Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
When on October 6, 1973, Egyptian and Syrian surprise attacks came dangerously close to jeopardizing Israel’s survival, it was because of a monumental intelligence failure. Similarly, on January 18, 1991, the scream of air-raid sirens could be heard in every corner of Israel. The Iraqi Scuds that slammed through Tel Aviv and Haifa neighborhoods had caught the country, in the words of a former Israeli intelligence chief, “with its pants down.” In the latter case, the only element that saved Israel was Iraq’s notably ineffectual warheads. If they had not been so ineffectual, Israel could have suffered profoundly, if not existentially.