Analysis: Will others follow Adam?

Friends say it was clear after war that the General Staff wasn't functioning.

oc northern command udi  (photo credit: Channel 1 [file])
oc northern command udi
(photo credit: Channel 1 [file])
On August 9, OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Udi Adam was in the underground command post at his headquarters in Safed, waging another day of war against Hizbullah. In the afternoon, reports began arriving from Dbil about a building that had collapsed and killed nine IDF reservists. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles were deployed over the village west of Bint Jbail and began transmitting images of the ruined building and the rescue efforts. A air of depression, one participant recalled Wednesday, spread throughout the command post. Minutes later, Adam convened senior staff to discuss the continuation of the fighting. "We need to carry on," Adam told the officers. "I know this is difficult, but we have a responsibility as leaders to carry on and to continue leading our soldiers." Several officers in the Northern Command recalled Adam's talk on Wednesday as they described the type of officer he was and possible motives for his decision to resign from the IDF. Adam, they said, was a true leader. He knows how to motivate his subordinates and to push them to carry on fighting, as he did after the Dbil incident, and at the same time to take responsibility for his actions, as he did by resigning on Wednesday. According to officers close to him, after the fighting ended it became clear to Adam that the General Staff was no longer functioning and that the generals were busy preparing themselves for the yet-to-be established inquiry commission. "Adam couldn't stand that this is what happened to the military," one officer said. "Instead of worrying about the soldiers inside Lebanon the generals were busy worrying about the inquiry commissions and the General Staff turned into one big mud fight." Now that Adam has resigned, the main question hanging in the air at the Kirya military Headquarters in Tel Aviv and at the Northern Command in Safed concerns the fate of other officers who were no less responsible for the conduct of the war. From the beginning of the fighting in Lebanon, Adam took responsibility for all the army's successes and failures, and in his letter of resignation to Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz he called on others to follow suit in drawing the necessary conclusions. The question is, will they? Halutz, officers close to him said Wednesday, does not plan on going anywhere. He does not feel like he should resign - a move that would make him the government's scapegoat - but rather wants to focus on leading the IDF out of Lebanon and back to its rightful place as one of the most powerful and respected militaries in the world. What worries him the most, however, is what Adam will say on the day he decides to open his mouth and share with the country his feelings on the way this war was directed by those above him - the chief of staff, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz. One former chief of staff said Wednesday that the moment Adam says in public that Halutz was the one who signed off on the orders and was behind the decision to delay the ground incursion into Lebanon, as Adam had claimed, the chief of staff will have no choice but to throw in his hat and join Adam at home. Another issue Halutz will have to deal with immediately is the appointment of a new OC Northern Command. Adam has asked to leave the IDF after the last soldier leaves Lebanon, and that is scheduled to happen by the end of next week, before Rosh Hashana. One name being touted is Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, head of the IDF Operations Directorate. Eizenkot has vast experience in fighting against Palestinian terror groups in the West Bank and against Hizbullah in the North. The only problem is that Eizenkot was also involved in the decision-making process during the war, including being the architect of the IDF's master plan. Operation Change of Direction was more than just another war for Udi Adam. His father was Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yekutiel Adam, the former IDF deputy chief of staff, killed in Lebanon in June 1982, during the Peace for Galilee War. Lebanon has once more claimed an Adam. Not his life this time but his 30-year military career.