'Embarrassing and difficult" was how one former IDF general described a tense meeting held on Tuesday between IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz and 25 former members of the General Staff.
Participants at the four-hour meeting told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday night that the former generals passed harsh criticism on the IDF's conduct during Israel's second Lebanon war. One of the former generals called on Halutz to resign and take responsibility for the failures of the war. Halutz, one participant said, spoke at the beginning of the meeting for an hour and a half and retold the events leading to and during the war, and then opened the floor to the former generals.
Fifteen generals had the chance to speak during the meeting. Halutz decided to convene a second meeting with the former generals later in the week.
"It was an embarrassing and difficult meeting," said one of the generals. "There were many people there with lots of experience, and they were saying that the IDF did not win the war. Not even by points like Halutz had claimed."
The general's complaints and accusations focused on the level of training the forces had received before being sent into Lebanon, as well as the lack of suitable equipment for reservists sent to war. "The way the forces were used was not they way they are supposed to be used during war," the general continued, adding that Halutz was also criticized for setting goals for the war that included the return of the kidnapped reservists. "They should not have set goals that clearly could not be achieved from the outset of the war."