idf soldiers 298.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Four months following the war in Lebanon and in his annual report on the defense establishment, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss revealed Monday that a vast majority of the senior IDF officer corps does not receive compulsory military education.
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In 2003, then-chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Moshe Ya'alon decided that officers on track to becoming brigadier generals, the second-highest rank in the IDF not including the chief of staff, would need to study at the National Defense College (NDC) and participate in an advanced training course for top commanders called Komem as well as Program Mafne, which teaches field commanders how to oversee large military operations.
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In his report, Lindenstrauss found that the Komem course had not been held since 2003 and that as of December 2005 - the date when the report was compiled - 82 percent of major generals, 68% of brigadier generals and 76% of colonels had not studied at the NDC.
The comptroller revealed a detailed list of flaws in the study program at the NDC, including the fact that most of the instructors at the college lacked the necessary training and education to teach national defense on an academic level.
In addition, the report claims that the IDF's Operational Theory Research Institute (OTRI), located at the NDC and established to develop and write operational commands and methods, had not published a single report on large-scale military tactics in the 12 years prior to the inspection.
"This severe situation runs the risk of preventing the creation of a common professional military language, needed to manage and command large IDF frameworks in routine and during states of emergency," Lindenstrauss wrote in the report.
The comptroller called on Defense Minister Amir Peretz to review the NDC's purpose in conjunction with the National Security Council as well as to establish a professional educational advisory committee for the college made up of senior government officials and academics.
In response to the report, the IDF Spokesperson's Office released a statement: "Studies at the NDC significantly contribute to the top IDF echelon. Nevertheless, the number of spaces for students are limited."
The statement added that the IDF would establish an educational advisory committee for the NDC.