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  • Author: Brent L. Sterling
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: While The Above Biblical Quote reflects a prodefense sentiment oft en evident since man established boundaries, by the second half of the twentieth century a general disdain emerged for the continuing utility of walls, fortresses, and other barriers. The improved precision and destructiveness of weapons as well as the enhanced mobility of militaries appeared to render physical works obsolete. In the late 1950s, Yigal Allon, one of Israel's early military heroes and strategic thinkers, captured the prevailing view by observing that “no modern country can surround itself with a wall.” Fifty years later, however, a range of nations including Afghanistan, Botswana, India, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and the United States have increasingly been attracted to such barriers, none more than Allon's Israel. Walls stand guard along its frontiers with Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, increasingly the West Bank, and possibly soon Egypt. The relative effectiveness of these ground- based works at controlling cross- border traffic has encouraged adversary attack from the sky. Whether it be the frequent homemade Qassam rockets shot from the Gaza Strip (about three thousand through January 2008), the mixture of rockets and missiles launched by Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War (more than four thousand total), or the longer- range, potentially nuclear- armed ballistic missiles potentially possessed by hostile Middle East states, a high threat perception has arisen. In response, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has pursued multiple missile defense systems, some with colorful names such as Iron Dome and David's Sling, to be part of a multilayer network. Although the West Bank “separation barrier” has controversially deviated from the Green Line (the 1967 Israel–West Bank border) in some areas, defense efforts overall have been met with approval across the political spectrum.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jennifer E. Sims, Burton Gerber
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: Intelligence failures prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the “missing” weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq have reminded Americans that good intelligence is crucial for national security. Indeed, the report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States led quickly to the enactment of legislation restructuring the intelligence community, underscoring both the capacity of American citizens to change their most secretive governmental institutions and their appreciation of the importance of the intelligence mission. The families of the victims of September 11 recognized their opportunity to reform the U.S. government's intelligence service and, remarkably, they did so. At the end of 2004 President George W. Bush signed into law the first strategically significant changes in the American intelligence system since it was created at the end of World War II.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Defense Policy, Terrorism, Insurgency, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States