Last updated on: 5/22/2008 10:43:00 AM PST

What Is the Eastern Front of the Arab-Israeli Conflict?



General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Gal Luft, PhD, Executive Director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), in a 2004 Brookings Institute analysis paper titled "All Quiet on the Eastern Front?" wrote:

"The concept of an 'eastern front' refers to an Israeli nightmare scenario of an attack from the east by a Syrian force against the Golan Heights combined with an attack by Iraq, Jordan and possibly Saudi Arabia along the 150 mile Jordanian-Israeli border. This scenario effectively assumes that the [1994] Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty collapses as a result of the fall of the Hashemite Kingdom, leaving Jordan to become a staging ground for such an attack. Most of these worst case scenarios also assume that the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip would launch a guerrilla campaign to sabotage Israeli deployments and block the central access roads essential for shifting forces to the front line.

To prevent such a scenario, the IDF's [Israeli Defense Forces] defense plan stresses the rapid deployment of heavy forces along the Jordan River Valley... According to IDF planning assumptions, as long as Israel can control the Valley, the IDF believes that its small standing army will be able to hold off an assault by an Arab coalition long enough to allow Israel to mobilize and deploy its reserve forces, which constitute the bulk of its military power. The Jordan River Valley is also the potential staging ground for IDF forces in the event that Israel ever opted to mount a preemptive attack against Iraqi forces advancing through Jordanian territory. IDF doctrine sees the bridges over the Jordan River as key chokepoints, allowing Israel to move mechanized forces into Jordan and preventing Iraqi or Jordanian forces from advancing into Israel."

2004 - Gal Luft, PhD