Winograd casts shadow on Kaplinsky's future

Deputy Chief of General Staff Maj.-Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky has consulted with an attorney ahead of his planned testimony later this month before the Winograd Committee The Jerusalem Post has learned. The committee was appointed by the government to investigate the performance of the military and political echelons during the Lebanon war, Sources in the IDF predicted that Kaplinsky would be sanctioned by the committee for his role in the war. He was appointed as outgoing Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz's "representative" in the Northern Command and was involved in the decision-making process that led to the delay in a ground offensive inside Lebanon. Kaplinsky has specifically focused with his lawyers on the question of his authority and whether he had the power and ability to question or second guess his superior's decisions. On Sunday night Kaplinsky withdrew from the race to replace Halutz claiming that with Winograd set to publish its interim findings in the next month, it would be "inappropriate" to take up the post with the risk that he might be sanctioned by the committee. Kaplinsky is not expected to resign from the IDF and, according to military sources, would like to remain in his current position at least for the next few months. Meanwhile Tuesday, Defense Minister Amir Peretz continued searching for a new director general for the ministry in wake of Monday night's decision to appoint Maj.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi as chief of General Staff in place of Halutz. Several names have been floated for the job including: CEO of Rafael - Israel's Armament Development Authority - Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yedidya Yaari, former director general Maj.-Gen. (res.) Ilan Biran and former OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Malka. Defense officials predicted that Peretz would have a difficult time finding a candidate since "people do not believe he will remain in office for much longer." Officials said it was possible that Yehiel Horev - head of the Defense Ministry's Security Authority MALMAB - would temporarily take over as acting director general until a new appointment was made. It is unclear how the United States would take to Horev's appointment. He came under American fire in 2003 during a crises that erupted with Israel over an upgrading job Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) was doing for Chinese drones. The Americans reportedly called at the time for Horev's dismissal.