‘Missed opportunity’

‘Missed opportunity’
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The opposition Likud party, headed by former prime minister Benjamin Netanayhu, led calls for Olmert to resign following the release of the Final Report which noted “serious failings and flaws” in both the political and military echelons.

“The Winograd Committee placed clear responsibility on the political echelon, which is led by the prime minister, and he must take personal responsible and quit,” the party said in a statement announced less than an hour after the report was revealed to the public at a press conference held at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center, The Final Report from the commission, headed by retired judge Eliyahu Winograd, was announced amongst massive anticipation nearly a year and a half after the end of Israel‘s month-long war in Lebanon.
Winograd himself read out a lengthy summary, continuously criticising the Israeli Army’s conduct during the 2006 war with Hezbollah guerrillas.

“The overall image of the war was a result of a mixture of flawed conduct of the political and the military echelons and the interface between them, of flawed performance by the IDF, and especially the ground forces, and of deficient Israeli preparedness,” Winograd said.

Israel did not use its military force well and effectively, despite the fact that it was a limited war initiated by Israel itself.”

More than 100 Israeli soldiers died in the July 12 – August 14 war, including over 30 in the final days just before a UN-sponsored truce was announced.
“All in all, the IDF failed, especially because of the conduct of the high command and the ground forces, to provide an effective military response to the challenge posed to it… and thus failed to provide the political echelon with a military achievement that could have served as the basis for political and diplomatic action,” Winograd added.

The former judge said serious failings and flaws were made in the decision-making processes and the quality of preparedness of the IDF high command as well as a “lack of strategic thinking and planning, in both the political and the military echelons.”

The report also found “severe failings and flaws in the defence of the civilian population and in coping with its being attacked by rockets.”

The report did note, however, that there were some positives to take, including the impressive commitment of reservist soldiers.

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