Perspectives Papers

Perspectives Papers provide analysis from BESA Center research associates and other outside experts on the most important issues pertaining to Israel and the Middle East.

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Syria’s Chemical Weapons: Is Disarmament Possible?

No. 214
| September 24, 2013

Disarming Syria’s chemical arsenal will be a big challenge. The US-Russia timetable seems too condensed, even if good will is assumed. Syria possesses a huge chemical weapons arsenal, and is likely to further develop biological weapons, which the US-Russia accord does not discuss.

Twenty Years to Oslo

No. 213
| September 10, 2013

The abject failure of the Oslo Accords has affected Israeli society: Israelis are resilient, ready to endure protracted conflict, and unwilling to make dangerous concessions to the Palestinians.

France and the Syrian Civil War: From Diplomacy to Military Intervention?

No. 212
| September 8, 2013

France has changed its view that conflicts can be resolved only through diplomacy, which explains the country’s recent military activism in Libya, Mali, and perhaps soon in Syria, as well.

Israeli Coalition Politics and Foreign Policy

No. 211
| August 19, 2013

Binyamin Netanyahu supported upgrading the referendum law to placate his coalition members on the Right, but he has shown that he will welcome back the ultra-Orthodox parties under certain circumstances.

Where Is the Israeli Military Heading?

No. 210
| August 7, 2013

The army’s new multi-year plan shows a reorganizing of priorities for the coming decade, with a focus on intelligence, active defense systems, cyber warfare, and border protection. The ground forces will be downgraded in importance and priority.

Can the IDF Afford a Small Army?

No. 209
| July 18, 2013

The IDF must take into consideration that a smaller military comes with a price, as even low-intensity conflicts require a large number of troops to enable the army to succeed.

Israel and Azerbaijan: Geopolitical Reasons for Stronger Ties

No. 208
and | July 15, 2013

Israel benefits from having a Muslim ally on Iran’s border and Azerbaijan has gained a serious partner in the political, military, and technology spheres. The countries have much to gain from strengthening their ties even further.

Welcome Back to Mubarak’s Egypt

No. 207
| July 4, 2013

The latest chapter in the Egyptian Revolution is nothing more than a return to the military dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. Egypt’s troubles may only be beginning.

With Nothing to Lose: The Limits of a Rational Iran

No. 206
| June 20, 2013

Lost in the debate over Iran is the possibility that Iran is a rational actor that cannot be deterred. Iranian leaders may strike Israel with nuclear weapons if they feel they have nothing to lose.

Israel’s Interests in Syria

No. 205
| May 20, 2013

It is a mistake for Israelis to express support for Bashar Assad’s victory in Syria. Israel should stay out of the Syrian conflict, and is better off having a failed state next door than a strong, Iranian-backed entity there.