In an unusual move, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot this week sent a detailed document to cabinet ministers and members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, in which he guarantees that the IDF is in a high state of readiness for war, Ha’aretz reported Wednesday.
It appears that Eizenkot’s unusual report is a response to recent criticism by the military ombudsman, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brick, of the IDF’s preparedness.
Eizenkot, for his part, told the cabinet members and MKs that the report was written in compliance with the 2008 Reserve Service Law, which calls for tight monitoring of the IDF’s readiness.
The document includes a series of separate references regarding the preparedness of the IDF as a whole and the capabilities of the individual branches and corps. Eizenkot writes that the army is “in a high state of readiness for war in relation to every scenario of threat and attribution.”
“As the person responsible for the army’s preparedness for war, I state that the IDF is prepared for any mission it may be facing, an army with intelligence and air superiority, land capability and rich operational experience that is tested daily in every war arena,” the Chief of Staff declares.
“At the same time,” he notes, “the army’s fitness will always be lacking. There are always gaps which exist alongside risk management and priorities. We, the commanders, have an obligation to adapt the force-building processes to the maintenance of the quality and supremacy of the IDF in the present, and to take advantage of the current window of opportunity to adapt the IDF to the challenges of the future.”
Clearly, the criticism voiced by Maj. Gen. Brick hit a raw nerve with Eizenkot, as did a report published last year by another critic of the defense establishment, Major General (res.) Haggai Tenenbaum-Erez, on the state of the IDF ground forces.
Brick sent two letters to the committee members, in which he reported on the gaps he identified in the IDF system, and in the near future he is expected to distribute to the MKs an additional document on his impressions of a series of visits to units of the ground forces.
At the end of August, Brick met with members of the General Staff forum, in a conversation that occasionally rose to high tones, Ha’aretz reported.
Defense Minister Liberman, to whom the commissioner addresses his reports, has on several occasions expressed his concern about the readiness of some ground forces units, in particular some of the reserves.