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'It had no distinct military purpose.' Yaalon Photo: Tzvika Tishler
'It had no distinct military purpose.' Yaalon Photo: Tzvika Tishler
 
 

Yaalon: Troops died for political spin

Former chief of staff slams Olmert on Lebanon, says ‘even if he does not have military experience and never acted as defense minister, he knows how you go to war; this is not how it’s done’

Ynet
Published: 09.14.06, 09:12 / Israel News

Former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon continued his attack against the military and political echelons in the aftermath of the war in Lebanon and called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and current Chief of Staff Dan Halutz to resign.

 

In an interview to “Haaretz” magazine, Yaalon slammed the decision to launch a ground operation, during which 33 soldiers were killed.

 

“This move was part of a (political) spin; it had no distinct military purpose,” he said. “It was aimed at providing a sense of victory.
You cannot act in such a way. You do not send soldiers to carry out a futile mission after the political results have already been determined. To me this is corrupt.”

 

Asked specifically whether the soldiers died for the sake of a political spin, Yaalon said “Yes, and this is why people must resign. You do not need a commission of inquiry for this; those who made the decisions should take responsibility and step down.”

 

“Olmert cannot say ‘I didn’t know.’ Even if he does not have military experience and never acted as defense minister, he knows how you go to war; this is not how it’s done.”

 

'Failure in management of the war'

Yaalon didn’t spare Halutz either, saying, “He should have resigned as soon as the operation ended. The IDF chief of staff failed in managing the war. He gave the political echelon a feeling it had more ability than it actually did to accomplish a political victory with aggressive military action.”

 

He added: “Halutz went into the war without defining it as a war, maybe without realizing it was a war. He didn’t understand the significance of the steps he was taking. He didn’t recruit the reserves in time, he didn’t open the military war reserves store unit in time, and he didn’t activate senior command positions. He ran the war from an office.”

 

Yaalon’s first post-war interview was given to the television network “Al Hora”. In it he said, “There is a failure of the senior political and military echelon in the management of the war, and that’s were the focus should be.”

 

“There are definitely questions raised, some of which I would expect to be answered by people making a personal decision to resign, without the need of having a commission, in the face of what appears to be a failed war. Those responsible should eventually take responsibility and resign, and if not, a democratic procedure will bring on there replacement.”

 

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