IDF Chief of Staff Lieut. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot recently instructed the IDF comptroller, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Ilan Harari, to examine the army’s preparedness and preparedness for war, in light of the harsh allegations raised by a scathing report on the matter by Commissioner of Soldiers’ Complaints, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brick, Channel 2 News reported Wednesday.
According to the IDF’s announcement, the probe will take place within the framework of the army’s ongoing internal inspections, and will be conducted in a transparent manner and in cooperation with all IDF units. The report will be presented to the Chief of Staff within 45 days.
Commissioner Brick published his findings in his annual—and final—report, published four months ago. The report exposed systemic failures in the IDF that could be reflected in the army’s preparedness for the next war.
In his findings, the commissioner pointed to low levels of quality, especially among the lower command echelons, up to the ranks of battalion commanders, which he argued stemmed from two parallel military HR moves: shortening enlisted men’s service by four months, which has led to a shortage of 6,000 recruits in the next four years, half of them combat supporters; and a huge cut of more than 4,000 career soldiers over the past four years.
The chief of staff noted that the IDF’s preparedness and readiness for fighting and victory are high, however, he said he finds it important to examine the claims raised in a professional manner, utilizing the extensive and in-depth critical tools available to the army’s official auditing bodies, including the IDF comptroller.
Since the dispute broke out between the chief of staff and the commissioner at a press conference last June, Eizenkot has rejected all of Brick’s claims. In an unusual move, the chief of staff even submitted a detailed report to the cabinet, in which he wrote that the army was at a high level of readiness for war.
This is the first time that Eizenkot agrees to conduct an examination of Brick’s claims – although it is being carried out within the army and not by an outside party, as the commissioner suggested.