Friday, September 15, 2006

Bogie Ya'alon Begins to Explain

From the Ari Shavit interview:-

...I drew up a military plan intended to address a scenario of a Hezbollah offensive that would oblige us to deal with the organization militarily."

What were the plan's basic assumptions?

"That the IDF must act in a way that would set in motion a political process that would lead to the disarming of Hezbollah, the removal of the Iranians from Lebanon and perhaps also the imposition of sanctions on Syria and Iran. In a scenario of the abduction of soldiers, exactly as occurred on July 12, the IDF was supposed to respond with an aerial attack and the mobilization of reserve divisions, which would act as a threat to the Syrians and to Hezbollah and would encourage Lebanon and the international community to take action to achieve the desired goal. If the threat itself did not achieve the goal, a ground move would have begun within a few days aimed primarily at seizing dominant terrain as far as the Litani River and the Nabatiya plateau.

"The ground entry was supposed to be carried out speedily, for an allotted time, without the use of tanks and without entering houses or built-up areas. Because of our awareness of the anti-tank missile problem and our awareness of the bunkers and of the fact that the routes are mined, the intention was to activate the IDF in guerrilla modalities. That was the operational idea, that was the plan and that is how the forces were trained."

If so, why was that plan not implemented?

"I don't know. That is one of the questions that the state commission of inquiry will have to investigate. In my opinion, the aerial offensive was correct. The air force delivered the goods. In a few areas it even provided favorable surprises. But the activation of the ground forces was a catastrophe. There was no defined goal. There was no required achievement. They jumped from one idea to the next and introduced new missions all the time without any logic."

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