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Grim IDF Reality Check

Oh dear God. I may have to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head.

The blog Israel Matzav (“The Situation in Israel”) has posted excerpts from interviews with two people who know what they’re talking about with regard to Israel’s military readiness. And what they have to say isn’t pretty.

They are Amos Yadlin, former IAF general and the IDF’s outgoing director of military intelligence, and the military historian Dr. Uri Milstein. Here’s Yadlin:

“The next conflict, even if it is limited in scale…will be much bigger, much broader, and with many more casualties than we saw in Operation Cast Lead or the Second Lebanon War.”
Such a conflict, predicted the 59-year old Yadlin, will be played out on two or more fronts; moreover, Israel’s enemies “believe that the only way to overcome Israel’s deterrence is through longrange missile fire and improving air defense capabilities.”
Pulling no punches, Yadlin warned that the cutting-edge anti-aircraft system that Syria has purchased from Russia could send the IDF and IAF’s capabilities “back to their status in the 1970s Suez years. ”

And here’s Milstein:

“I have begun to have my doubts as to whether the IDF is up to the task of defending this country,” Milstein told Arutz 7. “Our enemies have grown stronger, while in some circles, our motivation has fallen. Part of our society is frightened. Even if more people die on their side, they are more willing to sacrifice than we are.”

Milstein, who has long been critical of the IDF and political establishment’s management of Israel’s defense, said that little has changed since the Yom Kippur war…Describing Yadlin’s straightforward presentation of the troubles Israel is facing as “better late than never,” Milstein said that Yadlin, who was military intelligence chief during the Second Lebanon war, had apparently learned a lesson.
…“During the Second Lebanon War we did not achieve our goals of defeating Hizbullah, and instead they grew stronger. During Operation Cast Lead we attempted to strike a death blow to Hamas, but they just got stronger. So, obviously, the situation will be more difficult next time,” he said. Milstein doubts that the IDF will be able to achieve the goals it needs to during the coming war. “Our enemies have gotten much stronger, and they know how to accept losses much better than we can.”

Milstein is well-known for dismissing out of hand the possibility of negotiated lasting peace with any Arab state. He ascribes what he perceives as the IDF’s lack of readiness to the pernicious influence of the left, which is “still convinced that peace will come if we give up Judea and Samaria and the Golan. They probably won’t change their minds even if missiles rain down on Tel Aviv.” He has a political axe to grind, in other words. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t right.

Now I’m going to go breathe into a paper bag.