400 IDF officials review war probe

General Staff begins 2-day conference summing up military's activity in Lebanon.

halutz tzeelim base 298. (photo credit: IDF)
halutz tzeelim base 298.
(photo credit: IDF)
Almost five months following the Lebanon war this summer, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz convened the top military brass for a two-day conference on Monday to review the findings of the 50 internal probes of the army's wartime performance. Hundreds of officers, from the rank of colonel and up, gathered on Monday at the Hatzor Air Force Base in central Israel. The officers make up the senior staff of the Navy, Air Force and Ground Forces Command. On Tuesday, Halutz will present the IDF's work plan for 2007 to Defense Minister Amir Peretz. According to the plan, the IDF will increase training regiments for infantry and armored brigades, as well as reservists, in preparation for the possibility that war will break out with Syria and Hizbullah by the summer. On Monday, the officers heard lectures and presentations on the performance of the Northern Command, IAF, Navy, Home Front Command and Military Intelligence during the war. "This conference marks the end of four months of studying the IDF on the tactical, operational and strategic levels," Halutz said at the end of the first day, adding that "the military had never investigated itself to this extent." While Halutz has indicated that he does not plan to resign from the IDF, despite harsh criticism from members of the General Staff, Peretz told a group of bereaved parents Sunday night that he will resign if the government-appointed Winograd Committee recommends he do so. The bereaved parents, who met with Peretz Sunday night for the first time since the war, slammed Halutz, claiming that he accepted only the recommendations from the internal military probes that "were comfortable for him." Some of the recommendations of the internal military committees have already been adopted, including an increase in overall training and the refilling of IDF emergency storehouses. Since the war, the IDF has gone on what one officer called a "shopping spree," purchasing new weaponry - missiles, guns and artillery shells - as well as uniforms, vests and hats.