Which war resulted in higher costs for Israel compared to the six day war?

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By Mackenzie Roche

Comparing Costs of Israel’s Wars

Israel has been engaged in several conflicts since its establishment as an independent state in 1948. Among these wars, the Six Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973 stand out as two of the most significant events in Israel’s military history. While both wars resulted in significant losses and gains for Israel, the Yom Kippur War was, without a doubt, the more costly of the two. In this article, we will explore the reasons why the costs of the Yom Kippur War were higher than those of the Six Day War.

The Six Day War: A Costly Victory

The Six Day War of 1967 was a military conflict fought between Israel and its Arab neighbors, including Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. The war began on June 5, 1967, and ended on June 10, with Israel emerging as the clear victor. The war resulted in a significant expansion of Israel’s territory, including the capture of the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.

Despite the impressive military victory, the war came at a significant cost for Israel. The country lost over 700 soldiers, with thousands more injured. The war also had a significant impact on Israel’s economy, with the cost of the war estimated at around 1.5% of Israel’s GDP. However, the economic impact of the Six Day War was relatively short-lived, and Israel was able to recover quickly, thanks to the support of its allies, including the United States.

The Yom Kippur War: A Costlier Defeat

The Yom Kippur War of 1973 was another military conflict fought between Israel and its Arab neighbors, this time including Egypt and Syria. The war began on October 6, 1973, which was also the holiest day in the Jewish calendar – Yom Kippur. The surprise attack by Egypt and Syria caught Israeli forces off guard, and the first few days of the war saw significant losses for Israel.

Israeli Forces Caught Off Guard

One reason why the Yom Kippur War was costlier than the Six Day War was that Israeli forces were caught off guard by the surprise attack. The war began with a massive artillery barrage by Egyptian and Syrian forces, followed by a ground invasion. Israeli forces, despite their superior training and equipment, were initially unable to mount a significant defense, leading to significant losses.

The Cost of Mobilizing Reserves

Another reason why the Yom Kippur War was costlier than the Six Day War was the cost of mobilizing reserves. Unlike the Six Day War, which saw Israel launch a preemptive strike, the Yom Kippur War was a surprise attack, and Israel was forced to call up large numbers of reserves to defend itself. The cost of mobilizing these reserves was significant, both in terms of money and the impact on Israel’s economy.

The Impact of International Support

Another factor that contributed to the cost of the Yom Kippur War was the lack of international support. Unlike the Six Day War, which saw significant support from the United States, the Yom Kippur War saw much less support from Israel’s allies. This lack of support meant that Israel had to rely on its own resources to fight the war, adding to the economic toll.

Economic Toll of the Yom Kippur War

The economic toll of the Yom Kippur War was significant. Israel’s GDP fell by around 6%, and inflation skyrocketed, reaching over 40% in 1974. The war also had a significant impact on Israel’s foreign exchange reserves, which fell from $3.2 billion before the war to just $1.1 billion after it.

Israel’s Defense Spending Increases

The Yom Kippur War also led to a significant increase in Israel’s defense spending. In the aftermath of the war, Israel recognized the need to improve its military capabilities to avoid being caught off guard again. This increase in defense spending had a long-term impact on Israel’s economy, as it led to a shift in government priorities away from social spending.

The Human Cost of the Yom Kippur War

The Yom Kippur War also had a significant human cost. Israel lost over 2,500 soldiers in the war, with thousands more injured. The war also had a significant impact on Israeli society, leading to a sense of disillusionment and division.

The Impact on Israeli Society

The Yom Kippur War had a profound impact on Israeli society. The war led to a sense of disillusionment with the government and the military establishment, with many Israelis feeling that they had been let down by their leaders. The war also led to a significant increase in social protests and political activism, as Israelis demanded change.

Lessons Learned from the Yom Kippur War

The Yom Kippur War taught Israel several important lessons. First, it highlighted the importance of intelligence gathering and preparedness. Second, it showed the importance of having strong alliances and international support. Finally, it led to a recognition of the need for a more balanced approach to government spending, with a focus on both defense and social spending.

Conclusion: The Heavy Price of War

In conclusion, while the Six Day War was costly for Israel, the Yom Kippur War was costlier. The surprise attack by Egyptian and Syrian forces caught Israeli forces off guard, leading to significant losses. The cost of mobilizing reserves, the lack of international support, and the economic toll of the war all contributed to its high cost. The human cost of the war was also significant, leading to a sense of disillusionment and division within Israeli society. Despite the heavy price of war, Israel emerged from the Yom Kippur War stronger and more resilient, having learned important lessons that would shape its future.

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Mackenzie Roche

Mackenzie Roche, part of the content operations team at TravelAsker, boasts three years of experience as a travel editor with expertise in hotel content at U.S. News & World Report. A journalism and creative writing graduate from the University of Maryland, College Park, she brings a wealth of literary prowess to her work. Beyond the desk, Mackenzie embraces a balanced life, indulging in yoga, reading, beach outings, and culinary adventures across Los Angeles.

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