The State of Israel began in 1948 with barely any Air Force. Israel was working very hard on purchasing Army surplus from Czechoslovakia and any other country in Europe that possessed some left-over weapons. The best they were able to find were some Messerschmidt Air Planes. They were not great, but they flew. Believe it or not, the way that Israel fought then was with one pilot flying the plane, and another man shooting a machine gun from the open door of the air plane. And when the machine gun ran out, they dropped seltzer bottles that made a hissing sound, but not much else.
Today, the Israeli Air Force can choose a building, or even a floor within a building that they can attack and make sure to minimize collateral damage to an extent that impresses any observer. For decades, the common phrase in Israel was, “The best – To the Air Force!” This became a rallying cry that attracted Israel’s youngest and brightest youth to try getting into the Air Force. The results today are super impressive. Indeed, the best have been filling the ranks of the Air Force for decades, and to this day, they are the most impressive branch of Israel’s Defense Forces.
But there is also a less positive side to the success that Israel needs to be aware of. Success often breeds overconfidence. That was the case in the aftermath of 1967. Israel’s Air Force succeeded in ways that surprised the heads of the Israeli Air Force. Israel basically threw nearly all of their planes into action in a surprise attack on all of it’s neighbors. The risk was great, but the thought was that via the element of surprise, they had the best chance of success. In truth, there were miracles within the success that led to a historic victory for the State of Israel and a tripling of the size of the State of Israel in less than one week. But the overconfidence led to Israel being caught unprepared less than 7 years later. Israel thought that there was no way that the Egyptian Army would dare to attack again. They were wrong. Israel was caught unprepared and had heavy casualties. More than 2,300 Israeli soldiers were killed, and thousands more were wounded. Success must lead to thanks to the ultimate source of the success – God. Yes, the source of success in military victories is God, and to the extent that that is recognized, there will be no overconfidence. In that situation, Israel will be able to go from success to success and not from success to failure.