Case 192 - Restraint or Retaliation? Israel's Response to the Iraqi Missile Attacks During the 1991 Gulf War
Eisenberg, Laura Zittrain
This case study describes Israeli interests and goals during the 1991 Gulf War and how these objectives informed its response to Iraqi missile attacks. It explains that Israeli interests were comprised of six guiding principles: the safety of the state and its citizens, the destruction of the Iraqi military machine, a stronger bond with the United States, improved relations between Israel and the international community, maintenance of a credible deterrent, and a new postwar environment for considering the Arab-Israeli conflict. Students are asked to consider how these principles influenced Israeli decision-making during the Gulf War and whether Israel successfully carried out its objectives. The study could be used either in a general political science class or a course focusing on the Middle East.