Today is the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Six Day War, forced on Israel by a coalition of Arab states. In retrospect, the war was decided in its first hours by Operation Focus (Moked), the dramatic destruction of the Egyptian Air Force, caught on the ground by the Israeli Air Force. I woke up this morning with the ambition of doing a Six Day War post: spent some of last night with my books out getting ready. But after reading the inimitable Ralph Peter's piece on that conflict in the New York Post this morning, I'll simply refer you to Lieut. Col. Peters, because his piece cannot be improved on.
Forty years on, the Israelis still have every right to be pleased with their splendid victory over Egypt, Syria and Jordan, which bought the Israelis a period of relative peace, at least at home. The Six Day War in some ways resembles (rather ironically) Germany's great victory over France in 1940: a sudden and rapid blow; resulting in the surprising (from the outside), collapse of a seemingly powerful adversary. The Israelis managed to do somewhat better in coping with the changed strategic landscape their victory produced than the Germans did with their success in France, but the last chapter has not yet been written.