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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Olmert cut out of the loop?

I cannot comment on the reliability of this report, because I don't know the blogger involved and I certainly don't know his source. I'm trying to check it with my top IDF source. But I thought I should put this in front of you anyway, because it sounds possible if unlikely:
I have it on good authority from one of my sources that the Israeli General Staff has told BOTH the Israeli prime minister and Syrian representatives that if Syria or Iran attack, it is the General Staff that will decide on when and how to strike back, what targets and how "disproportionate" the response will be. They have cut the PM out of the loop should war erupt because he did not resign after the last conflict. The strategy includes: decapitation strikes, strategic warfare against the entire industrial and military capability of the attacking country.
Now there's some food for thought.

Update 6:15 PM

According to my IDF source, it might have been true that the IDF planned to cut Olmert out of the loop when Peretz was defense minister, but he doubts it is true with Barak in charge.

Just to make this a bit more plausible, recall this post from last summer's war.
According to informed sources, there is an almost total breakdown in trust and confidence between the General Staff and the PM's office. They have described the situation as "even worse than the crises that followed Ben Gurion's decision to disband the Palmach, and Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan's cynical decision to place all the blame for the Yom Kippur fiasco on the IDF's shoulders.

Senior IDF officers have been saying that the PM bears sole responsibility for the current unfavorable military situation, with Hezbollah still holding out after almost a month of fighting.According to these officers, Olmert was presented with an assiduously prepared and detailed operational plan for the defeat and destruction of Hezbollah within 10-14 days, which the IDF has been formulating for the past 2-3 years.

This plan was supposed to have begun with a surprise air onslaught against the Hezbollah high command in Beirut, before they would have had time to relocate to their underground bunkers. This was to have been followed immediately by large scale airborne and seaborne landing operations, in order to get several divisions on the Litani River line, enabling them to outflank Hezbollah's "Maginot line" in southern Lebanon. This would have surprised Hezbollah, which would have had to come out of its fortifications and confront the IDF in the open, in order to avoid being isolated, hunted down and eventually starved into a humiliating submission.

This was exactly what the IDF senior command wanted, as Israeli military doctrine, based on the Wehrmacht's blitzkrieg doctrine, has traditionally been one of rapid mobile warfare, designed to surprise and outflank an enemy.

According to senior military sources, who have been extensively quoted in both the Hebrew media and online publications with close ties to the country's defense establishment, Olmert nixed the second half of the plan, and authorized only air strikes on southern Lebanon, not initially on Beirut.

Although the Premier has yet to admit his decision, let alone provide a satisfactory explanation, it seems that he hoped futilely for a limited war. A prominent wheeler-dealer attorney-negotiator prior to entering politics, he may have thought that he could succeed by the military option of filing a lawsuit as a negotiating ploy, very useful when you represent the rich and powerful, as he always had. Another motive may have been his desire to limit the economic damage by projecting a limited rather than total war to the international financial powers that be.

Whatever his reasons, the bottom line, according to these military sources, is that he castrated the campaign during the crucial first days. The decision to not bomb Beirut immediately enabled Nasrallah to escape, first to his bunker, subsequently to the Iranian embassy in Beirut.


Olmert's responsibility for inaction goes much further. The US administration had given Israel the green light to attack Syria. A senior military source has confirmed to Israel Insider that Israel did indeed receive a green light from Washington in this regard, but Olmert nixed it.

The scenario was that Syria, no military match for Israel, would face a rapid defeat, forcing it to run to Iran, with which it has a defense pact, to come to aid.

Iran, which would be significantly contained by the defeat of its sole ally in the region, would have found itself maneuvered between a rock and a hard place. If it chose to honor its commitment to Syria, it would face a war with Israel and the US, both with military capabilities far superior to Iran's. If Teheran opted to default on its commitment to Damascus, it would be construed by the entire region, including the restless Iranian population, as a conspicuous show of weakness by the regime. Fascist regimes such as that of the ayatollahs cannot easily afford to show that kind of weakness.

As previously mentioned, Iran's military capabilities are no match for Israel's. Bottom line, all Iran could do is to launch missiles at and hit Israel's cities, and try and carry out terror attacks. If there is one thing history has shown, it is that such methods do not win wars. Israel would undoubtedly suffer both civilian casualties and economic damage, but these would not be that much more than what we are already experiencing. We have already irreversibly lost an entire tourist season. Any Iranian and Syrian missile offensives would be relatively short, as they are further form Israel, and therefore would have to be carried out by longer range missiles. These, by their very nature are much bigger and more complex weapons than Katyushas. They cannot be hidden underground, and require longer launch preparations, increasing their vulnerability to air operations. In addition it is precisely for such kinds of missiles that the Arrow system was developed.
And for those who have forgotten, it was subsequently confirmed that the US had urged Olmert to attack Syria last summer.


At 7:48 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Be very careful in saying what signals the US did or did not send Israel. It appears as if different channels have often conveyed contradictory messages at the same time.

This, of course, is no excuse for Olmert, who should be looking out for his country first.

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


It wasn't me who said it. It was Meyrav Wurmser. And she was in a position to know.

At 12:28 AM, Blogger Naftali said...

The only good political news I've heard in a very long time time.

The institutions comprising the Israeli state are not etched in stone; one of the advantages\disadvantages
of having no written constitution.

The 'Supreme court' is a political body in the form a judiciary. It adjudicates on what it feels and as it feels, since there is nothing at all in writing delineating its jurisdiction, or setting out the general principles against which it must hold up a given act of state to determine it's 'legality".

Generally, all the state actors
obey it's dictates, though I've read, to my delight, haaretz complaining about how the IDF ignores some of the courts prescriptions for the positioning of the "fence".

Recently, I read on this blog how
olmert harodef ignored the 'high' court's dictate regarding the certain band-aid provisions for the 'security' of the Jews of Sderot, claiming that security
was the prerogative of the 'government', and therefore outside the court's jurisdiction. When i saw the news, I rejoiced at seeing the leftist government, shortsightedly and quite unintentionally, working to undermine Israel's most dangerous

I am hoping for a invisible coup
instigated by the IDF itself. As I see it, nothing at all has to change in the outward form and appearance of the Israeli state, rather, it will be made known to the states institutions what the IDF will not tolerate, and the the government will find all types of good reasons never to cross the line.

None of this has to be explicit. In fact nobody, even the IDF
itself, would necessarily need to be conscience of what is happening.
It would be a natural evolution.

Here an example of instance where
the new dynamic could come into play.

The IDF asserts itself by ignoring
small dictates of the court and the government.(This in fact happens already; and the frequency with it does it only likely to increase as the pressures of possible war continue to bear down on the state.) The other state institution
subconsciously perceive the constant change in their power stature relative to the IDF, as the IDF does the same. The IDF growing ever more confident, becomes ever
more vocal and adamant about, say, how giving up the Golan is strategic suicide and the 'relocation' of the west bank
population is logistically impossible, in addition to being similarly suicidal, if not much more so. The state subconsciously
perceives both their loss of control of the military as well as the IDF's intransigence regarding
the "impossibility" of certain policy decisions. The scum
running the state, in doing the only thing they wish to do--namely,
holding on to their positions-- and perceiving, even subconsciously,
their inability to pursue national suicide,all of sudden sees the light, pointing to any number of the million reasons why the policies were insane to begin with
and finally changes course.


(Carl, if you perchance read this , please give me your insight.)


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