Former IDF deputy chief warns: Ground Forces not combat ready
Yoav Zitun
Published: 03.02.19, 13:25
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23 Talkbacks for this article
1. THAT Golan should keep his trap shut very tight! Thank you.
2. Incompetent generals
Bar Star ,   Jerusalem   (02.03.19)
We saw it during 2014 war in Gaza and we see it now. Benny Gantz and Yaalon and Eisenkot should be held responsible for army's unpreparedness.
3. One Boss only
Jez ,   Netanya   (02.03.19)
Well we all know where the buck stops. If this is true the prime minister has been negligent. He has a say in all appointments and clearly isn't a good judge of people. Perhaps time for a change
4. Gen Golan may probably be right....
The Archives ,   Kuala Lumpur   (02.03.19)
as most military officers are not knowledgeable in tactical maneuvers, there by are hesitant in giving out tactical commands which would in turn affect the morale of the soldiers no matter how well trained they are. This could be addressed by holding war games to invade 'enemy territory' and how to 'fortify' the territory against 'enemy counterattacks'.
5. After the military maneuver games....
The Archives ,   Kuala lumpur   (02.03.19)
then comes the brainstorming where the maneuvers are either criticized or approved in the 'officers tribunal' chaired by the general or generals of the army involved in the war games.
6. Security is number one.You know the problems so fix them.
Sam ,   Montreal   (02.03.19)
The leadership comes from the top. If they can't lead then get rid of them and put someone else. You can't allow a situation like this to continue.
7. Slob Eisencot safe after this report ?!
ab   (02.03.19)
8. This generalissimo dares to voice ANY opinions!? Again?!
9. A shameful display of his true colors shan't be forgotten !
10. A lot of complaining....
DSM ,   USA   (02.03.19)
but no solutions. It is imperative to separate ground forces command from that of the air force, each with it's own command structure. It is up to the generals to design programs that enhance ground force capabilities. It is up to the PM to insure that ground forces have the money to upgrade their equipment, if it is needed. General who allowed this to happen must be held responsible. Mainly it up to the individual soldier to toughen up. All easier said than done. The very future of Israel is at stake.

During the Obama years, many of America's generals were "political" generals rather than generals who rose through the ranks due to their combat expertise. Has this happened in Israel too ?
11. For YEARS generals have known this and done nothing??
David ,   Hartford USA   (02.03.19)
Fire them all. The first duty of an officer, at any level, it to protect his soldiers. This means providing the best weapons and the best training. Hold war games. Identify the officers (or enlisted) who show creativity and initiative on the battlefield and give them command.

If the current generals have been deficient in their duties, sack them. As for the 'protect Arab civilians ahead of protecting IDF soldiers' thinking, time to toss it in the wastebasket.

Throughout history, no country has put the enemy civilians' safety ahead of that of their armed forces. Israel should not be the first country held to a standard that no other country has ever been held to. In war, innocent people die. That's why we should avoid war at all costs.

But if Lebanon or Gaza or Iran starts a war, I fully expect Israel to use every weapon at its disposal to end it as quickly as possible, with the absolute fewest Israeli casualties. If that means carpet bombing Lebanon up to the Litani River, then so be it. If that means making a multi-kilometer-wide parking lot of the Gaza border, then so be it. If it means reducing much of Tehran to rubble, then so be it.

Israel may receive the first attack, but it has to be the one to give the final attack- there is no other option.

When an enemy attacks, civilian enemy casualties are NOT our concern. If the IDF High Command doesn't understand this, then Netanyahu MUST replace them with officers who do.

Hezbollah and Hamas have already declared war on Israel by digging tunnels in to the country. Let me say that again in case you missed it.

Hamas and Hezbollah have declared war on Israel by their tunneling into sovereign Israel. Does anyone believe that if any of these tunnels succeeded and surfaced in Israel that Hezbollah or Hamas soldiers would come out looking for a shwarma shop? Or asking for directions to the nearest Aroma? No. Think hundreds of Samir Kuntars running around armed to the teeth looking for Jews to slaughter. That's their intention- they've said so themselves.

If the IDF High Command has known about the ground force's deficiency for years, heads have to roll, and roll quickly.
12. don't hold back
Ralph   (02.03.19)
In the North, they will fire thousands of rockets, at Israel and ride out the airstrikes in bunkers. You need Israeli soldiers to use hi-tech remote control devices and flame throwers to flush them out of the bunkers. I hope they do not use the word restraint. The last administration in Washington only used the word restraint for eight years. The Air Force cannot win the war by itself.

Targeting ? All key mullah targets are the mosques, schools, hospitals, and UN facilities. All of these targets will miraculously demonstrate secondary explosions.
13. To fix a problem, admit you have one.
Combat Vet ,   Everywhere   (02.03.19)
Thank you for sharing this story. At least a third of my comments here get censored when they deal with the fact that the IDF hasn't won a decisive company-level battle since 1982. Where to point fingers? Well, how about starting with a conflict-adverse population; a predilection towards the spoiling of its young that may know no global parallel; a historic, diaspora-induced Jewish disposition towards intellectualism and cerebral development over physical prowess; the Quisling actions of a military brass that punishes soldiers that are "too aggressive" against an Arab opponent and then sends these same soldiers to root out, "Jewish extremism;" a disregard for the laws of war as expressed in the Jews' own Torah; Yitzhak Rabin, Oslo, and 50 years of brainwashing the planet to believe that the Jews (and especially young Jewish soldiers) have "occupied" another people; the evolution of military professionalism by militant Islamic organizations and the perfection of 4G warfare by Hezbollah; and in general, Israeli apoplexy in the face of perpetual warfare.
The solution to all of this vis-à-vis the land forces will require a return to, and an embrace of, that very special yishuv cum Sparta attitude that seemed to animate both the Israeli public and its military from the pre-state days through 1967. Failure to do so will only lead to more of the same lackluster performance in the field and invite catastrophe. This is a matter of spirit and to think there's a technological fix to this problem is to engage in the same delusion that got Israel into this mess in the first place.
14. Shortcomings need attention & correction ASAP!
Rafi ,   US   (02.03.19)
OLEG ,   florida   (02.03.19)
16. excellent report But
martin   (02.03.19)
Golan, this has been evident for some time. Israeli generals unlike ariel Sharon, did not push and lead the idf ground forces in the gaza wars with lets go and counterattack when obstacles arose, so they limited the entry.they fired missiles at empty targets????-this is shameful.

ehud barak was reluctant in the extreme when he was defense minister. netanyahu is scared in his pants from his war experience so he prefers to do nothing. yaalon was a huge bust in protective edge who worried about his turf. Gantz did not want to do anything. he underplayed tunnel threats, was slow to react only when Bennett lit a fire in cabinet. and now you Israelis want him as pm????

ground forces have excellent people mixed in with some regular types. idf always has to shake off dust, analyse and counter in a smart way and in force. this olmert knew nothing about as he was one lousy security pm, as was peretz.

golan's analysis is excellent and is directly an indictment of gantz. however, since you were deputy chief of staff, why did you not raise hell about this at the time???

ground force manoevers are essential. and land missiles are also essential to equalize the hezbollah terror equation. idf has to ready 50000 missiles to hit land targets and terrorize the enemy population before ground forces are thrown in.

what this all says is gantz is not the man to lead Israel. what golan is saying is gantz one of the generals who shied away from using ground forces in depth in the way Golan is talking about. shake off the rust and get going. instead he talks in platitudes and withdrawal from parts of west bank. He is not the general who should lead Israel. galant should be defense minister with Bennett at the head.

bibi is a weakling as walter bingham said in his radio show, a foreign minister he is very good. in securiy he is like neville chamberlain especially in the last gaza war regardless of what eisencott advised. perception counts and israel came off as weak. lapid is recycled olmert former army spokesman.
the one that shone in the gaza war according to observers and in the shapira report was Bennett. yet Israeli media and the people have not absorbed this fact.

you want to go into ovens again??? That is where nasrollah wants you as you sit in your tel aviv drinking fancy coffees in bars. how stupid can you be?

vote for bennett and feiglin if you want reall ground force action as in succssful battles. if you want to lose wars, because they are coming and sooner if you withdraw from land, vote for gantz. i have zero confidence in him, zero confidence in lapid. israel will go up in smoke.
17. Very Serious and Money is in the Ramatkal Party
Mordechai ,   San Francisco, USA   (02.04.19)
I think that Maj General Golan's comments are grave especially when the IDF spends almost 500,000 Shekels on a party for the Ramatkal's retirement! Meanwhile, my brother saw our Golani from 51 serving on the border with Lebanon 2 weeks ago with pathetic gloves for winter and likewise with the underwear that they wear. All of this is essential to having an infantry that can fight in cold weather. VERY VERY BAD! Save that money from the party and invest in proper equipment for our infantry
oleg ,   florida   (02.05.19)
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