The Yom Kippur War

On Oct. 1, 1973, Anwar el-Sadat, President of Egypt, wrote a directive to his Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, War Minister, Marshal Ahmed Ismail Ali. In it, he explained the rationale behind the attack on Israel:

1. The Israeli enemy has been in occupation of parts of Arab land for more than six years.

2. Relying on U.S. assistance, particularly regarding arms supplies, Israel has tried and continues to try to impose her will on us, and to resolve the Middle East crisis in such a manner as to enable her to have almost absolute control of the Arab region, of its security and very destiny.

He described the Israeli military strategy thus:

The Israeli enemy has opted, as we can see, for a policy based on intimidation, on claiming a superiority which the Arabs could never hope to check. This is the basis of the Israeli Security Theory, which relies on psychological, political, and military deterrence.

The central point in the Israeli Security Theory is to convince Egypt and the Arab nation that it is futile to challenge Israel and that it is therefore inevitable for us to accept Israel’s terms, even if these involved certain violations of our national sovereignty.

He then explained that the timing was right for an attack on Israel because:

The situation on our domestic front, the Arab front in general-including .our accurate coordination with the northern front-and the international situation, create, as from now, a favorable opportunity for us to make a start.

The international isolation of the enemy and the atmosphere which dominates at home, due to his party election disputes and clash of personalities, improve the chances of our hitting on the most favorable opportunity.

Read the whole directive on the COJS website.

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