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(photo credit: IDF [file])
In the harshest criticism of the IDF since the end of the war in Lebanon, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amiram Levine, former head of the Northern Command, accused Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz in a probe he conducted for the military, of direct responsibility for the IDF's poor performance in its fight against Hizbullah.
"The IDF failed in achieving its goals," said Levine.
"The responsibility lies on the shoulders of the chief of staff," Levine concluded in a report he was asked to compile on the performance of the Northern Command during the month-long war this past summer. Levine presented his findings to the General Staff earlier this week.
Confronting the threat
"You erred in your management of forces, based on the principle of giving priority to land forces," Levine told Halutz.
One military source called Levine's probe, "the harshest criticism yet of the IDF."
According to Levine's conclusions, Halutz failed when intervening incessantly with tactical decisions in the field and not remaining at General Staff headquarters in Tel Aviv where he should have focused on the strategic planning of the war. Levine also blamed Halutz for not ordering a ground invasion into Lebanon at an earlier stage of the war and accused OC Northern Command at the time of the war Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Udi Adam of not pushing hard enough to obtain approval for such an operation.
"The operation plan of the Northern Command failed," Levine concluded in his report. "The battles were dispersed and not concentrated."
Levine also slammed Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky and Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, OC Operations Directorate at the time of the war and now head of the Northern Command, who he said did not try hard enough to influence Halutz's decisions. As infantry soldiers he said, they should have understood the importance of a ground invasion earlier on the in the war.
OC Ground Forces Command Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz was also criticized and blamed for not training and preparing IDF troops adequately before the war.