Daily Israel Report

Ashkenazi: Military and Political Leaders Should Decide Together

Former Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi stresses the importance of the political and military leaders deciding together on striking Iran.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 9/7/2012, 11:16 PM

Gabi Ashkenazi (file)
Gabi Ashkenazi (file)
Flash 90

Former Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said on Friday that Israel’s political and military leaders should reach a decision on striking Iran together.

“Strategic decisions should be made in dialogue between the political and military leaderships,” Ashkenazi clarified during a conference in Herzliya. “If the military does not exist in this discourse, such discourse should be created.”

He added that the military should be involved in such decisions and make recommendations. “It has an effect on deciding to go to war, it is our duty. We must ensure that the planned actions are achievable, in the broad sense. Use of military force is a means and not an end. There should be coordination of expectations between the military and the political echelons. This discourse is critical to design the outcomes. Sometimes it leads to arguments.”

“This discourse is the duty of the political and the military leadership, and I told my replacement Benny Gantz that he must create such a dialogue with the political leadership in order to achieve the best results,” added Ashkenazi

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently hinted during a television interview that it would only be Israel’s political leadership that would ultimately decide on an attack in Iran.

“In Israeli democracy – and in any democracy – the political echelon makes the decision and the operational echelon carries it out,” he said. “This is the way it has always been and the way it always will be, too.”

Ashkenazi recently sounded a slightly calming note regarding the situation in Iran, saying that Iran does not yet possess a nuclear weapon capability.

“This threat that is looming in the east and all the darkness that is gathering there… There is a feeling that someone can just a suitcase off the shelf and there will be an Iranian bomb... We are still not there,” he said.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)