War is famously merely the continuation of policy by other means; but Israel preferred renting out policy to its officers. The IDF has been the prime architect of Israel’s Gaza policy, and has failed at it miserably. On the other hand, when Netanyahu asked for a new Gaza policy, the State Comptroller found that the IDF torpedoed (!) any debate on it.
When a militia of some 400,000 people can’t dislodge a militia of some 20,000 people, even as the first force is infinitely more powerful in explosive tonnage and in its ability to deliver its artillery where it needs to be, then to call this a bleeding tie would be charitable to the larger militia. And I’m not at all sure such charity is in order.
The IDF, in short, failed Israel by being unable to bring a Gaza campaign to a satisfactory resolution while, at the same time, preventing a change of policy. For this stellar performance, we are now asked to pay even more money than it drains from us usually. It also managed to make it clear to anyone paying attention that our ground forces are out of shape.
This is the army that, they tell us, is about to take on Iran. Let’s take this a step further. Our dear prime minister, and the army as well, have been pumping up war with Iran for quite some time. The commander of the IAF is known informally as “commanding general, Iran front.” Let’s extrapolate from the IDF’s performance in the last three campaigns – 2nd Lebanon, Cast Lead and Cast Ballot [sic]– on how it will deal with Iran.