Ashkenazi presents his vision for IDF

Stability was the main message that came out of IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi's speech on Monday to the top military brass as he laid out his four-year vision for the military. The convention, which included officers from the rank of colonel and above, followed a comprehensive tour Ashkenazi completed of the IDF, including all the branches and commands, and came after he oversaw the implementation of key conclusions following the second Lebanon war - namely, an increase in the training for all infantry and armored units. This was the first time Ashkenazi presented his vision since taking office a month ago. At the Hatzor air force base near Gedera, Ashkenazi spoke for over an hour about Israel's strategic standing in the Middle East, including the current security challenges facing the IDF, while putting an emphasis on the recent war against Hizbullah and the need to improve the military's readiness and level of training in the face of these threats. The chief of staff told the participants that the IDF reservists were the base of the military's strength, and called on the commanders to develop better relationships with civilians serving in the reserves. He emphasized the values of taking responsibility, loyalty, professionalism, discipline and obedience when speaking of the lessons of this summer's war. He also spoke about having a sense of "missed opportunity" regarding the war, but overall, participants said he called for stability within the military and did not seem to be on the verge of revolutions or comprehensive changes amidst the people who occupy key posts.