Interim conclusions on Lebanon war to be published February
Winograd Commission, for investigating shortcomings of Israeli leadership during war in Lebanon, to publish interim conclusions in month, aims to put together comprehensive document that will accompany Israel's political, military doctrine for years to come
Officials involved in the commission stated, "What the commission will ultimately produce is expected to accompany the military and political doctrine of Israel for years."
Among other things, according to these same sources, the commission intends to demarcate Israel's strategic route in the political realm, and even to make unequivocal statements about the military and political management of conflict on all of Israel's borders, not just with Lebanon.
According to the sources, as opposed to the IDF commission of inquiry that has flooded the headlines, the Winograd Commission will come as a shock in terms of the depth and scope of the interim conclusions that will be published in another month.
Members of the commission are determined to produce a report that won't damage their professional integrity and to put together a document with a historical perspective, but that will also influence for generations to come.
Who should be worried about the conclusions? It is not inconceivable that the personal conclusions about those responsible for the war's shortcomings will be published, be they warnings or in the form of conclusions to be detailed in the report.
In terms of the General Staff and Chief of Staff Halutz, the commission will apparently point criticism at the decision-making process and the manner in which the General Staff managed the war. The commission won't stop there, but will also reach back, identifying all the failures since the withdrawal from Lebanon until today.
The commission is also expected to review the division of authority between the Home Front Command and the emergency management department of the Defense Ministry.
The political echelons also won't be spared from criticism by the commission. It seems that an entire chapter will be dedicated to the fact that the political echelons systematically ignored suggestions of the National Security Council, which wasn't given the proper tools to be able to function properly with the decision makers.
44 witnesses, thousands of documents
The commission first met three months ago. During this time, its members have already heard 44 witnesses, including heads of the political echelons and military commanders who were active in the war in Lebanon. The commission members have read hundreds of protocols and thousands of documents.
Until now, both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz have already appeared before the commission in what was defined "initial working meetings."
Chief of Staff Dan Halutz is summarizing the war investigations in a conference on Hatzor army base. In Halutz's opinion, focus must be put on applying the recommendations, correcting what needs correcting, and looking forward.
Halutz, after all, is a significant element in the investigations of the war, yet also rejected some of them, mainly claiming that they refer to processes that have been taking place for years prior to the war such that, in his opinion, it is unfitting to say that the current IDF leadership are the ones who failed.