Cover: National Security Decisionmaking Processes in Israel

National Security Decisionmaking Processes in Israel

Persistent Flaws and How to Amend Them

Published Nov 15, 2022

by Ofer Shelah

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Throughout its existence, Israel has faced security challenges and has struggled with how best to make decisions to address them. Despite recommendations in many official reports for improving Israel's national security decisionmaking process, flaws persist. These flaws are most evident in the work of the government's Security Cabinet, the highest political echelon involved in these matters, and the National Security Council, the organization responsible for preparing more-informed discussions that lead to better decisions. In this Perspective, the author examines the inherent flaws in the function of these entities and in the process as a whole through a review of past examples of security decisionmaking and interviews with former and current officials, reflects on their underlying causes, and suggests avenues toward a decisionmaking apparatus that is better suited to the challenges the country faces today.

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Funding for this project was provided by the generous contributions of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy Advisory Board and donors to RAND's Israel Program. This research was conducted within the Center for Middle East Public Policy, a center within International Programs at the RAND Corporation.

This commentary is part of the RAND expert insight series. RAND Expert Insights present perspectives on timely policy issues. All RAND Expert Insights undergo peer review to ensure high standards for quality and objectivity.

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