"The Second Lebanon War, and subsequent tales from the battlefield, are unequivocal evidence that the warriors of 2006 do not lag behind warriors of previous generations," Chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said Sunday at a tributary conference for IDF soldiers. "The acts of bravery, commitment to assignments and the striving for engagement are all praiseworthy," he added. "The IDF is strong; the IDF will win any war thanks to those who are here today. I want to thank all of the warriors who are with us and all of those who are not. I love, trust you and am extremely proud of you. Go forth and be successful." "I thank all of those who contributed, all of the volunteers whose accomplishments are everywhere apparent; in every single soldier of the IDF," he said. Defense Minister Ehud Barak also addressed the soldiers saying, "IDF and Border Policemen, you are the backbone of Israel's defense force. You are those who will protect her and deter [our enemies from starting a] war, and you are those who will win [a war]." "I want to thank you all. You are the true response to everything that is happening around us. You are the answer to everything that is transpiring within. You are the answer to draft evasion, and you are the answer to what must be done in a country that favors life," he added.