Middle East Studies

Excellence in Scholarship and Learning


The Middle East Strategic Balance 2003–2004


Shai Feldman was appointed Head of the Jaffee Center in 1997, prior to which he was a Senior Research Associate since the Center's establishment. He is a member of the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and other organizations. Dr. Feldman has written extensively on nuclear weapons proliferation and arms control in the Middle East, US policy in the region, American–Israeli relations, and the Middle East peace process.

The Middle East Strategic Balance is prepared annually by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, Tel Aviv University, to provide an authoritative and indispensable guide to strategic developments and military capabilities in the Middle East. MESB offers a comprehensive insightful assessment of the complex Middle East strategic environment. Governments and the media pay close attention to the data and analysis, and the work is quoted extensively.

Based on unique sources and professional assessment the 2003–2004 Strategic Balance presents the most accurate and comprehensive military posture of the countries in the Middle East. Up-to-date figures and information on defense budgets, procurement, equipment holdings, military deployments, WMD listings, and foreign aid; and key components of military force structures such as major changes to the orders of battle, and a survey of personnel, weapons and equipment holdings, non-conventional capabilities and ballistic missiles, are presented in accessible and easy to use formats.

Published in association with the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-002-6
Hardback Price: £55.00 / $67.50
Release Date: October 2004
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-003-3
Paperback Price: £25.00 / $37.50
Release Date: October 2004
Page Extent / Format: 296 pp. / 246 x 171 mm
Illustrated: No




PART I Middle East Strategic Assessment


The Middle East in Transition: An Overview / Ephraim Kam
United States Involvement
The Evolving Reality in Iraq
Regional Ramifications of the Iraq War
Pressures on Iran
The Israeli–Palestinian Conflict
The Stability of Middle East Regimes
Israel in the Region at Large

The Middle East on the Global Agenda / Mark A. Heller
The Western Agenda
The Greater Middle East Initiative

International Terrorism in the Shadow of the Iraq War /Yoram Schweitzer
The Spread of Suicide Terrorism
The Low Intensity Conflict in Iraq
Al-Qaeda and its Affiliates Beyond Iraq
Successes and Challenges in the War against al-Qaeda

WMD Proliferation Trends and Strategies of Control / Emily B. Landau 
New Proliferation Concerns
State-by-State Review
Reflections on Proliferation

Challenges Facing Middle East Economies / Paul Rivlin
Principal Economic Trends
Economies in Brief
Underlying Problems in Arab Economies

The Egyptian Armed Forces / Shlomo Brom and Yiftah S. Shapir
The Order-of-Battle
The Balance of Power with Israel
Is a Military Confrontation Realistic?

Israel at a Strategic Crossroads / Shai Feldman
Israel's International Standing
The Palestinian Challenge
Israel's Unilateral Measures
Marketing the Disengagement Plan
An Interim Assessment

The Intifada: The Dynamics of an Ongoing Crisis / Anat Kurz
The Dynamics of Violence
Undermining the PA's Stature
The Politics of Violence: For and Against a Hudna
The Challenge of Disengagement
Looking Forward

The 2004 Strategic Balance: A Net Assessment / Meir Elran
The General Strategic Balance
The Military Balance
The Sub-Conventional Security Balance
Israel's Vantage
Documents on Israel's Disengagement Plan
Ariel Sharon's Four-Stage Disengagement Plan, May 28, 2004
President Bush's Letter to Israeli Prime Minister Sharon, April 14, 2004
Letter from Dov Weisglass to Dr. Condoleeza Rice

PART II Military Forces
Introductory Note
Review of Armed Forces
1. Algeria
2. Bahrain
3. Egypt
4. Iran
5. Iraq
6. Israel
7. Jordan
8. Kuwait
9. Lebanon
10. Libya
11. Morocco
12. Oman
13. Palestinian Authority
14. Qatar
15. Saudi Arabia
16. Sudan
17. Syria
18. Tunisia
19. Turkey
20. United Arab Emirates
21. Yemen

The Middle East Military Balance at a Glance
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Space Assets

The Eastern Mediterranean Military Forces
The Persian Gulf Military Forces
The North African Military Forces


Middle East Strategic Balance is a ‘must read’ for any scholar interested in an assessment of the distribution of military power in the Middle East.
Dr Geoffrey Kemp, Nixon Center Washington

Middle East Strategic Balance offers readers a comprehensive, insightful assessment of the complex and dynamic Middle East strategic environment.
Ambassador Samuel Lewis

The Jaffee Center’s Middle East Strategic Balance is an indispensable resource for all who deal with the Middle East or with its role in global politics.
Professor Graham Alison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University

An informative collection of articles and military data authored and collected by experts at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies (JCSS). This book is rich with useful data, demonstrates the security of Israel, and the close coordination of U.S. and Israeli strategic policies.
American Reference Books Annual, 39th Volume, 2008

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