'IDF failed to stop Katyushas'

Top army officer: More reservists should have been called up and better trained.

jp.services1 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
"There is no doubt that we should have done things differently," a member of the IDF General Staff declared on Wednesday, admitting for the first time that the military made widespread mistakes in the runup to and during the second Lebanon war. He said the IDF "failed" in its efforts to stop Hizbullah from firing Katyusha rockets - Hizbullah fired close to 4,000 rockets and missiles during the 34 days of fighting. "We failed in trying to achieve this goal," the officer said. "The number of rockets remained high throughout the entire war and stayed at 200 until the last day." The IDF, he revealed, was in the midst of conducting internal probes in all of the military branches that played a role in the war, from the level of battalions up to the General Staff. The conclusions of the probes would be presented to the General Staff by December, he said, so they could be implemented ahead of formulation of the IDF's work plan for 2007. Former generals as well as reservists will be members of the teams probing the IDF, he said. Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoram Yair, who on Tuesday called on Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz to take responsibility for the war's failures, and Maj.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Ivri were appointed to assist in the probes. The IDF, the officer continued, should have called up more reserve forces over the past year that could have replaced regular military units, such as the Golani, Givati, Nahal and Paratrooper brigades, allowing them to train for war. "I regret that we stretched the army as thin as possible without giving it the opportunity to train," he said in reference to the non-stop operations that the military has been carrying out in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the past few years. "We should have called up more reservists. The regular units should have undergone more training."