Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Public Opinion behind the Deterrence: An Evolutionary Game Theoretic Study of the Israeli Policy towards Lebanon

Hamanaka, Shingo (2009): Public Opinion behind the Deterrence: An Evolutionary Game Theoretic Study of the Israeli Policy towards Lebanon.

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Abstract

Israel’s policies regarding Lebanon have been dependent on public opinion, which is very volatile. The citizens of Israel did not favor the occupation of the security zone in South Lebanon because of the Four Mothers movement, and it influenced the government to withdraw military forces unilaterally in May 2000. When Hizbollah attacked the Israel Defense Force (IDF) patrol and abducted two soldiers on the northern border, the Israeli citizens supported the government’s decision of waging a war in retaliation. This study aims to shed light on the causal mechanism of the influence of public opinion on the defense policy in the rational framework of deterrence strategy. I chose the evolutionary game theory approach as my research method. My study yielded the following result: the deterrence is not stable when the aggression level of the defenders is less than the level of the critical condition. The Israeli government made a decision to conduct unilateral withdrawal under the pressure of passive defenders among the people. However, the IDF could begin the operation in Lebanon because of a substantial number of supporters who hoped to restore the deterrence. This study concludes that the Israelis exhibited strong intension and an aggressive attitude toward the deterrence.

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