Israel's failure of leadership

Lenny Ben-David:

The war did not go well. It's easy to point to Hizbullah's six years of preparations, its fanatic devotion to death, and an endless supply of technologically advanced Iranian and Syrian weapons. But the analysis of what went wrong must first be focused on ourselves.

Five of my sons and sons-in-law fought in this war. Now coming out of Lebanon and surviving some of the bloodiest fighting, they are filled with anger. Their short-term and long-term orders were confused and ever-changing. The emergency stocks for their reserve units were in horrible condition. One reservist special forces unit lacked basic communications equipment, they were provided guns that they had never trained on, and their rushed training was done in conditions unlike anything they would see in Lebanon.

Truly by the grace of God, one son missed his death by a few seconds and yards. Instead he had to evacuate dozens of dead and wounded under fire. The evacuation force never came, and the survivors had to carry the dead, wounded and themselves miles back to the Israeli lines.

Over the course of the war soldiers were held back for weeks when they were ready to charge. When they were finally dispatched, they were given unachievable missions in impossible time constraints. Soldiers were sent on daytime missions that should have been carried out only under the cover of darkness. Some died as a result.

My generation has failed our sons. Not because we failed to give them the proper equipment. We failed to provide them and ourselves with proper leadership. At the start of this war I never felt such a lack of confidence in our national and political leadership. At this point in the war - and I suspect it is only half-time - I feel despair.


The rest of the piece is about other political problems in Israel, but his gripe about the war effort appears to have merit. There shoould be no excuse for the condition and treatment of the reserve troops. Israel has to fix this before the next war with Hezballah and Iran.


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