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Winograd testimony vindicates Olmert, condemns IDF commanders

In the dignified testimony before Winograd commission, Olmert correctly blamed the IDF’s commanders for inadequate performance; Sharon purged the IDF of capable commanders before the controversial evacuation of Gush Katif. Halutz confirmed the army was fully ready for war, says Olmert. It was Halutz’s decision not to call up the reserves from the onset of the war. Later, Olmert decided to call the reserves. Olmert apparently harshly criticized Halutz during the war. Olmert defends his decision to fight Hezbollah immediately upon the provocation, says Israel had no other choice.
Peretz showed the complete lack of understanding military issues, testified that he had no idea the army is inadequately trained, unprepared. Israeli Defense Ministers usually exercise very limited control over the army and follow the General Staff recommendations. Peretz said that withstanding missile attacks on northern Israel sent Hezbollah a positive message of Israeli endurance.
Halutz testified he “was not bothered” by lack of ground combat experience (he comes from IAF), blamed miscalculations on staff members. Halutz admitted the army had sufficient resources but he lacked determination, mistakenly imagining the war, which has previously lasted 18 years, would be finished in two weeks. Subordinate commanders concurred with him, were waiting for orders instead of venturing suggestions or taking responsibility. No IDF commander has formal military training, but one-year courses at the most.

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Zello 11 May 2008

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