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Thursday, March 22, 2007

IDF Chief of Staff: Years needed to prepare IDF

The IDF chief of staff claims it will be years before the army is ready. The first question is whether the Syrians and Iranians are going to wait around that long.  The second question is whether the army will be ready for the next war or the last one. The third question is why it should take years rather than months, since troops are trained over a period of months.

Last update - 09:39 22/03/2007   

Ashkenazi: IDF needs years to become satisfactorily prepared
By Aluf Benn and Nir Hasson, Haaretz Correspondents

Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi warned the security cabinet Wednesday that the Israel Defense Forces would need time to reach the necessary level of preparedness.
"Do not think the army will be ready in three months," Ashkenazi told the security cabinet during the meeting. A team of senior IDF officers briefed the ministers on the lessons of the Second Lebanon War.
Ashkenazi said several years would be needed. Preference would be given to forces likely to participate in dangerous operations.
He told the security cabinet that when he took over as chief of staff, he considered interfering with the IDF's in-house investigations into its problems and performance during the war, and said he decided not to do so. Dan Halutz was chief of staff during the war.
The head of the General Staff's doctrine and training department, Brigadier General Danny Biton, presented the security cabinet with the main findings of more than 20 IDF in-house investigations since the war.
The ministers commended the army on its openness in exposing shortcomings.
"We are dealing with the debriefing of the army, irrespective of the Winograd Committee," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said. "It is no replacement for the lessons that we must learn regarding the political-military connection, and the translation of government decisions into military objectives."
"We always say it is necessary to move the fight onto enemy territory as quickly as possible," Olmert added. "But, when you are faced with ballistic missiles and indirect fire, even when you have penetrated enemy territory to a certain point, the enemy can still fire missiles. The question is how to apply this principle to the contemporary battlefield."

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