By Yaakov Katz , The Jerusalem Post – 29 Sept 2009
Hizbullah had better intelligence information than Israel and better control of its forces during the Second Lebanon War, according to an official IDF scorecard compiled recently by a top navy officer.
The article – which was given an award by Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi – was written by Lt.-Col. Robi Sandman, and was published in the latest edition of Ma’arahot, a monthly journal on military issues.
During his research for the article, titled “How the Arabs are preparing for the next war,” Sandman asked 24 senior IDF officers to grade the army and Hizbullah in 10 categories, on a scale of 1 to 10.
While the IDF enjoys superior technology, the scorecard revealed that the army performed poorly in gathering intelligence on Hizbullah, did not command its troops effectively during the monthlong war and lacked motivation to win.
In intelligence, Hizbullah received a 7 and the IDF a 6; in military doctrine and strategy Hizbullah received a 9 and the IDF a 5; In technology, the IDF received a 9 and Hizbullah a 5; in training and organization, Hizbullah received a 8 and the IDF 7, and in tactical command Hizbullah received a 8 and the IDF a 6.
The 24 officers also ruled that Hizbullah had greater motivation to win than the IDF. Hizbullah received a score of 8 in the motivation category, while the IDF scored only 4.
In the article, Sandman claims the IDF is currently structured in a way that it will not be able to prevent thousands of fighters – from Hizbullah or Syria – from infiltrating deep into Israel.
The next war, he wrote, will likely include Hizbullah sending hundreds of teams comprised of 4-5 fighters each, armed with anti-tank missiles and sniper rifles, into the Galilee.
“We need to recognize that the IDF with its current structure cannot provide a response to the unbelievably well-equipped force that is rising up to destroy the State of Israel,” he wrote.
These hundreds of squads will be able to rely on local Israeli-Arab infrastructure in the Galilee, Sandman wrote. He recommended that the IDF immediately establish small, elite reconnaissance squads capable of countering this threat.
Sandman also warned of the possibility that in a future conflict, the United States might not help Israel as it had in the past. During the 2006 war and the Yom Kippur War in 1973, the US airlifted advanced weapons and ammunition to Israel to refresh dwindling stockpiles.
Sandman warned of two main catalysts for a possible lack of support. The first was what he called the decreasing influence the Jewish community had over the US government.
“This trend will continue to get worse, due to assimilation and the fast rise of other minorities such as the Hispanics, which amount to 30 million [people] today in the US,” he wrote.
The second was a possible change in government and subsequent policy that “could leave Israel without an ally.”
As a result, Sandman recommended that the IDF ask the US to establish additional warehouses with emergency stockpiles of weaponry in Israel, even “if Israel has to pay for their maintenance.”
The US already has several warehouses with weaponry in Israel.
His second recommendation was that Israel and the US hold joint training exercises to prepare for the possibility that the IDF will one day be under threat and require American troop support.
“This type of support will be important one day in an emergency, but could also serve as a deterrent for enemies when planning an attack,” he wrote.