The Israeli and Syrian Conventional Military Balance
November 25, 2008
The armed forces of Israel and Syria have evolved in response to continued tension and the prospects for conflict between the two countries. This report summarizes the development of each country’s conventional military strengths and weaknesses in force strength, force quality, capabilities, and leadership. The report shows that there are significant uncertainties in the force counts of Israeli and Syrian forces available from unclassified sources. Israel's quantitative lead is matched by an even greater qualitative lead. This explains in good part why Syria is deterred from military adventures, rather than portraying what might happen in war.