Committee cites lack of communication

One of the major themes running through the Winograd Report was the "serious failings and shortcomings in the decision-making processes and staff-work in the political and the military echelons and their interface." The options open to political leaders, the committee found, were severely limited by the lack of flexibility presented to them by IDF commanders. This "significantly restricted Israel's ability to act throughout the war, causing damage," the committee wrote. Although committee members did not spare harsh words on the IDF leadership, they placed blame for this communication failure - in at least one key instance - on the government, writing that "the ultimate responsibility for decisions such as these [belongs to] the political echelon. And because of that, the political echelon should have demanded that discussions be held in the IDF." The IDF leadership, the report said, failed to pass on critical information they held regarding possible scenarios for development of the conflict. This failure, the panel noted, was particularly critical considering that "the heads of the political echelon at the time did not have any previous knowledge or experience in military topics in general, and specifically concerning the Lebanese theater." Additionally the report was highly critical of the fact that members of the General Staff - even when they were unable to come to an agreement among themselves - failed to present all sides of the argument to the government to allow them to make more informed decisions. One of the most ominous of the committee's warnings said that "the IDF is supposed to carry out the decisions of the political leadership. The IDF in the Second Lebanon War failed to perform this role with the necessary success. The IDF is supposed to aid the political leadership in decision-making, and to provide them with the necessary information so that the means will be suitable to the goals... The IDF also did not perform this role."