This past April the IDF published its new military doctrine. A new classified field manual, The General Staff’s Operational Concept for the IDF, is the result of four years of serious study. It gives expression to the transformative changes the IDF’s way of thinking about war fighting and designing military campaigns underwent since the outbreak of the Palestinian terror war in September 2000.
Yet last week the IDF separated itself from those most responsible for leading its intellectual transformation. On May 30, the heads of the IDF’s Operational Theory Research Institute (OTRI), Brig. Gen. (res.) Dov Tamari and Brig. Gen. (res.) Dr. Shimon Naveh, were notified that they were suspended from their duties due to irregularities in their billing procedures.
The story of OTRI’s disembowelment should alarm anyone who cares about the IDF. It is part and parcel, and indeed an exacerbation of the trend that has been forcing independent thinkers out of decision-making circles in Israel for the past three years. In 2003 this trend was ushered in when, after consulting with his public relations team, then-prime minister Ariel Sharon decided to retreat from Gaza in exchange for absolutely nothing.
… The decision to get rid of Tamari and Naveh is even more disconcerting than Sharon and Olmert’s decision to force Yaalon, Halevi and Eiland from their posts. In those cases, the political leaders purged the ranks of decision-makers of those who oppose their political goals. In so doing, they acted within what is generally considered the purview of political leaders.
But in forcing Naveh and Tamari out of the IDF, Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz and his deputy Maj. Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky sent the message that independent thinkers are unwelcome in their IDF.
It appears likely that Caroline Glick’s assessment of the IDF in light of the forced termination of Generals Naveh and Tamari is coming ever closer to that of Moshe Feiglin who questions whether the IDF remains defender of Jewish People, or whther it has evolved into defender of the Regime and to heck with the people. MB