No Alternative to Battle: The War of Attrition
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The stage of ‘Resistance’ was complete, President Nasser announced in September 1968. The armed forces had been rebuilt, and 150,000 Egyptian troops were facing the Israelis across the Suez Canal. The phase of ‘Deterrence’ could now begin.1123 This was meant to be more energetic than it sounded. Egypt would begin to engage with the enemy, to restrict her movement, to inflict casualties and to destroy equipment (collectively known as ‘preventive defensive operations’).1124 The new stage began on 8 September, when Egyptian forces opened fire, breaching the UN ceasefire and provoking a major artillery duel along the canal that resulted in relatively high Israeli losses.1125 Smaller incidents followed throughout the month, and the Cairo press began to discuss a new strategic concept: the ‘War of Attrition’. General Fawzi held a series of exercises designed to prepare the army for war.1126 The next step would be ‘Liberation’.
KeywordsArmed Force Foreign Minister Suez Canal Canal Zone Peaceful Settlement
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