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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Interview with Northern Command Chief Udi Adam

YNet has an interview with Northern Command chief Udi Adam, which gives some insight into why Israel did not meet all of its goals in Lebanon. Here are some excerpts:
“Where did we go wrong? In our understanding we needed to conduct an extensive ground operation, and as a result there were delays in preparing the forces. I don’t know if the ground offensive began too late – but it was late,” he said.

“The ground forces should have entered earlier and should have been called up earlier. The forces should have been better prepared – in this respect we were mistaken. I don’t know if this would decrease our fatality rate, because such operations have a price, but in my opinion the war would not have lasted as long.”

Who didn’t make the decisions? The political echelon?

Mainly the political echelon. The government officials are those who decide.


As to reserve soldiers’ claims of disorder and logistical blunders, Adam said some of them are justified.


Meanwhile it was cleared for publication late Tuesday that a commander at Hizbullah's special force, Sajed Dweir, was killed by IDF soldiers just hours before the ceasefire went into effect.

The IDF said that Dweir was behind many attacks against army troops, including plans to kidnap soldiers.

Adam said he hopes the ceasefire agreement will bring peace to Israel’s northern border.

“In the future we may witness a scenario in which Hizbullah infiltrates the Lebanese army; if this becomes a threat, we will point the finger at the Lebanese government and not act against the organization itself,” he said. [I discussed this last night. CiJ]


Just one day before everything started, a General Staff forum in which both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz participated was held. Major General Adam painted a picture of the situation on the eve of war, "I said there that we must do something about the situation Hizbullah has gotten to, to talk to someone or to blow hot air."

At every stage of the fighting, he was in the Northern Command headquarters. From his perspective, it isn't over till its over. Currently, after Deputy Chief of Staff Major General Moshe Kaplinsky, acting as chief of staff representative in the command, finished his mission and returned to the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Adam is managing the IDF forces in southern Lebanon awaiting the entrance of the multinational force. "I think that we will all be happy if this process will bring quiet for a decade or so," he said to Ynet. "I don't know about the generals – but the soldiers fighting on the ground for sure won."

Reserved as he is, Adam didn't mean to be the scapegoat for this war. The bomb dropped by Chief of Staff Dan Halutz at the height of the fighting by sending his deputy, Major General Kaplinsky to the north, Adam won't forget so quickly. "I wouldn't define my feeling as insulted," said Major General Adam. "I think that an action was taken that didn't need to be taken during war. I think that what was important at that moment and also now, is the soldiers, and that is what I'm dealing with. After my authority and freedom to act weren't hurt, I swallowed it. After the war, we'll think beyond this." [What Halutz did - apparently under pressure from Olmert and Peretz - was attempt to make Adam the scapegoat for the entire operation. The survey numbers I plan to post in a little bit should show that the public has seen through this ploy. CiJ].

According to him, the deputy chief of staff didn't harm his work and only gave advice when he saw fit. Do you think that sending the deputy chief of staff was a hint? Would that have happened had a different general been here? "I don't know. You have to ask the chief of staff."


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