Egypt Institute Journal (Vol. 2 – Issue 8) / studies

The Egyptian Army and Israel: Transformations of the Doctrine

October 2017

October 2017

Researcher specializing in civil-military relations and security studies and director of the Monitoring and Documentation Unit at the Egyptian Institute for Studies


Egypt has engaged in four wars against Israel; but it finally signed a US-sponsored peace treaty with Tel Aviv. According to this study, this was the first step that paved the way for transforming the doctrine of the Egyptian army.

Former President Anwar Sadat (from October 1970 to October 1981) had declared that the October War (1973) was the last war with Israel, and that peace is Egypt’s “strategic choice”. However, this has remained the “official” discourse up to now. Some observers believe that Sadat’s statement was a kind of a “strategic deception” plan, and that the army leadership was convinced that Egypt’s enemy has been “Israel”.

Since July 2013, Al-Sisi has presented himself to the international community as the only one that can make major shifts in the military and political relations with Israel in return for remaining in office. The word “enemy” – in reference to Israel – has never been mentioned by al-Sisi in any of his speeches since he was ministry of defense until now. Even the military statements from July 3, 2013, up to now have never described Israel as “enemy”.

In this context, this study attempts to answer the following question: How does the Egyptian army view Israel?

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