The IDF needed to call up more reserves in the previous year and, thus, free up compulsory soldiers for training – this is one of the mistakes that led to the harsh outcomes in the Lebanon war, said a senior IDF official from the general staff on Wednesday.
The officer emphasized that the IDF had begun an extensive process of internal investigations – from the unit level up to the general staff level. He stated that intermediate conclusions and battle analyses will be completed in the upcoming month, and final lessons learned will be determined by December 2006 in order for the military to be able to build a relevant annual plan for 2007.
According to the officer, one of the failures in the war was the inability to deal with the threat of rockets. During the course of the war, 3,959 rockets were launched at Israel; despite attempts to subdue the launchings, Hizbullah was able to fire 200 rockets at Israel a day, including the final days of the war.
The officer stated that a positive outcome of the war was increased Israeli deterrence and the creation of a high 'price tag' for attacking Israel, particularly proof of the high price for kidnapping IDF soldiers.
He added that, pursuant to the war, an organized plan was determined to implement Security Council resolution 1701. "we created conditions for the return of the kidnapped soldiers," he said.
He also said that Hizbullah operations were decreased significantly, and despite the long campaign, Israel succeeded to keep Syria out of the picture and prevent a multi-front war and regional deterioration.
IDF major generals and reserve officers who participated in the war will take part in the investigations, as well as former generals and members of the academia, whose job it will be to determine the topics to be investigated.
Among the generals who joined the investigative teams are Maj. Gen. (res) Yoram Yair, who only on Tuesday criticized the Chief of IDF Staff, and Maj. Gen. Moshe Ivri Sukenik, formerly head of the IDF ground forces.
Among the topics to be investigated are: Central battles of the war, the day of the kidnap, tank operations and special operations, friendly fire, change of operations in real time, and logistical and medical issues. Additionally, the ethical norms of the war will be investigated to determine if the IDF upheld its moral standards.