The Failures / Twenty questions
Wednesday, August 16,2006 00:00
By Aluf Benn, Haaretz

1. How and why did Prime Minister Ehud Olmert decide to go to war in response to the Hezbollah attack and the abduction of two soldiers on July 12th? Who participated in the decision-making and which criteria were taken into account?
2. Did anyone consider the possibility of holding negotiations with Hezbollah over a prisoner exchange? Was the assessment that the Israeli operation would pressure Hezbollah to release the abducted soldiers, with nothing in return?
3. Why wasn’t the event where Hassan Nasrallah spoke bombed the same day? Was the possibility considered?
4. Why was the Vice Premier mocked at the cabinet meeting when he asked about the stages following the military operation?
5. Did Chief of Staff Dan Halutz give political leaders the impression that an air offensive would suffice to achieve the goals of the war (releasing the prisoners, deploying Lebanese forces in the south and disarming Hezbollah)?
6. What did Olmert and Amir Peretz know about the levels of Israeli Army preparedness for a confrontation with Hezbollah before they decided on war? Were they warned of the shortcomings of the army and the home front?
7. Why was the state of alert lifted at the Northern Command on the eve of the Hezbollah attack? What was wrong with the way in which the force reacted to an attack by Hezbollah on July 12th?
8. Why did intelligence fail to locate the hide-out of Hezbollah’s leadership?
9. Why was the Army surprised by Hezbollah’s anti-ship cruise missiles? And why were the defense (war) systems of its advanced warship turned off during a mission off the Lebanese coast?
10. What intelligence was there on Hezbollah’s advanced anti-tank missiles and were tactics developed to counter them?
11. What intelligence was there on the Hezbollah order of battle and was this passed on to the Northern Command?
12. Was the air force ordered to target homes near rocket-launching sites and, as a result, struck civilians in Qana on July 30th?
13. Were restrictions lifted on air force targetting, and did this cause further civilian casualties?
14. How was "Israel" dragged into a halting ground offensive in Lebanon, who ordered it and what were political leadership’s aims and considerations?
15. Why was Bint Jbail targeted? Was it a PR exercise? What did we know about Hezbollah forces there?
16. Prior to the decision to go to war, did anyone raise the possibility that Hezbollah would be able to fire 100-200 rockets on a daily basis into the North, for a month?
17. Who was responsible for taking care of the population in the North prior to and during the war? Why was no orderly evacuation prepared?
18. How were reservist units deployed with insufficient logistical support?
19. What did the Prime Minister mean in his speech on August 1st that the achievements in the war were "unprecedented"?
20. Why did Olmert and Peretz decide to expand the ground offensive on Friday - a decision that cost the lives of many and damaged "Israel’s" image abroad - just as the Security Council approved the cease-fire resolution?

Israel Army Photo



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