Maj. Gen (res.) Yitzhak Brick, IDF ombudsman, concludes in his confidential 2017 report that Israel is not ready for the next war. He shared some of his findings with reporters on Monday, June 25:
- Training sessions for reserve units do not focus on their prospective assignments in the next potential war.
- Depots holding emergency supplies of war materiel are not properly maintained and much of the equipment is not fit for operational use.
- The IDF has been unable to combat the prevalence of smartphone use by officers and other ranks. Their ingrained use of Whatsap betrays their location to the enemy and undermines discipline. Field intelligence is only partly functional. Seven months ago, the IDF announced the issue to combat units of encrypted cell phones, the development of which cost the vast sum of $100m. What happened to those phones?
- Military medical services for field units are sub-standard due to the grave shortage of medical staff and doctors.
- The curtailment of service for male conscripts has led to a serious manpower shortfall especially in combat units. Gen. Brick concludes that the scale of IDF manpower is not up to the challenges of a future war.
- He said in conclusion: “Had you seen the classified communications the various security branches exchange internally you would fall off your feet.”
DEBKAfile asks who should be held accountable for the IDF ombudsman’s findings? The former defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon or the incumbent Avigdor Lieberman? The former chief of staff Lt. Gen. (res.) Benny Gantz or his successor, Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkot?
The IDF predictably rebuffs Gen. Brick’s conclusions, maintaining that even after the curtailment of service, the ranks of captain and major in combat units are fully staffed. The current 40,000 career servicemen are commensurate in scale with the IDF’s operational needs and its tasks, and a high-quality command reserve is in hand. Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi is leading a detailed scrutiny of the shortcomings the ombudsman disclosed.