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Title: Biblical military ethics and the Israel defence forces: the case of special reconnaissance
Authors: Litsas, Spyridon N.
Papadimitriou, Georgios K.
Type: Article
Subjects: FRASCATI::Social sciences::Political science::International relations
Keywords: Bible
military ethics
Israeli military strategy
special operations
special reconnaissance
military intelligence
strategic intelligence
operational intelligence
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Israel Affairs
Volume: 27
Issue: 3
First Page: 450
Last Page: 474
Abstract: The deployment of special forces in hostile or politically volatile environments in search of strategic/operational intelligence, though not a 21st century novelty, appeared as a distinct military activity in literature only in the early 2000s under the label ‘Special Reconnaissance’ (SR). This article argues that the concept of SR (a) originated in the biblical Israelite military tradition and is depicted in the Bible as the lapis angularis of military strategy and a practice capable of dictating military and political norms; (b) has been used as a key element of the Israel Defence Forces’ (IDF) modus operandi since 1948 thenceforth functioning in an analogous manner. To support these arguments, the theoretical and practical characteristics of Moses’ intelligence mission to Canaan as well as the IDF’s proclivity to SR are scrutinised under the general theoretical framework of political realism that assumes rational and pro-state interest course of actions. Accordingly, SR emerges as a distinctive common instrument of biblical and contemporary Israeli strategy, a fact that underlines the uninterrupted socio-political and cultural links between the past and the present of the Israeli ontology, this time via the wider concept of the Israeli military ethics.
ISSN: 1353-7121
Other Identifiers: 10.1080/13537121.2021.1915537
Appears in Collections:Department of International and European Studies

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