IDF comptroller to investigate army‘s readiness

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot has instructed IDF Comptroller Brig.-Gen. (res.) Ilan Harari to investigate issues of IDF preparedness that were raised in a June ombudsman report.

A statement released by the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit said that Eisenkot ordered the probe after consulting with Chief of the Ground Forces Command Maj.-Gen. Kobi Barak in response to the recent report from the IDF ombudsman Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brick. That report was highly critical of the organization of the army’s ground forces and personnel management.

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The investigation by the IDF comptroller, in conjunction with Maj.-Gen. (res.) Avi Mizrahi and other senior reservists, will be fully transparent and done with the cooperation of , the statement said.

“The IDF Chief of Staff stated that the IDF’s readiness… for fighting and victory in war are high, yet he considers it important to examine the claims raised, in a professional and comprehensive manner, by the official auditing bodies, including the IDF,” read the statement.

The initial report is expected to be presented for review within 45 days.

Brick’s scathing report was sent to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and to members of the IDF General Staff and the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, as well as to Eisenkot. According to a report by Haaretz, Brick also called for the appointment of an external commission of inquiry headed by a retired Supreme Court justice to examine the IDF’s state of preparedness.

While he did not directly touch on the IDF’s readiness, Brick was highly critical of training and the current state of the weaponry used by ground forces. Similar to warnings released in the previous ombudsman’s report, Brick also said there were “serious consequences” to cutting thousands of career soldiers under the army’s five-year Gideon Plan.

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“It is impossible to hold the rope on both ends,” Brick wrote. “On the one hand, the tasks are increasing – and on the other, there is extensive cross-cutting of manpower.”

The imbalance between the post-cut manpower and the increase of tasks not only places a “heavy burden” on the remaining personnel, but the increased pressure is “detrimental to the level of performance, discipline and motivation of the soldiers.”

Following the report’s release, Eisenkot wrote that the IDF was “at a high level of fitness and readiness for war with regard to any threat scenario. As the person responsible for the readiness of the army for war, I state that the IDF is prepared for any mission required of it, an army with intelligence and air superiority, ground capability and rich operational experience that is tested daily in every arena of war.”

The chief of staff rejected most of the allegations in the report through a comprehensive classified document sent to the security cabinet and to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. That document, with the signature of each general in charge of all military sectors, said the military was in a high state of preparedness for war. Eisenkot also wrote to Liberman, stating that the IDF was prepared and ready for any scenario.

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