Maj. Gen. Benjamin Gantz
Photo: Yaron Brener

General Gantz: Hizbullah 'victory' derives from perception

Commander of IDF Ground Forces says Hizbullah claim of victory 'bizarre' considering organization's heavy losses; concedes importance of perception and 'story' to the post-war feeling

Major General Benjamin Gantz, Commander of the IDF's Ground Forces, spoke at a conference on ground combat at Tel Aviv University on Tuesday, and tried to explain the 'strange phenomenon' of Hizbullah's perceived victory during the second Lebanon war.

"It's bizarre to me that Hizbullah claims victory in the war, after they lost between 500 to 800 operatives, sustained severe damage to their long range missile launching capabilities, and had thousands of sites in Lebanon destroyed, which will take them years to rebuild," he said.


"In my opinion, the explanation for this derives from a cultural outlook, not just from the physical aspects of the conflict. Social durability has its own implications," he explained, suggesting that feeling of an Israeli loss in Lebanon resulted from the presentation of IDF operational mistakes.


'Undisputed result needed'

Gantz suggested that there was very little possibility to have achieved different results in the Lebanon war, saying that "managing the war in a way that would have more severely harmed Hizbullah would have changed the post-war feeling (in the region)."


"In our environment, the post-war feeling is very important, in my opinion," he added.


The general added that it's important to present a clear picture, in order for the operations not to be forgetten. "It doesn't matter if we'll delve deep and far, if we don't create a situation in which one story is being told."


According to Gantz, in order to achieve a better result in combat or war in the future, we must bring about an undisputed result, which is sharp, tangible, clear and quick. He added that it is necessary to attempt to do this in as short a time as possible.


During his speech, Gantz addressed the need for more extensive IDF training programs, and the preparation of forces to withstand a variety of challenges. In this context, he also addressed the IDF's limited resources.


The general declared that one way to deal with the current situation is to establish set operational parameters, for example, those related to border security.


"This is a clear mission that will not change, and if we succeed in getting this section down pat, we can turn to other sections of operations that require more flexibility."


"In this era of threats, in the way Israel is facing them and will face them in the future, not only is the depth of a direct strike important, but also what can be told about the strike, and we need to acknowledge that," he concluded.


פרסום ראשון: 01.16.07, 19:57
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