The first Israel-Iran war

The prime minister is sending the IDF onto the battlefield to achieve a goal he knows very well is unachievable.

By Eran Etzion
Aug 27, 2019

Do you remember (without using Google), when the last time was that Israel fought a war involving the enemy’s regular army?

The answer is 37 years ago. Yes, some 37 years have passed since the Israel Defense Forces locked horns with the Syrian army in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley.

In all the military campaigns waged since, including the 2006 Second Lebanon War, and the myriad “rounds” of escalation in the Gaza Strip, the IDF has been fighting against “non-state actors,” political-military organizations, the largest of which are Hezbollah and Hamas. They number tens of thousands of infantry fighters and, while they possess considerable rocket fire capabilities, they are devoid of air and armor forces.

Waging war against Iran would be an adventure of a completely different scale, the likes of which Israel has not had to deal with since the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the challenging land and air battles the IDF fought against the Egyptian military.

Iran is a regional power with global aspirations; a large country of 83 million people, which is ranked 19th in the world in terms of its geographical size (Israel ranks 153rd). Iran is also an ancient, proud, and tenacious civilization, which has occupied the same stretch of land for 5,000 years and maintains a near one million-man military that possesses significant capabilities.