debkafile Exclusive: A shakeup of the general staff will be one of first acts of incoming Israeli chief of staff Maj.Gen Gaby Ashkenazi

His nomination by defense minister Amir Peretz was seconded Monday, Jan 22, by prime minister Ehud Olmert and comes before the cabinet for endorsement next week. debkafile‘s military sources reveal that Maj. Gen Moshe Kaplinsky, who bowed out of the race for the top slot, is now asking to give up the post of dep. chief of staff. He is eyeing the job of chief of military intelligence, held currently by Maj. Gen Amos Yadlin, an airman like the outgoing chief of staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, who quit over the Lebanon war.
Kaplinsky believes he will have better rapport with Ashkenazi; both are infantry men who served in the Golani Brigade. He also believes he will be better able to defend his Lebanon War record from a new position when he is called to testify before the Vinograd inquiry commission. And finally, he sees his move as giving the new chief of staff an opening for picking his top team.
Dep. defense minister Ephraim Sneh commented on the Ashkenazi appointment that his mission will be to prepare the army to “win the next round.” This was the first admission from a member of the Olmert government that the first round of the Lebanon conflict was not exactly a victory and that a second round is anticipated.
debkafile‘s military sources add: The new chief of staff will soon come face to face with the problem of getting along with his superiors, the prime minister and defense minister, who are at daggers drawn, at a time when their credibility may be challenged further by the Lebanon War probe.

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