What began as a "technical procedure" of appointing Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Major-General Moshe Kaplinksy to the Northern Command, on Wednesday turned into a true shake-up in the upper rungs of the Israel
As things currently stand, it appears that Northern Command Chief Major-General Udi Adam will not be able to continue in his post for much longer.
A senior IDF official told Ynet that "at the end of the war Udi Adam will no longer have a choice, and he will have to leave his post."
According to the official, IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz
"can't dismiss such a high-ranking officer during wartime. Therefore he adopted a procedure which moves him away from the frontlines, with a heavy hint towards the future."
Who is commanding soldiers? (Photo: Reuters)
Halutz issued a statement in which he expressed full faith in the Northern Command and in Major-General Adam, however, according to the official, "If the chief of staff really supported Major- General Adam, he would say so in front of the cameras, in his own voice. The fact that he didn't – says everything."
Major-General Adam was appointed to lead the Northern Command in the beginning of October 2005. His appointment surprised many in the ranks of the army. Adam, head of the Technology and Logistics department of the IDF, was not considered one of the leading candidates for the post.
"Everyone thought that Udi Adam would enjoy operational quiet like during the period of (his predecessor) Benny Ganz, and he would have no problem fulfilling the role. People forgot that the north can ignite at any moment because there's an enemy sitting right there across the border, and then things would erupt in turmoil," a military official explained.
'Slap in the face'
IDF sources noted problems arising from Adam's reserved character. "He is a closed person, rather stubborn, and not particularly well-liked," he said. Adam, who came from the armored tank corps, was described as "a direct man, hard-working, who keeps away from cameras and headlines, meticulous and impressive."
Those among both the lower and upper echelons of the IDF recognized the awkwardness of the situation.
One officer said, "Chief of Staff Halutz appointed him to the position; he was the one who picked him so he's the one who should stand behind him and back him up fully. He can add all sorts of senior officers to the Command to help and coordinate, but to appoint the deputy chief of staff – that's a slap in the face. It creates a problematic situation. Who makes the decisions in the Northern Command now? Adam or Kaplinsky? Who bangs his fist on the table and decides?"
Officers in the Northern Command revealed that lately difficult conversations have taken place between Adam and Halutz, chiefly regarding the Northern Command's operations, or rather, their inactivity. On the other hand, the question must be asked why is it that Maj. Gen. Adam is being held accountable for the situation.
Ronny Sofer contributed to the report