Prosecuting the Syrian Threat to Israel: Motive, Means, and Opportunity

Date of Graduation

Spring 1995


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


Even as the Arab nations and Israel try to negotiate for peace, the Republic of Syria continues to menace the security of Israel. Syria's unprecedented decision to take part in direct negotiations with Israel would appear to indicate a reverse in Syria's formerly contentious approach toward Israel. However, there is ample evidence to suggest that Syria has not abandoned certain fundamental national objectives that would otherwise indicate a genuine change in Syria's attitude toward Israel. For example, Syria's subjugation of Lebanon, persistent association with anti-Israeli terrorist organizations, and ongoing modernization of an already burgeoning offensive military capability suggest that Syria remains committed to expanding the scope of Syrian influence in the region by whatever means necessary. This includes participation in an American sponsored land-for-peace campaign with Israel, in pursuit of a Greater Syrian domain. Inherent in the overriding Greater Syrian objective is the elimination of Israel as a Middle East competitor. It appears that Syrian President Hafiz al-Assad has revised Syria's strategy but not Syria's ultimate objective. Just as a courtroom prosecutor establishes motive, means, and opportunity to prove the guilt of the accused, this paper likewise prosecutes the charge that Syria's intentions toward Israel will likely remain insidious. This paper establishes Syrian motive, means, and opportunity to take future hostile action against Israel.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Gregory Neil Rublee