Air University Review , July-August 1980
the Entebbe raid
Captain E. Douglas Menarchik
|The cost of surrender always exceeds the cost of a military risk. The food of terrorism is success. The end of terrorism is failure.|
Shimon Peres, Israeli Defense Minister
: Israeli troops rescue 92 countrymen held by terrorists.
Dateline Mogadisho: West German GSG-9 assault teams release 86 hostages hijacked by terrorists.
Dateline Larnaca: 15 Egyptian commandos killed in abortive rescue attempt to release kidnapped hostages.
IN THE past decade, terrorist attacks have become commonplace headlines in our press. Not so commonplace have been rescue attempts of assault teams dispatched by targeted governments. Indeed, between July 1976 and April 1980, three nation-states of the international community had used military or paramilitary forces to resolve a terrorist-initiated crisis. National decision-makers in Israel, West Germany, and Egypt demonstrated their national resolve by using a limited force in response to a limited terrorist threat.2 These countries sent counterterrorist assault teams into foreign countries to rescue victims of hijackings. The assault teams at Entebbe and Mogadisho successfully rescued hijacked victims at minimal loss to themselves and the hostages. The abortive Egyptian assault at Larnaca, however, ended in operational failure: 15 Egyptian commandos died. Israel, West Germany, and Egypt, regional powers with regional interests, have sustained a barrage of terrorist attacks. The United States, a global power with global interests, is even more vulnerable since terrorism is not an impartial political beast of prey.
U.S. military decision-makers and planners, then, must ask some necessary questions: Are U.S. interests threatened by terrorism. If so, is the United States capable of responding with force to a terrorist-initiated crisis?
Air power played a vital role in the Entebbe, Mogadisho, and Larnaca counterterrorist operations. Accordingly, I will highlight the role of air power in the Entebbe operation and give a general analytical framework from which several specific recommendations are derived for planners structuring a U. S. counterterrorist force's air assets.
the nature of the terrorism phenomenon
Brian Jenkins has observed that "terrorism has become a new element in international relations," and its use as a new mode of conflict appears to have increased markedly in the past decade.3 Attempts at defining terrorism have proved difficult because it has no precise, widely accepted definition. This definitional problem derives from the fact that terrorism "has become a fad word which is used promiscuously and is often applied to a variety of acts of violence [including classic forms of crime] which are not strictly terrorism by definition."4 Indeed, terrorism has become a sensational subject, glamorized in the news media and blown out of proportion to its real impact on Western society. Measured against the world volume of violence, terrorist violence is trivial; but the greatest danger posed by terrorists lies not in the physical damage they do but in the atmosphere of alarm they create.5
Terror by criminals, crazies, and crusaders has plagued the established order throughout history. Criminals terrorized for personal gain; crazies terrorized as a result of a mental aberration; while crusaders terrorized for long-range political-ideological goals. This last form, political terrorism, is not mindless, senseless, nor irrational violence but a violent form of graffiti aimed at a world audience and not the immediate victims.6 It is a theory with specific tactical and strategic objectives. Terrorism as a political phenomenon received its major impetus only in the Jacobin era of the French Revolution, but that type of terrorism was "enforcement" terrorism, that is, a psychopolitical technique used to sustain a group already in power.7 Contemporary "agitational" terrorism is different from the great terror of the French Revolution in that it is a psychopolitical technique of rebellion from below sometimes used as an initial step to gain power. It is a strategy of the weak with a goal to elicit a provocative and repressive response from a targeted regime in the hopes of creating an atmosphere of revolution.
Revolutionaries of the past decade have increasingly relied on the strategy of transnational agitational terrorism to achieve their long-range Political-ideological objectives. Transnational agitational terrorism, as used here, is the planned threat or use of extranormal violence for long-term political purposes when the action is intended to influence the attitude and behavior of a target group wider than its immediate victims and with ramifications that transcend national boundaries.8 The general global malaise of the 1970s provides revolutionaries with the permissive environment and opportunities to Use the strategy of transnational agitational terrorism as a vehicle to initiate change.9 As one author noted, we are indeed living in the time of the jackal.10 Terrorism has become a global concern. Other nations have been affected but so has the United States.
U.S. interests and transnational terrorism
The general rise in transnational terrorist activity worldwide is a necessary concern for U.S. military leaders responsible for the security of U. S. global interests. Statistically, the number of transnational terrorist incidents has increased throughout the decade from 1968-77, increasing from 111 in 1968 to 279 in 1977. One Source shows that of the 2690 transnational terrorist incidents worldwide in the 1968-77 time period, 1148 (42.6 percent) were directed against U. S. targets.11 Thus, terrorist activity is not evenly distributed against the nation-states, nor is it evenly distributed geographically.
Terrorist activity incidents are distributed geographically as follows: Western Europe 964 (35.8 percent), Latin America 747 (27.8 percent), Middle East/North Africa 431 (16 percent), North America 274 (10.2 percent), Asia 155 (5.8 percent), and other areas with 119 incidents (4.4 percent). The distribution of terrorist attacks against U.S. targets is as follows: Latin America with 455 incidents or 39.6 percent; Western Europe, 298 incidents or 25.9 percent; Middle East/North Africa, 194 incidents or 16.9 percent; Asia, 84 incidents or 7.3 percent; North America, 79 incidents or 6.9 percent; and other areas with 38 incidents or 3.3 percent. Of the 1148 total terrorist attacks on U. S. citizens or property, 602 or 52.4 percent have been against U. S. government/military targets and 546 or 47.6 percent against U.S. business or private interests. U. S. military officials or property account for 167 incidents (14.5 percent).
The categories of terrorist attacks used in Our data Source are kidnapping, barricade-hostage, letter bombing, incendiary bombing, explosive bombing, armed attack, hi-jacking, assassination, break-in and/or theft, sniping, and other. We restrict our analysis to kidnapping, barricade-hostage, and hijacking categories since these have a higher reasonable probability of eliciting a U.S. counterterrorist force response. The other categories of attack are of an immediate nature and hence provide little or no time for response. Kidnappings (90 incidents) account for 7.8 percent of terrorist activity against U.S. interests, barricade-hostage (13 incidents) account for 1.1 percent, and hijacking (34 incidents) account for 3.0 percent. (See Figure 1.)
The current trend in terrorists' targeting of U. S. interests tended to decline slightly in the 1975-77 time period from the peak period occurring in the 1970-72 time period. (See Figure 2.) Kidnapping and hijacking, as attack-types against U.S. targets tended to decline in the 1975-77 time period from their peaks in 1970, while barricade-hostage incidents have remained at a relatively consistent level. Figure 3 depicts the geographic distribution of transnational terrorist attacks against U. S. targets by attack-type.
|Figure 3. Transnational Terrorist incidents
targeted against U.S. interests, 1968-77
The data reveal several interesting points. First, terrorist targeting of U.S. interests account for 42.6 percent of the total incidents worldwide in the past 10 years. Thus we conclude that a genuine terrorist threat exists against U.S. interests abroad. Second, of the 1148 terrorist incidents in the past decade, only 137 (11.9 percent) have been of a kidnapping, barricade-hostage, or hijacking attack-type. These three attack-types are most likely to elicit a U.S. counterterrorist force response (5.1 percent, that is, 137 kidnapping, barricade-hostage, or hijacking of the 2690 total worldwide). These aggregate statistics demonstrate a small but standing transnational terrorist threat to U.S. interests abroad likely to require counterterrorist forces to resolve the crisis.
Several salient factors are germane to the analysis of the Entebbe operation.12
the time factor
The time factor refers to the duration of the crisis, from its recognition through its termination, and includes an analysis of the effect terrorist deadlines had on planners. The time factor proved critical in the Entebbe counterterrorist raid and affected, if not determined, the nature of the rescue attempt.
The Entebbe crisis began in the early afternoon of 27 June 1976 and ended seven days later, shortly after midnight on 4 July 1976. High-ranking Israeli political officials received notification of the hijacking within 30 minutes. They immediately formed a cabinet-level special crisis-action team to coordinate the response.13 The terrorist action-cadre established an initial deadline of 1500 hours on 1 July 1976. This first deadline schedule shaped initial Israeli responses in terms of option search and preparation.
From the beginning of the crisis, the Israelis followed an unstructured dual-track approach.14 In the first phase, from crisis initiation to the first terrorist deadline, the cabinet sought the release of the hostages through diplomatic negotiations. In the meantime, military planners, following automatic standard operating procedures, searched for viable military options to meet the deadline. By the end of the third day of continuous military preparation, assault and airlift forces had been identified and a timetable set. Approximately thirty hours prior to the first deadline, the first assault plans, although based on incomplete intelligence, had been prepared for cabinet approval. Israeli political leaders, however, determined that negotiations with the terrorists were the most viable option available at that time. High-ranking military leaders reported that the first rescue plans had low probabilities of success. This political decision set into motion the processes that changed the context and configuration of the crisis. When the terrorists extended their deadline by three days, additional options availed themselves to the Israelis. A new focus and orientation emerged and set the stage for the military option, which culminated in the successful rescue operation.
The second phase of the operation began when the terrorists released the non-Israeli/non-Jewish hostages and set a new deadline of 1500 hours on 4 July 1976. Israeli intelligence units interrogated the released hostages in Paris. This additional information filled previously critical intelligence gaps. A more complete target folder and the three-day time extension allowed Israeli military planners to restructure their forces and prepare new options. They completed a second plan by the fifth day.
As the hijacking drama unfolded, the ministerial team perceived fewer viable political options open to them. With the deadline drawing nearer and fewer negotiable assets available, they approved the revised military option on 3 July 1976. The Israeli assault forces had rehearsed the plan the previous evening and were launched to preempt the second terrorist deadline. Israeli political leaders gave final authority to conduct the assault while the force was airborne, en route to Entebbe.
In the Entebbe crisis, high-ranking political decision-makers and military planners had little or no prior warning. They were all required to make accelerated decisions because of the short time for response. The surprise element in the crisis tended to reduce the alternatives examined by the decision-makers. The perception of a lack of alternatives as the deadlines approached tended to push the force option to the fore. Of greatest importance to the military planners, however, were the terrorist deadline schedules. Deadline schedules determine deployment time available, thoroughness of planning, search for practical military and nonmilitary options, option preparation, and rehearsals.
Time and feasibility of force response. Deadline schedules limited the planners' scope of search for military and nonmilitary options. Strategic and tactical airlift were essential to comply with the deadlines. Significantly, Israel was unable to resolve her crisis by the end of the first deadline by way of diplomatic negotiations or political bargaining; but, air assets were apparently made available and capable of airlifting assault forces to meet the first deadline constraints. The limiting factor, however, was the lack of adequate search time for options and option preparation for the critical ground assault phases. Planners must stress the need for official negotiators to expand the time dimension as much as possible to ensure proper option, search, preparation, implementation, and force employment.
Israeli leaders decided to negotiate rather than employ force to meet the first terrorist deadline. One of the initial military options to meet the 1 July deadline called for the insertion of a small strike force to eliminate the terrorists. Once this force accomplished its mission, they were to surrender to the good offices of the Ugandan authorities. This plan was based on the premise that Ugandan officials were not willfully supporting the terrorists. The three-day time extension enabled the Israelis to analyze updated intelligence from the released hostages (this confirmed in Israeli minds Ugandan complicity), revise plans, and rehearse the mission.
Thus, air support made possible a military option under the time constraints of the first deadlines (approximately three days after crisis initiation); but a military option was not deemed practical or realistic because of perceived needs for expanded decision-making time and ground assault problems.
Time and the search for options. The time factor affected the search for options in the Entebbe raid. Political leaders decided that no viable military option was available to meet the first deadline. The time extension changed the decision-making environment and resulted in a continued search with new options opening up. It resulted in response reorientation, from a nonmilitary crisis resolution to a military crisis resolution.
Time and option preparation. The time factor affected the Entebbe option preparation. The decision to negotiate with the terrorists prior to the first deadline coincided with the terrorists' release of non-Israeli hostages and the generation of new intelligence. Israeli planners and political leaders then determined that a military option was now viable and politically essential. While they kept diplomatic options open, national leaders also unintentionally provided the strategic deception necessary to implement a military option. That Israeli leaders planned options to address contingencies evolving out of mission failure is indicated by the fact that an airborne command post linked the ground forces' commander with Israeli national leaders. In actuality, the airborne communication link served only as an information conduit; had the operation been compromised, national leaders were available to make on-the-spot political decisions.
The time extension in the Entebbe raid enabled the Israelis to rehearse the rescue attempt, including a landing assault. This rehearsal confirmed in the Israeli chief of staff's mind that the plan had a reasonable probability of Success. Previously, he had been skeptical of an ad hoc military adventure.
A second important factor is the operational environment. The operational environment refers not only to the specific location of the terrorists and the hostages but also to the total military setting. The type of operational environment into which planners may have to insert their assault forces in a counterterrorist operation is a critical variable with many ramifications. Each type of operational environment levies certain demands on planners who are considering the use of air assets in a force response.
The Israeli planners encountered a hostile operational environment. Israel's ministerial-level crisis-action team established as first priority for the mission the safe release of the hostages. Therefore, not only was force necessary to eliminate the terrorists but also to isolate the surrounding assault area from intervening hostile forces. A hostile operational environment has important implications for the planner.
Israeli intelligence determined that Ugandan authorities were aiding and abetting the terrorists. Accordingly, planners determined that mission success depended on secrecy, strategic deception, and tactical surprise. The continuing dialogue and negotiations with the terrorists provided the strategic deception. Equally important was the necessity of tactical surprise at the Entebbe airport. Tactical surprise entailed the following: an unannounced arrival; high speed off-loading and deployment of ground forces to the target area; hasty elimination of the terrorists and neutralization of Ugandan perimeter guards; isolation of the battle zone to ensure safe enplaning of the rescued hostages; and effective control of a defensive perimeter, including the new runways and new terminal areas, to prevent external Ugandan intervention.15
Usually, terrorist action cadres have extremely limited communication capabilities. They seldom carry bulky or sophisticated communication equipment on operations. Because of Ugandan complicity, however, Israeli planners had to ensure total secrecy of the force option, that is, the Ugandan national intelligence system had to remain uninformed of the rescue attempt. Indeed, a suicide-prone action cadre, with warning of an impending rescue attempt, could take drastic actions with disastrous consequences for both the assault forces and hostages. The C-130 Pathfinders landed late in the evening, using a blacked-out, muffled engine approach. Mission success also depended on a quick ground reaction capability of both the assault forces and the assault aircraft. The aircraft were capable of rapid and quick ground maneuverability to position themselves advantageously to facilitate optimal ground force deployment. At Entebbe, the C-130 assault landings and their maneuverability on the ground facilitated quick ground-force deployment for closing with the terrorists. The elapsed time from aircraft touchdown to terrorist elimination was about eight minutes. Proper use of air power was a major contributing factor in achieving tactical surprise at Entebbe.
range and flight path
Range and route factors refer to the distances and specific flight path necessary to transport the assault forces and their equipment from the home station to the operational environment and return.
Range and route of flight are important air power considerations in counterterrorist operations. The Entebbe raid has been described as the "longest-range commando raid in history"--a crisis resolved by force over a 4800-mile roundtrip distance.16 The mission required a low-level clandestine infiltration and tactical maneuvering on the ground. Range made the operation long distance. These considerations narrowed the Israeli choices of aircraft to the C-130 type aircraft. The Israelis launched their forces from a base in Israel, refueled in the Sinai, thence flew low-level down the Red Sea to avoid Arab radar detection, south across Ethiopia along the mountains which parallel the Sudan-Ethiopia border, over Kenya to Uganda. The C-130s used civil navigation aids, internal navigation systems, and dead reckoning for the clandestine penetration.
Range constraints necessitated an intermediate stopover in Nairobi, Kenya, for refueling for the return leg. Without Kenya's support, Israel may have been forced to use her C-135 aircraft for the mission, including the tactical phases, thereby denying them short-field/quiet-landing capabilities, quick off-loading, and ground maneuverability.17
Airlift requirements refer to the factors leading to the choice of aircraft types and numbers needed to accomplish the mission and include analysis of logistical needs for transporting the assault force and its support to the operational environment and return, with hostages.
The composition, structure, and size of the air assets for the Entebbe raid were determined by the operational environment, range, ground force mission requirements, forces available, and number of hostages to be rescued. Ground forces numbered more than 200 personnel with associated equipment, including several vehicles. There were 102 hostages to be rescued. The operational environment necessitated a clandestine, long-range, low-level penetration of hostile air space. Tactical considerations for the clandestine operation required a military type aircraft capable of a blacked-out, short-field landing, muffled approach on landing roll, rapid ground maneuverability, and quick off-loading of ground forces.
From the assets available in the air order of battle and the above considerations, Israeli air planners determined that 4 C-130 and 2 C-135 aircraft were required for the Entebbe operation. The first C-130 to land transported the counterterrorist assault team, part of the neutralizing force, the ground command element, and their associated equipment. Its objective was to achieve surprise, free and secure the hostages, secure the runway, and set guide lights for the remaining assault aircraft. The second aircraft landed four minutes later. Its objective was the neutralization of the new control tower for the civilian airport, the security of the assembly area, and the cutting of Ugandan communications. The ground forces on the third aircraft reinforced the perimeter. The fourth aircraft carried refueling equipment and personnel, backup ground forces, and medical support.
One C-135 with El Al Israel Airlines' markings orbited above Entebbe and served as a link between the ground forces with Israel's national decision-makers. A second C-135 was pre-positioned in Nairobi, Kenya, for emergency medical treatment of an expected 85 casualties.
command, control, and communications (C3)
Since World War II, academic studies indicate an increased involvement of high-level policymakers in "lower-level" decisions in crisis situations, where there are perceived threats to significant national interests.18 Key U.S. policymakers have increased their command, control, and communications, in various crisis situations, to the lowest tactical level. Israeli policymakers, too, were heavily engaged in the minute complexities of the Entebbe operation but structured their role through the command, control, and communications network to act in response to exigencies if the planned mission went awry but not to make tactical decisions if the plan worked.
Israeli air planners used the communications equipment aboard the C-135 as a relay link between the ground force commander and the national leaders, thereby ensuring the highest level political-military interface to manage contingencies but allowing the ground commander to implement the military plan. The Israelis did not possess a global communication network and had no other means than a high-altitude relay platform to provide long distance communications.
The Entebbe command and control structure passed from the political-ministerial crisis-action team to the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, Lieutenant General Mordechai Gur. The military structure was a direct line from General Gur to the Task Force Commander, with no intervening agencies. This direct access facilitated military-political interface, increased information flow capacity, and optimized secrecy.19
The lessons learned from the Israeli counterterrorist operation and the analysis of the statistical terrorist threat to U.S. global interests provide a beginning framework for U. S. air power planners to structure a counterterrorist response force. The implications derived from this study are numerous. We offer three general prescriptions to establish a proper working orientation for the air power planner.
First, it behooves the air power planner to be intimate with the nature of transnational agitational terrorism, the unique features of low-intensity counterterrorist operations, and the subsequent constraints these place on military option preparation. The expertise and knowledge of such a narrow but important area tend to gravitate in the Special Operations/Special Forces community within the military and in the national and state police counterterrorist forces in the civilian arena. These agencies are, therefore, logically suggested as the proper locus for counterterrorist force option preparation.
Second, early interface with the National Command Authorities (NCA) would be essential for appropriate option preparation and proper force response. Planners must have continuous access to national decision-makers so that the selected option is appropriate to the evolving terrorist incident. The "packaging" of air assets is predicated on the military planners' understanding of the need to control possible escalation at the lowest levels. His planning must be in harmony with the established political objectives. As illustrated in the Entebbe crisis, the planner may have to plan as if the decision to use force had been made even though the decision to use force is not made until the last minute. Planners must understand NCA objectives, guidelines, and limiting factors.
A desired goal is to create a benign operational environment and thereby improve the probability of operational success (as defined in political, not military, terms). While diplomatic and legalistic negotiations consume valuable time and may lose operational opportunities, they may create the benign operational environment and the essential cooperative support from the hosting government.
Thus, air power planners should emphasize the need to negotiate for maximum time, to call for support of national political leaders to take appropriate public action to support a strategic deception if a clandestine infiltration is required, and to call for a close integration of intelligence, operations, and national political-military decision-making agencies. Further, interface with similarly constituted allied counterterrorist assault forces facilitates transfer of technology, techniques, procedures, etc. Such mutual cooperation is already established among Israeli, West German, British, and Dutch forces.
Third, "ad hocism" in counterterrorist operations is dangerous. An in-being counterterrorist response force with a highly trained cadre, sophisticated equipment, and sufficient contingency plans to span probable terrorist attack modes and situations enhance the probability of operational success. The Israelis had similar plans and were able to practice the specific operation prior to its execution.20 It was the flexibility of strategic airlift that made the mission possible. The Israelis had in existence a quick-reaction force. Counterterrorist operations are highly complex and a high-risk at best. Mission failure has numerous adverse ramifications, including loss of life and loss of national prestige. The essential point is that preplanned, prepackaged forces afford greater flexibility to respond in a fluid crisis situation.
Analysis of the Entebbe operation and statistics on transnational agitational terrorism offer several specific prescriptions for U.S. air power planners. The time factor is often predicated on the terrorist demand schedule. Extension of deadlines historically tends to enhance the probability of operational success. Strategic, as well as tactical, airlift on notice and earmarked for quick reaction is essential for possible U. S. antiterrorist operations. Earliest possible notice to designated units is essential.
Designation of certain aircraft for counterterrorist operations is costly and time-consuming, but it is suggested here for the following reasons: (1) earmarked aircraft may have to be specially configured to carry unique equipment used by the assault forces; (2) earmarked aircrews should train and coordinate with the assault forces to include covert movement and infiltration/exfiltration procedures, hostile environment penetration, diversionary tactics, special communication procedures, and special landing and ground maneuvering techniques (for example, rough terrain, assault, night, and blacked-out landings); and (3) several types of aircraft may be required, depending on operational environment and mission requirements. Special equipment (such as sophisticated navigation, electronic countermeasures, radio directional finding, noise and heat suppression, special delivery, and communications gear) may be essential.
U.S. air power planners are faced with the full range of operational environment categories, varying from hostile to benign. Long-range, low-level clandestine infiltration may entail the use of several highly specialized aircraft such as the refuelable MC-130 Combat Talon for a hostile environment. However, the use of high visibility or commonly seen military aircraft such as the C-141 or the C-135 with civil markings tends to have fewer political and diplomatic ramifications, especially in Third World countries where all transnational counterterrorist operations have occurred.21 Several aircraft of each type may have to be used depending on mission requirements, ranging from a small force insertion of approximately 60 military personnel (as the West German and Egyptian counterterrorist raids in Mogadisho and Larnaca, respectively), a medium-sized force such as the Entebbe force, or a large force approaching 1000 personnel into a hostile area.
JAKOB BURCKHARDT, the nineteenth-century historian of the Renaissance, once noted that "the true use of history is not to make men more clever the next time, but to make them wiser forever."22 Statistics indicate that U.S. interests will be attacked by transnational terrorists. The question is whether U.S. planners can learn from past terrorist initiated crises and become wiser in applying U.S. forces in counterterrorist operations.
United States Air Force Academy, Colorado
1. Quoted in Aviation Week & Space Technology, August 2, 1976, p. 25.
2. The term "limited threat" as used here refers to a perceived threat to a national interest less than national survival, national independence, well-being, but an interest that is significant to a nation-state.
3. Brian M. Jenkins, International Terrorism: A New Kind of Warfare (Santa Monica: Rand Corporation, 1974), p. 1.
4. Brian M. Jenkins, quoted in David Carlton and Carlo Schaerf, editors, International Terrorism and World Security (London: Croom Helm, 1975), pp. 13-14.
5. See Brian M. Jenkins, Combatting International Terrorism: The Role of Congress (Santa Monica: Rand Corporation, 1977), p. 5.
6. See Frederick J. Hacker, Crusaders, Criminals, Crazies: Terror and Terrorism in Our Time (New York: Bantam Books, Inc., 1976); Jenkins, International Terrorism: A New Kind of Warfare, p. 3.
7. See David Fromkin, "The Strategy of Terrorism" in Foreign Affairs, July 1975, pp. 683-98.
8. See International Terrorism in 1977: A Research Paper (Washington, D.C.: National Foreign Assessment Center, 1978), p. 1 ff. Hereafter referred to as International Terrorism.
9. Terrorism literature cites numerous factors leading to the rise of terrorism: an ever increasing number of nation-states which have not been able to stabilize their political, economic, or social institutions; controversial international, national, and subnational issues; means available including mass communication, transportation, small but powerful weapons; the increasing capacities of the terrorist groups coupled with the increasing vulnerabilities of open societies, among others.
10. Frederick Forsyth, Day of the Jackal (New York: Bantam Books, 1971 ).
11. See International Terrorism; Brian M. Jenkins and Janera A. Johnson, International Terrorism: A Chronology, 1968-1974 (Santa Monica: Rand Corporation, 1975); and Brian M. Jenkins and Janera A. Johnson, International Terrorism: A Chronology, 1974 Supplement (Santa Monica: Rand Corporation, 1976). Data compiled on terrorism differ markedly from one monitoring agency to another. A major reason for these differences is due to no universally accepted definition of terrorism.
12. The details for the study were compiled from: Y. Ben-Porat et al., Entebbe Rescue (New York: Dell Publishing Company, 1977); William Stevenson and Uri Dan, 90 Minutes at Entebbe (New York: Bantam Books, 1976); Foreign Broadcasting International Service sections on Middle East/North Africa, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa, from 27 June 1976-4 July 1976, and newspaper, journal, and periodical coverage of the incident. For a general survey of the latter, see Air University Bibliography, The Entebbe Raid.
13. The special crisis-action team was composed of Prime Minister Rabin, Defense Minister Peres, Foreign Minister Allon, Minister-without-Portfolio Galili, Justice Minister Zadok, and Transportation Minister Yaakobi.
14. I contend that a structured dual-track approach is not supported by analysis of other sources. Rabin, as Israel's prime minister and responsible for the ultimate decision and its consequences, kept his options open. He initially supported a diplomatic response but shifted to a military response as the crisis unfolded. Rabin seems to have been influenced in his change of position by the evolving circumstances and by Peres, the defense minister, who supported a military response from the outset of the crisis. Which played the predominant role in Rabin's shift in position, evolving circumstances or the pressures of the organizational process, is yet undetermined. Hence, I choose to use the term "unstructured" dual-track approach. The crisis-action team, as a unit, initially followed a diplomatic approach, while the military unit responsible for counterterrorist responses followed their standard operating procedures and, supported by Defense Minister Peres, proceeded with preparations of a military option. The diplomatic option was not a strategic deception for the military option. The Entebbe raid decision was a series of overlapping decisions.
15. See Ben-Porat, p. 254.
16. A remark by Yitzhak Rabin, quoted in Ben-Porat, p. xi.
17. For a discussion of Kenya's role, see Foreign Broadcasting Information Service, Sub-Saharan African section, 4-15 July 1976.
18. See, for instance, Glenn Paige, The Korean Decision; Graham T. Allison, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis; Alexander L. George et al., The Limits of Coercive Diplomacy: Laos, Cuba, Vietnam; and Richard G. Head et al., Crisis Resolution: Presidential Decision-making in the Mayaguez and Korean Confrontations.
19. The United States used a similar structure for the Son Tay raid into North Vietnam.
20. The Israelis have carried out commando and counterterrorist operations within Israel and in the Arab-Israel zone of conflict, for example, the raids into Beirut, targeting al-Fatah leaders, and the Beirut airport raid.
21. Reference is made to the West German counterterrorist raid into Mogadisho, Somalia, and the Egyptian counterterrorist raid into Larnaca, Cyprus.
22. Quoted in Alexander L. George et al., The Limits of Coercive Diplomacy: Laos, Cuba, Vietnam (Boston: Little, Brown, 1971).
Captain E. Douglas Menarchik(USAFA; M.A., George Washington University) is a political science instructor at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has served as an instructor pilot and a European Area Specialist with the USAF Special Operations School (TAC), Hulburt Field, Florida. Captain Menarchik is a graduate of Squadron Officer School and Air Command and Staff College and is a doctoral candidate at George Washington University.
The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.
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