Knesset report: Senior IDF officers poorly trained

Eitam tells 'Post' he blames problem on "deep budget cuts" and lack of officers experienced in commanding large formations.

By
July 3, 2007 22:38
2 minute read.
Knesset report: Senior IDF officers poorly trained

effi eitam 88. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Many of the senior IDF officers charged with leading the army lacked the training and experience to conduct the Second Lebanon War, according to a report released Tuesday by a subgroup of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. "The report focused on the collapse of the system of training and education for senior officers in the IDF in the last few years," MK Effie Eitam (National Union) told The Jerusalem Post. Eitam, a reserves brigadier-general who held several senior command positions in the army, headed the sub-committee formed in January to explore this issue. "The quality of the officers became the biggest obstacle for the performance of the IDF," said Eitam. He blamed the problem in part on "deep budget cuts" and the lack of officers experienced in commanding large formations on the battlefield. Many people in the IDF believed that the era of larger wars had ended, and most of the army's energy was diverted to low-intensity conflict. When the Second Lebanon War broke out in the summer of 2006, most of the generals who had led the army in the past wars of 1967, 1973 and 1982 had left military service. "Many of the [remaining] senior officers had never experienced [a large battlefield]," said Eitam. With intense education, the gap can be bridged in less then a year with a low-cost program, said Eitam. He added that Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi had already embarked on a program of "real reform in the army." There is now a mentoring program between new officers and senior ones from the reserves, said Eitam. But in the long term, he said, what is needed is a comprehensive academic program with an emphasis on tactical methods. The existing military educational programs are not at this level and do not suffice, according to the report. In Israel, Eitam noted, "You can get a degree in dance and Scottish music, but not in military studies." According to the report, there is a split within the military community over the need for academic studies, where the prevailing attitude has been that it is not necessary. But in the western world, according to the report, high ranking military leaders are those who possess these military degrees. "If Israel does not develop an academic program to train its professional staff and make them respected professionals, the army will always be left behind as a kind of amateurish [group]," said Eitam. The current framework of studies at the IDF's National Defense College, he said, were insufficient. In addition, according to the report, as a result of the lack of proper training, officers advance in command despite lacking sufficient knowledge for their duties. The subcommittee will remain in place to ensure that the recommendations have been carried out, said Eitam. He said that legislation would also be introduced in the Knesset to support the new measures outlined in the report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN