IDF leadership braces for Winograd

Senior officers to 'Post': Military fearing most of war's failures will be pinned on IDF, not government.

Halutz speaks 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Halutz speaks 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The IDF braced itself Tuesday ahead of the scheduled publication Wednesday of the Winograd Committee's final report on the Second Lebanon War. Senior officers told The Jerusalem Post that the IDF top brass was preparing for a "worst-case scenario," in which the military - and not the political echelon - would be blamed for most of the war's failures. Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Avi Benayahu have held several meetings in recent days to prepare for the potential fallout from the report. On Tuesday afternoon, Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Dan Harel met with some 15 former IDF generals who are regular commentators on radio and TV talk shows to present the so-called rehabilitation process the IDF undertook immediately after the 2006 war. The Final Winograd Report: All the latest news and analyses In their meeting, Harel and Dan Biton, head of the IDF's Logistics and Medical Branch, presented the former generals with the main conclusions from the IDF's internal inquiries into its performance during the war. They emphasized that since then, the military has set up unprecedented training regimens, increased investments in the reserve corps and is preparing for a potential new conflict in the North. Benayahu and his new deputy, Col. Ofer Kol, have already begun drafting a response to the report that will be released to the public depending on the severity of the conclusions pertaining to the IDF. "The idea is to be prepared for every scenario, whether positive or negative," a senior officer said. "Our main message will be to emphasize that the IDF in 2008 is no longer the same as the IDF in 2006." While the expectation in the IDF is that most of the blame will fall on former chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Dan Halutz, other senior officers who played pivotal roles during the war are waiting anxiously for the report's publication. The officers include OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin; IDF Military Attaché to Washington DC and head of the Ground Forces Command during the war Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz; as well as OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, who served as head of the Operations Directorate during the war. Eizenkot and Gantz could come under criticism for not pushing Halutz harder to allow mobilization of reserve troops or launch a large-scale ground operation into Lebanon at an earlier stage of the war. Other officers such as Maj.-Gen. (res.) Udi Adam, who was head of the Northern Command during the war, and Maj.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Kaplinsky, until recently deputy chief of General Staff, have already resigned their posts and ended their active military service.