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Under SiegePLO Decisionmaking During the 1982 War$
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Rashid Khalidi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166690

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166690.001.0001

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The Occupation of South Lebanon and the Siege of Beirut

The Occupation of South Lebanon and the Siege of Beirut

A Military Overview

Chapter:
(p.43) Chapter 2 The Occupation of South Lebanon and the Siege of Beirut
Source:
Under Siege
Author(s):

Rashid Khalidi

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231166690.003.0002

This chapter provides a brief military assessment of the 1982 war, to provide the context for the P.L.O.'s decisionmaking—given that relatively little academic attention has been paid to the Palestinian side. The pre-war expectations of Israel and the P.L.O. are central to this assessment, as it had been obvious from the outset that the two sides were unevenly matched, with the presumption being that Israel could not possibly lose and that the Palestinians could not possibly win. Yet over the course of ten weeks, generals who had never lost a battle, and who had had considerable advantage in manpower and military technology, were unable to decisively defeat less than 15,000 men—mostly poorly armed militia—who were supported for less than two weeks by part of the Syrian army.

Keywords:   pre-war expectations, Israel, P.L.O., Syrian army, military assessment, P.L.O. decisionmaking

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