Back To Work, Winograd Cover Up
To be gone a week and to have to come back and the first post on the blog, is to take on the Winograd cover up, sorry I meant report.
"The IDF operated during the war with the fear of casualties among its troops providing a key factor in its decisions and considerations,"
"This sense of maintaining routine security also had to do with the tendency to place the safety of the troops over carrying out combat missions in accordance with the schedule,"
As a father of a soldier I want the IDF to place the security of my son over some stupid time frame that the weak political leaders have placed on the IDF. To only go into Lebanon 60 hours before the UN imposed cease fire was a waste of 33 dead Israeli soldiers.
"Often times there was a genuine contradiction between the objective – gaining control, conquering – and the limitations placed on the troops. The military commands' authorization of divisional operations were rife with restrictions and limitations. The General Staff failed to communicate to the political echelon that this manner of conduct is unsuitable for war."
This is what happens when the Chief of Staff is from the IAF and has zero background in ground warfare. When you add to this the fact that the Chief of Staff was appointed to be a yes man when it came to the issue of the Gaza retreat. With the prior Chief of Staff being sacked for standing up for what is right, rather than what the politicians wanted from him, it set Israel up with a wimp for the Chief of Staff of the IDF.
All in all, the IDF failed, especially because of the conduct of the high command and the ground forces, to provide an effective military response to the challenge posed to it by the war in Lebanon, and thus failed to provide the political echelon with a military achievement that could have served as the basis for political and diplomatic action. Responsibility for this outcomes lies mainly with the IDF, but the misfit between the mode of action and the goals determined by the political echelon share responsibility.
When the politicians tie the hands of the IDF, by first attempting to solve the problem of kidnapped soldiers and daily rocket attacks of some days over 200 rockets hitting Israel by waging a stand off war for over three weeks with the IAF and artillery being the response to an act of war. Then with only 60 hours left before a cease fire created by the politicial side is to take effect these same leaders who have painted the IDF into a corner demand a miracle on the battlefield by the ground forces.
How then can the ground forces come under such heavy fire from the Winograd committee?
Is it because they are the low man on the totem pole with no real way of fighting back?
• The cabinet decision of August 9th – to approve in principle the IDF plan, but to authorize the PM and the MOD to decide if and when it should be activated, according to the diplomatic timetable - was almost inevitable, giving the Israeli government necessary military and political flexibility.
• The decision to start in fact the ground operation was within the political and professional discretion of its makers, on the basis of the facts before them. The goals of the ground operation were legitimate, and were not exhausted by the wish to hasten or improve the diplomatic achievement. There was no failure in that decision in itself, despite its limited achievements and its painful costs.
• Both the position of the Prime minister – who had preferred to avoid the ground operation – and the position of the Minister of Defense – who had thought it would have served Israel's interest to go for it – had been taken on the merits and on the basis of evidence. Both enjoyed serious support among the members of the general staff of the IDF and others. Even if both statesmen took into account political and public concerns – a fact we cannot ascertain - we believe that they both acted out of a strong and sincere perception of what they thought at the time was Israel's interest.
So we all agree the political leadership has the discretion to order the ground attack, but by the same right of leadership should they also not be held accountable for their failings as leaders, which resulted in the first military defeat in our history?
33. At the same time, we also note that:
• We have not found within either the political or the military echelons a serious consideration of the question whether it was reasonable to expect military achievements in 60 hours that could have contributed meaningfully to any of the goals of the operation;
• We have not found that the political echelon was aware of the details of the fighting in real time, and we have not seen a discussion, in either the political or the military echelons, of the issue of stopping the military operation after the Security Council resolution was adopted;
This is it in a nut shell, the real problem.
No consideration by either the political or the top leadership of the IDF as to if a 60 hour ground war could contribute anything meaningful to the goals of the military operations. In short Olmert, Peretz and Halutz just put our kids at risk with no plan or thought as to what they were doing.
37. The 2nd Lebanon War has brought again to the foreground for thought and discussion issues that some parts of Israeli society had preferred to suppress: Israel cannot survive in this region, and cannot live in it in peace or at least non-war, unless people in Israel itself and in its surroundings believe that Israel has the political and military leadership, military capabilities, and social robustness that will allow her to deter those of its neighbors who wish to harm her, and to prevent them - if necessary through the use of military force - from achieving their goal.
38. These truths do not depend on one's partisan or political views. Israel must - politically and morally - seek peace with its neighbors and make necessary compromises. At the same time, seeking peace or managing the conflict must come from a position of social, political and military strength, and through the ability and willingness to fight for the state, its values and the security of its population even in the absence of peace.
These two points from the Winograd report show just how little the members of the committee really understand about the Middle East. If we show our "neighbors" that we have a resolve and a determination to survive as a Jewish country surrounded by Arab nations we must become united as a society, in pursuit of one thing, victory over our enemies. Lets stop calling countries or people that seek to do Israel and the Jewish people harm our neighbors lets please call them what they are our enemies.
It seems odd to me that after 100 years of living in Israel, their is an element of Jews that still think like they were still living in Brussels and not able to think like people of the Leviathan. Until our leaders can learn to deal with our enemies the Arabs and respond accordingly, Israel is in trouble.