Key cooperation between the IDF and the Foreign Ministry is being held up because of the army’s concerns of leaks inside the ministry, the state comptroller wrote in a section on the Foreign Ministry dealing with the working of its political planning bureau.

While the bureau was reorganized in 2009 following the Winograd Committee’s report two years earlier, which looked into the shortcomings of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, it has not turned into an effective planning unit – coordinated with the IDF, Defense Ministry and National Security Council – that impacts on national policy.

The Winograd report called for strengthening the political planning bureau inside the ministry, and for the need for enhanced coordination between it and the various political planning bodies in the Defense Ministry and the IDF.

According to the report, the comptroller “believes that the key to firmly establishing the Foreign Ministry’s place as an influential actor on national security issues is dependent on its ability to professionally define, put together and present long-term integrated views on the country’s national diplomatic aims, and ways to archive them.”

The report found that the optimal level of cooperation was never reached, and that there was still no good formal mechanism governing cooperation between the Foreign Ministry’s bureau and its sister body inside the IDF, largely because the IDF’s concern that information shared with the ministry would be leaked.

Not only has the bureau’s place in the inter-ministerial constellation not been secured, even within the ministry itself its goals remain undefined, its methodologies not filtering down to other departments, and all of its positions have not been manned, For instance it has four posts that still need to be filled, and has also not named an economic advisor.

Furthermore, one of the bureau’s main purposes is to create monthly and yearly assessments of the country’s strategic situation, with the yearly assessment brought to the National Security Council and the government.

The monthly assessments are not prepared on a regular basis, and the yearly assessment was prepared only once in 2008, and even then not brought to the country’s major decision-makers or the government.

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