IDF troops in Lebanon (archive photo)
Photo: Reuters
Photo: Niv Calderon
Chief of Staff Halutz - Fix what's broken, move on
Photo: Niv Calderon
Defense Minister Peretz - No plans to resign
Photo: Niv Calderon

IDF to conclude Lebanon war inquiries Monday

Chief of staff expected to call for concentrating efforts on implementations of findings, looking ahead. Others say war failings need to be dealt with differently. Meanwhile, Peretz tells bereaved parents he won't resign

Four and a half months after a ceasefire was declared in Lebanon the Israel Defense Forces has concluded its inquiries of the war and lowering the curtain over the controversial battles, difficult questions and unachieved goals.


Monday will see the military's top brass assembling at the Hazor airbase for a convention where Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz is scheduled to present the primary findings of the reports. Lt. Gen. Halutz is expected to tell his subordinates to concentrate on implementing the findings, fixing whatever may be broken and look ahead to the future.


Halutz accepted most of the inquiry's findings, however he rejected some of them as he believes that certain processes were set into motion years and therefore it is unjust to lay the responsibility for the war solely on the shoulders of the current military commanders.


Not everyone shares his opinion though, a senior officer who will attend the conference on Monday told Ynet: "With all due respect to inquiries and findings, things happened here that we cannot just overlook and return to routine. If we do we may find ourselves with a rerun of the same failings next war."


The conference will bring together officers from the rank of Col. and up and will present the important findings from the many inquiries into the army's conduct during the war. "Most of the officers only know the inquiries pertaining to their field, others know even less. This is precisely the time to organize everything and put forward main issues," explained a military source.


On the second day of the conference the officers will deal with the work plan for 2007, which will incorporate the findings and conclusions of the inquiries.


It should be noted that some of the findings have already been implemented in the field, particularly matters like equipment deficiencies for the military reserves store units and revolutionizing the training regimen for compulsory and reserve troops.


As a direct result of post-war inquiries security forces are also working on bringing changes to reserve laws. These changes will allow the military to bring in reserves not only in times of emergency but also for regular training exercises and active duty, to replace compulsory troops.


The military seeks to lower the curtain on the war and its failings. "IDF commanders have emerged from a very difficult time; we've conducted an extremely thorough investigation into our conduct which resulted in a wide-reaching shakeup. We've learned a great deal from this and now we need to look ahead," explained the military source.


Despite this some senior officers are still troubled by what they see as the personal responsibility of commanders during the war. "There were commanders who failed miserably during the war and it is unthinkable that they continue with their command as though nothing happened," said on officer, "there were a lot of issues before the war between the IDF and the political echelon regarding our policy against Hizbullah? What has changed? So now we'll wait for another war and again say 'Oh why didn't we…'? Training is important, but there are things that need to be corrected - a few sacred cows must be slaughtered - and that isn't something that is being done.'


Peretz: I won't resign

Defense Minister Amir Peretz met on Sunday with bereaved parents who lost their sons in the war for a difficult talk which lasted over an hour. The parents demanded that the country's security stratum assume responsibility for the failings, but this matter was not resolved by the end of the meeting. Peretz told the parents that he did not intend to resign, but stated that if the Winograd committee points to personal failures on his part he will not hesitate to reach conclusions about himself.


Peretz backed the chief of staff and said that he will not dismiss Halutz. The bereaved parents expressed their anger over Halutz's decision to reject only the findings that deal with his failings.


"We only got answers on technical matters, not the essential issues at hand," said David Einhorn whose son, Staff Sgt. Yonatan Einhorn, 22, was killed in battle in Ita a-Shaab.


"No one is willing to take responsibility for what happened," David told Ynet, "we hang this responsibility on the higher ups but they shake it off." The Defense Minister told the families that by next month they will receive the operational inquiries into the deaths of their sons.


פרסום ראשון: 01.01.07, 01:22
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