The New Middle East of friendly Muslim neighbor states turned out to be a mirage. Now Israel has a choice: it can either deal with the reality of its place in an eternally hostile region or it can deny that reality by fighting more civil wars while ignoring the foe at its gates.
Having a large military is not useful in and of itself. Not if it is as badly equipped and prepared as it was in the Second Lebanon War. Not if the political leadership allows American pressure to tie its hands behind its back, as during the Yom Kippur War. And not if the soldiers and officers have been chosen for their willingness to obey orders from the Supreme Court, rather than an awareness that they are fighting for their land and their people’s survival.
Israel’s true war does not require a draft, so much as a determination to face the future, because at some point the red line will be reached and its enemies will make a final bid for its destruction. That war will depend less on the number of men that Israel can put in the field and more on its willingness to fight for its survival.