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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Russians found confidential IDF materials in Georgia?

Brigadier General (Res.) Gal Hirsch was the commander of Division 91 in the IDF. He resigned after the Almog Committee (which preceded Winograd) named him as responsible for the kidnapping of IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev at the outset of the Second Lebanon War in July 2006.

When Hirsch left the IDF, he set up a company called Defensive Shield, which was providing training to Georgian soldiers - the same Georgian soldiers who were overrun by the Russians this past week. This YNet story is based on an interview with a reservist whose name is given as "Tomer" who was working for Hirsch in Georgia.
Tomer said he and his friends had at first received guidelines for the handling of covert material, listing what they could and couldn't tell Georgian soldiers about IDF activities. But in actuality, he said, the Georgians were told top secret information.

"When I arrived in the operations room I saw a book of IDF safety instructions that shouldn't have been there," he said. "There were IDF CDs that explicitly said, 'Confidential' documenting army activities, charts from special units' operations, and officers' names." He added that the room was not guarded, making this information easily obtainable to everyone.

Tomer said the main reason for the infidelity was mercenary. "The training companies wanted to finish the projects as quickly as possible in order to create more projects and make more money," he said. "We knew the training had to be completed quickly because the soldiers would soon have to get into real military activity."

He added that the Georgian officers told their soldiers they would be going to help NATO forces in Iraq, while the real objective was Ossetia and Abkhazia.

According to Tomer, Gal Hirsch came to visit the trainers now and then, but was mostly absent. And when the training was officially over, Tomer did not feel that his soldiers were ready for war. "By Israeli standards, the soldiers had almost zero capability and the officers were mediocre," he said. "It was clear that taking that army to war was illogical."

By keeping in touch with one of his soldiers, Tomer discovered that most of the men he had trained had indeed been killed in the war. "Some of them became good friends of mine and invited me into their homes. It's hard to digest that these people have suddenly vanished from the face of the earth," he lamented.

Defense Shield stated in response that "all of the company's actions were approved by the Defense Ministry, including the materials transferred to the training companies. The information security standards were set, emphasized, and maintained by experienced security officers, and we have no knowledge of these claims."
The implication is that these 'top secret' IDF manuals are now in the hands of the Russians. And unfortunately, I would say that's a pretty good bet. I'd bet that IDF intelligence is already working on damage control and that much of the material is going to have to be reinvented.


At 7:55 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

And you can bet your tuchis Carl, that much of that material will make it way into the hands of Iran and subsequently, Hezbollah. Its not telling example of Israelis' inability to put their country's national interests first, abroad.


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