), Operation Cast Lead (December 2008-January 2009), and Operation Protective Edge (July-August 2014). 

The third of these constitutes the focus of this study while the two preceding help to establish a foundation for considering that most recent spike in violence. This analysis will identify issues relevant to assisting the Australian Army’s preparation for future conflict. Much of the analysis will additionally be of interest to Australian policymakers, the country’s multinational partners, and students of contemporary conflict. Some of the following pages’ observations will suggest areas of greater cooperation between the army and its joint, multinational, and civilian whole-of-government partners. A few reach so far as to potentially influence relationships with nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), inter-governmental organisations (IGOs), and industry representatives.

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