Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Monday, December 25, 2006

Shell shock

Shell shock
By Uzi Benziman

On May 30, 1948, David Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary that 6,000 tank shells, at a cost of $60,000, had to be purchased and that their delivery would probably cost around $300,000. On November 24, 1948, the prime minister wrote in his diary: Shaul is bringing products: light weapons and ammunition - $9,815; guns and shells - $428,000; armored vehicles - $2 million; explosives - $1 million; navy - $6,580,000. On December 26, 1948, he wrote: "Battalion 13 losses: 13 killed, 10 missing, 35 wounded, lost a lot of weapons."
The first prime minister, therefore, paid attention not only to the bloody price that the War of Independence was exacting but also to its expenses. His diaries are filled with figures, showing that he conducted the war while supervising its expenses.
Fifty-eight years later, the incumbent prime minister, Ehud Olmert, is acting in a completely different way. Last week he forced the treasury to add NIS 1.9 billion to the defense budget, thus bringing it next year to NIS 52.4 billion - the largest in history. This was after NIS 8.2 billion had already been added to the defense budget since the end of the second Lebanon war. The man who so recklessly made the decision to go to war is continuing to make unsound decisions now that it has ended, as well.
One can understand Olmert: like the military leadership, he too is affected by the residue of the war against Hezbollah. Like them, he is haunted by guilt over its results. Like them, he wishes to prepare in the best way possible for the next military test. Like them, he wants to be remembered as one who took every precaution. Like them, he is captive to the concept that the faults of the last war derive, to a considerable extent, from a shortage of resources resulting from erroneous cuts in the defense budget.
While understanding the prime minister's motives, it does not follow that he is right. The needs of the defense system should be weighed soberly against other national needs and should derive from balanced evaluations. It is doubtful whether the decisions on the defense budget's size fulfill this requirement. The second Lebanon war was conducted very wastefully. The fire power that Israel poured on Hezbollah was four times larger than Hezbollah's fire (Hezbollah was also wasteful, from its own point of view). The abundant use of weapons derived from the battlefield concept of the General Staff, headed by Dan Halutz - that exercising massive fire power would achieve victory. Some of the ammunition, especially air-to-surface missiles, are very expensive, but the other means used by the armored and infantry corps are not cheap either.
It is possible, of course, to say financial considerations are marginal to the general effort, which strives to defeat Hezbollah, and certainly of secondary importance to the desire to save lives. However, those questioning the way the war was conducted, including its economic price, are also concerned for every soldier's safety. To demonstrate how relevant this criticism is, it is worth paying attention to the calculation made by Danny Reshef, a retired intelligence officer, in Maariv three days ago. Israel spent NIS 12.5 million to kill one Hezbollah fighter in the last war.
While this figure is not accurate, it certainly gives a ballpark. The last war was extremely wasteful. Since those responsible for it still have their hand on the budget and still determine the IDF's needs, it is not superfluous to call for a more responsible and transparent procedure in setting the defense budget. At the moment, those in charge of this mission are suffering from shell shock.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by

Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israƫl in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog

Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Isfake lobby

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory