Micha Lindenstrauss
Photo: Noam Moskowitz

Report shines unflattering light on MOD failures

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss presents last report of his term; criticizes Defense Ministry's lack of adherence to state regulations; warns continued government procrastination puts civil aviation at risk

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss submitted his annual report to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday. The report will be Lindenstrauss' last, as he is set to retire.


The report has been deemed "unprecedented in scope" and contains 64 chapters reviewing the defense establishment, the government and various other bodies.


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Lindenstrauss' report reviewed various issues concerning state security, the defense establishment and the military industries.


Lindenstrauss noted that various IDF bodies failed to follow up on certain aspects of munitions acquisitions, causing a two-year delay for the army.


Lindenstrauss presenting Rivlin with the report (Photo: The Knesset)


The report also detailed several failures in the decision-making process regarding the IDF's drone array, noting that the Defense Ministry and the Aerospace Industries "must review their protocols and collaboration and ensure that the existing controlling mechanisms are applied and reviewed.


"Both should also review the great investments needed to realize some of the projects and their impact on the defense budget."


He further criticized the Military Industries' protocols, saying that "Deciding on heavy munitions production sans budgetary backup from the government is a fundamental failure."


Lindenstrauss' review of military exports' protocols was also unflattering, as he found that "Many operational failures have been found it at least five major deals." He further cites Defense Ministry officials, including its director general, for breaking protocol.


"Given the innate sensitivity of military exports, a situation where laws and regulations are not followed, or when the Foreign Ministry is not consulted with, may seriously harm Israel's interest," he said.


'Civil Aviation at risk'

One of the most disconcerting chapters in the report reviewed the defense – or lack thereof – of civilian planes against missile attacks.


The decision to apply missile defense to civilian aircraft was made in 2003, following a November 2002 incident in which missiles were fired at an Israeli plane flying over Kenya.


Then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon instructed the defense establishment to promote the installation of anti-missile defense systems on civilian planes in order to counter the threat. He also ordered the development of a special defense system for civilian aircraft.


Still, despite the matter's vital priority, the report states that the various bodies that have been handling it through the years – and particularly the various transportation and finance ministers – are "fumbling through it."


The Transpiration Ministry was tasked with heading the project, but Lindenstrauss found that it has so far failed to form a taskforce on the matter, or ever name specific individuals to oversee the various aspects of the project. It has also failed to form an overall concept by which the project would be run.


As a result, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to suspend the project in 2011, citing "implementation issues."


As for the development of a special defense system, the process has apparently deadlocked, but was restarted in March 2011, on orders from Netanyahu. Still, the Transportation Ministry delayed in submitting the necessary plans.


"Despite this being a matter or national and security importance and that with each passing day the risk to civilian aviation grows, the Transportation Ministry still took five months to follow the PM's order," Lindenstrauss wrote.


He added that despite the known danger to civil aviation and various government decisions to prioritize the matter, "The fact that a great gap still remains between the intensity of the threat and that of its solution, is extremity grave."



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פרסום ראשון: 05.01.12, 16:15
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