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The Notion of a "Pre-emptive War:" the Six Day War Revisited

Kurtulus, Ersun N (2007) The Notion of a "Pre-emptive War:" the Six Day War Revisited. Middle East Journal, 61 (2). pp. 220-238. ISSN 0026-3141. (doi:10.3751.61.2.12) (KAR id:1547)

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The article presents a critical assessment of the widespread conceptualization of the June 1967 War between Israel and its neighboring Arab states as a pre-emptive war both in academic and non-academic writing. Tracing the origins of the notion of pre-emptive war to international law, the article identifies three necessary conditions for such a war to be classified as pre-emptive: acute crisis combined with high alert levels; vulnerable offensive weapons; and strategic parity as regards to offensive capabilities. On the basis of a re-interpretation of the evidence produced by previous research, this article argues that the circumstances surrounding the Six Day War did not fulfill some of these necessary conditions. This conclusion also is supported by evidence related to the Israeli decision to launch a first strike.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3751.61.2.12
Subjects: U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Ersun Kurtulus
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 17:41 UTC
Last Modified: 28 May 2019 13:36 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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