Dan Halutz, together with Dan Harel
Dan Halutz, together with Dan Harel IDF Spokesperson's Unit

Ex-IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz declared Thursday evening that he is not sorry for his decision to break out the Second Lebanon War.

"The Second Lebanon War found us less ready than we wanted - but not less than was necessary against the opponent. The readiness was adequate, overall, in the face of the enemy we fought," said Halutz, at an event commemorating a decade since the war at the Institute for National Security Studies.

He added, "A lack of readiness has a cost - more wounded. The matter was known to all the decision-makers - and yet despite this, the decision to launch a military operation was correct and justified, and I would have done it again. For proof: We have had ten years of quiet. Thanks to whom? Thanks to those same fighters we later criticized."

Halutz touched on the gap between the actual war objectives in his purview - and what was presented to the public. "The first day we planned the return of the captured soldiers. The day after, in the cabinet meeting, we asked to change the created conditions. Why? Because we understood that if we would write 'the return of the captured soldiers,' from our perspective, we would be obligating ourselves to a war without end - because we would not be able to achieve that goal."

"When the politicians stood at the podiums and made declarations and speeches in the Knesset, needling each other in the coalition and the opposition - many secondary goals were produced, and weren't made official anywhere - these don't become military directives. The military doesn't receive orders from Channel 2. The military has a chain - the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister tell the Chief of Staff: 'This is what we want to happen,' and he needs to translate that to the relevant mailing list," explained Halutz.

He said, "At the end of the fighting, a senior intelligence officer came to me and left me a note, wherein he wrote: 'Israel has taken a significant step for strategic success - yet the step is shadowed due to a lack of clear decision-making and difficult tactics.'"

"Hezbollah took a significant step toward strategic failure - muffled by tactical successes. That's all. A land maneuver must not be a Pavlovian action. There is no social justice in the use of force in war. We do what is needed to achieve the goal, for which we were apparently sent to fight."

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