Posted by Ilan Goldenberg
So what is this report talking about?
“[He] made up his mind hastily, despite the fact that no detailed military plan was submitted to him and without asking for one," the report said. "He made his decision without systematic consultation with others, especially outside the [military], despite not having experience in external-political and military affairs…
[He] was also censured for failing to “adapt his plans once it became clear that the assumptions and expectations of [the country's] actions were not realistic and were not materializing… All of these," the report said, "add up to a serious failure in exercising judgment, responsibility and prudence."
"[The Defense Secretary] made his decisions during this period without systemic consultations with experienced political and professional experts, including outside the security establishment."
[The military] chief of staff at the time, was criticized for entering the war "unprepared,"... [He] failed to "present to the political leaders the internal debates within the [military] concerning the fit between the stated goals and the authorized modes of actions."
According to the report, “the government did not consider the whole range of options, including that of continuing the policy of 'containment', or combining political and diplomatic moves with military strikes below the 'escalation level', or military preparations without immediate military action.”
No. It’s not George Bush. These are the results of the Winograd Report, which evaluated the Israeli Government’s performance during the Second Lebanese War. It includes an inexperienced leader, who never really asked the tough questions about whether or not the war should be waged in the first place, and then refused to change course once it became clear that his initial objectives couldn’t be met. The Defense Minister made decisions without input from others. The Army Chief of Staff did not disclose the military’s own misgivings about the operation. Does this sound familiar?
The biggest difference is that in the U.S. we might have to wait another ten years to get a report this damning, and it will never happen while President Bush is still in office. This report is as high profile in Israel as Baker-Hamilton was in the United States - if not more. Could you ever imagine Baker-Hamilton being this harsh? Then again, it's pretty easy to take shots at a PM with a 3% approval rating.