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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

To understand what went wrong in the war, look at Wadi Saluki

For those of you who want to understand what went wrong in the recent war in a microcosm, you may want to look at the battle of Wadi Saluki:

By early morning on August 13, 24 hours before the cease-fire was scheduled to go into effect, the soldiers succeeded in crossing the wadi and climbing the hill, at a heavy price. Twelve soldiers were killed - eight tankists and four infantrymen. Some 80 Hizbullah gunmen were killed.

Then orders came to halt the advance, leaving Kidor and his men wondering why they had been sent in the first place. Why were they ordered to cross the Saluki when it was clear that the cease-fire would be approved? What did these 12 soldiers die for?

The Battle of the Saluki was a microcosm of all the mistakes that were made during the war in Lebanon. Soldiers waited for a week, like sitting ducks, for orders that were twice received and twice canceled, reflecting a total lack of clarity and confidence within the General Staff, and perhaps the political echelon.

When the orders finally came, they made no sense; why push to the Litani hours before the UN was set to approve a cease-fire? What was the point of the brief, bloody operation, the soldiers asked, especially given the fact that two days after crossing the Saluki, they crossed it again - this time heading home?
Read the whole thing.


At 11:29 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

This episode does seem typical of others I have read about. In tandem with the revelation that Dan Halutz spent the morning of the beginning of the Lebanon bombing campaign on the phone to his broker selling his stocks, this theme demands a full-scale inquest.


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