A pre-emptive strike is an attack made against another country as a response to a threat from that country. It is an attack done to stop the threatening country from carrying out their plan.

A good example is the Six Day war in 1967, in which Israel made a pre-emptive strike against Egypt after Egypt had:

  • Announced a policy of hostility against Israel.
  • Put its military forces on maximum alert.
  • Strengthened its forces on the Israeli border.
  • Formed military alliances with Israel’s enemies.

So, with this information, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike.


Those in support say:

  1. It is right to act in response to a threat before it is too late.
  2. Without doing so, it may result in invasion and higher casualty rates.

Those opposed:

  1. The side doing so is the aggressor, the other side has yet to do anything direct towards them.
  2. It can often be done before the official declaration of war.