Need for Peace
The historical backdrop of the Camp David Accords set the stage for the need for peace in the Middle East between Israel and Egypt.
The October War demonstrated Israel's vulnerability to Arab invasion.
The psychological effects of the 1973 Yom Kippur War was marked by the formation of the Agranat Commission:
"The Agranat Commission was a national inquiry commission established on November 21st 1973 to investigate the IDF’s function during the Yom Kippur War. Its Intermediate Report was published on April 1st 1974, focusing on the reasons for the IDF’s lack of preparedness for an attack" (Knesset.gov)
"The IDF’s notion that Egypt will not attack without gaining aerial superiority [...] caused the Israeli intelligence to underestimate suspicious signals picked up from both countries. [...] As a result, the IDF did not take the necessary precautions in time, such as mobilizing its reserve units."
Despite Egypt's formidable military, the 1973 October War was frightening to many Egyptians:
"In the greatest tank battle since the Germans and Russians fought at Kursk in World War II, roughly 1,000 Israeli and Egyptian tanks massed in the western Sinai from October 12 through 14. On October 14, Israeli forces destroyed 250 Egyptian tanks in the first 2 hours of fighting. By late afternoon, the Israeli forces had routed the enemy."
"Meanwhile, Israeli General Ariel Sharon had been chomping at the bit to cross the Suez Canal but had been ordered not to do so until after the main Egyptian force had been defeated in the Sinai. [...] By October 18, Israeli forces were marching with little opposition toward Cairo. For the Israelis, the crossing was a great psychological boost; for the Egyptians, it was a humiliation."
But, while the October War opened the eyes of both Israel and Egypt, it did not leave either in a situation feeling that they had been vanquished.
"Although Egypt lost the war, with Israeli troops prepared to march on Cairo and the Third Army saved by the United States from annihilation, Egyptians saw the battle as a victory for them. They had surprised the arrogant Israelis and nearly defeated them." - Mitchell Bard, Policy Analyst
Neither Israel or Egypt believed that they had definitively lost the war, but it left them both feeling uncertain and recognizing the need for peace. This set in place the first element necessary for the success of the Camp David Accords.