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The Real Lack of Intelligence

By Michael Freund
8/16/2006, 12:00 AM

With the indecisive conclusion to the fighting in Lebanon, the finger-pointing is now well under way, as Israel's political echelons try to duck responsibility for their abject failure to win the war.

Some have sought to suggest that the reason Israel did not succeed in eviscerating Hizbullah was a lack of intelligence, in effect trying to shift the blame away from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz and on to the army and the security forces instead.

Amir_peretzBut as a retired senior US military official has pointed out, the blame for the Lebanon debacle rests squarely Israel's political leadership.

Read this excerpt from today's Washington Times:

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney said Mossad knew details three years ago about Hezbollah's Katyusha and other rockets.
    "They knew what they had," he said.
    He said Israel's war plan was undermined by political leaders, not by a lack of intelligence.
    "Israel's plan was that if they were fired upon, they would respond with a [leadership] decapitation program and massive air and ground campaigns into Lebanon," Gen. McInerney said.
    However, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert did not order the decapitation plan and was slow to carry out the ground campaign.
    "It was not the intelligence," he said. "There's no question they did not take the heart out of Hezbollah."

So, did the military campaign in Lebanon fail to achieve its objectives? Absolutely.

And who is it that "owns" that failure? Israel's weak-kneed political leadership.

No matter how hard they might try to pin the blame on others, Olmert and Peretz have demonstrated through their inaction where the real lack of intelligence can truly be found.