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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:43 AM
Original message
The army has no commander
The findings of the investigations that Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz commissioned on the Lebanon war are being published one after another, and the picture keeps getting darker. The issue is no longer a lack of bulletproof vests, an unsuccessful battle, a problematic division commander or untrained reservists, but rather the increasingly clear fact that the army had neither leadership, plans or an overall battle doctrine. For the first time, the war is openly being described as a failure. Halutz's theory of a "victory on points" has vanished from the agenda.

A war initiated under optimal conditions, with international backing and against a weak enemy, should not begin without careful planning, and it certainly must not end without a victory. But after 33 days of fighting, victory was not achieved. Thousands of Katyusha rockets struck the north before the cease-fire, and the IDF seemed unable to stop them. If the war's purpose was to deter, the result was the opposite. Until the Winograd Committee publishes its conclusions, we will not know what the government expected of the IDF. For now, we can draw conclusions only about the professionals who have been scrutinized in the army investigations. These investigations show that the army, which was supposed to be ready for any eventuality, was not ready at all.

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The General Staff did not function as a command headquarters during the war, Shani said in his conclusions. The necessary hierarchy among the General Staff, the Northern Command and the units under it was not maintained. In many cases, generals on the General Staff bypassed the Northern Command and gave orders directly to division and brigade commanders. Tal Russo's conclusions include similar statements about the lack of communications between the ground forces and the air force. The picture that arises from all these investigations is of a confused and unprepared army that relied on its air force to the point of neglecting the ground forces.

The question is no longer whether Halutz will leave his position in the near future, but who will be appointed in his place. The reluctance to replace the chief of staff stems, inter alia, from fear that there is no suitable replacement in the top ranks of the IDF. But the investigations are having a dangerous effect on morale, and what they reveal harms the IDF's deterrent capabilities. We cannot wait patiently for the Winograd report in order to begin making changes, mainly because no deadline has been set for finishing the committee's work, and what has emerged to date is sufficient grounds for taking action. It is hard to understand why the government does not pull itself together and search for a suitable candidate for chief of staff, from within the IDF or outside it. Halutz is arguing with the authors of the investigation reports and trying to defend his reputation. And meanwhile, the army has no commander.

Haaretz
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Howardx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:13 AM
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1. good to see
such a vigorous investigation and discussion
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:15 PM
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2. Hezbollah official: 250 militants killed during Lebanon war
BEIRUT - A senior Hezbollah official said Friday that around 250
members of the militant group were killed in the summer war with Israel, the highest toll acknowledged by the Shiite Muslim organization.

Mahmoud Komati, deputy chief of Hezbollah's politburo, dismissed Israeli claims that as many as 800 Hezbollah militants were killed, saying the group does not hide its casualties. "We are proud of our martyrs," he told The Associated Press.

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Lebanon's Higher Relief Council, a government agency that handles humanitarian crises, has said 1,191 people were killed in Lebanon, mostly civilians, before fighting ended with a United Nations-brokered cease-fire. An official Lebanese polilce report put the toll at 1,100. The figures are based on reports from hospitals and morgues around the country.

159 Israelis, including 39 civilians, were killed during the 34-day war.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/801699.html
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