Returning and Redemption
In the Name of God.
Directive issued to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, War Minister, Marshal Ahmed Ismail Ali-
I. The General Situation
1. The Israeli enemy has been in occupation of parts of Arab land for more than six years.
2. Relying on U.S. assistance, particularly regarding arms supplies, Israel has tried and continues to try to impose her will on us, and to resolve the Middle East crisis in such a manner as to enable her to have almost absolute control of the Arab region, of its security and very destiny.
3. Egypt has tried in every possible way since the Security Council cease fire decision was issued on June 8,1967, to find a solution to the crisis. Toward this end Egypt has made a variety of efforts- she accepted the Security Council resolution 242 of November 22, 1967; responded to the mediation efforts of the Big Four, the subsequent efforts of the two superpowers, and the initiative of U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers; then proceeded to propose an Initiative of her own, providing for a solution beginning with the reopening of the Suez Canal. This would have been the initial step for an Israeli withdrawal, to be completed in stages, in implementation of the Security Council resolution. All these efforts, however, came to grief- they either failed outright, or were suspended; indeed, our enemies even tried to divert them from the goals originally set them.
4. Egypt carried out military operations of a limited nature in 1967, 1969 and 1970. She also gave vast assistance to the Palestinian resistance forces to enable them to carry out guerilla operations both on the firing lines and inside the occupied land. Though they had, on the whole, significant consequences, these operations-for a variety of reasons-failed to put adequate pressure on the enemy.
5. Egypt has always realized that a time would come when she would have to shoulder her responsibilities. What was of paramount importance to us was to be as prepared for this day as best we could, within our potential and in the light of our commitment to defend our land and honor.
6. The people in Egypt have shown more toleration of the behavior of their foes and friends alike than ever imaginable. The burdens, physical and moral, borne by our people have been heavy indeed- only a people armed with faith in freedom and the willingness to make the necessary sacrifices could have shouldered such burdens.
7. Politically, the Arabs have in general significantly improved their position and so increased the chances of their being an effective force. With the exacerbation of the energy crisis-and the currency crisis-in the world, Arab pressure exerted in propitious circumstances could be a factor to be reckoned with.
8. The potential effectiveness of the Arab position in general may be seen clearly in the level of our armament. Apart from what we have received from the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc-which is much-we have acquired other kinds of weapons, hitherto unavailable, from other sources.
9. The enemy is practically isolated on the international plane, following successful Egyptian efforts in the Security Council, the UN General Assembly, the last OAU Summit in Addis Ababa, and the subsequent Non-Aligned Countries Conference in Algiers.
10. The international situation is changing, and shows signs of tending to change even further. We may therefore find ourselves faced with arrangements made for a long-term international “balance,” which might restrict our freedom of movement and our right to choose the most favorable alternatives.
II. The Enemy Strategy
The Israeli enemy has opted, as we can see, for a policy based on intimidation, on claiming a superiority which the Arabs could never hope to check. This is the basis of the Israeli Security Theory, which relies on psychological, political, and military deterrence.
The central point in the Israeli Security Theory is to convince Egypt and the Arab nation that it is futile to challenge Israel and that it is therefore inevitable for us to accept Israel’s terms, even if these involved certain violations of our national sovereignty.
III. Egypt’s Strategy at This Stage
The strategic objective I hereby set the Egyptian armed forces to achieve, and for which I hold full political responsibility, in the light of all that I have heard and learned about their preparations, may be summed up as follows-
To challenge the Israeli Security Theory by carrying out a military action according to the capabilities of the armed forces aimed at inflicting the heaviest losses on the enemy and convincing him that continued occupation of our land exacts a price that is too high for him to pay, and that consequently his theory of security-based as it is on psychological, political, and military intimidation-is not an impregnable shield of steel which could protect him today or in the future.
A successful challenge of the Israeli Security Theory will have definite short-term and long-term consequences. In the short term, a challenge to the Israeli Security Theory could have a certain result, which would make it possible far an honorable solution for the Middle East crisis to be reached. In the long term, a challenge to the Israeli Security Theory can produce changes which will, following on the heels of one another, lead to a basic change in the enemy’s thinking, morale, and aggressive tendencies.
The time is now, from the political point of view, perfectly favorable for such an action as I have referred to in Section III of this Directive.
The situation on our domestic front, the Arab front in general-including .our accurate coordination with the northern front-and the international situation, create, as from now, a favorable opportunity for us to make a start.
The international isolation of the enemy and the atmosphere which dominates at home, due to his party election disputes and clash of personalities, improve the chances of our hitting on the most favorable opportunity.
President of the Republic
5th Ramadan 1393 October 1, 1973