September 24, 2018


Israeli's Military Is World Class. But Is It Ready?: Two conflicting verdicts on Israel's military are stirring old anxieties. (Zev Chafets, September 24, 2018, Bloomberg)

[A] scathing critique of the IDF's culture and readiness from a retired general has created a debate within Israel about whether the country has become complacent. It's a debate worth having, even if some of the fears are likely overblown.

The criticism came earlier this month from Yitzhak Brick, a hero of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, who has been the IDF ombudsman for the past decade. He is not a member of the IDF general staff, but an independent actor who is leaving his post on Jan. 1, after a 10-year stint.

In a thick dossier sent to the Minister of Defense and the Knesset Committee on Foreign Affairs and Security, Brick detailed what he sees as serious weaknesses in the IDF's operational abilities and war-fighting doctrine. The report is classified "secret" but its wide distribution ensured it was efficiently leaked.

According to Haaretz military correspondent Amos Har-el, Brick raised concerns about what he sees as the erosion of the IDF's ground forces, and also the general staff's unwillingness to investigate itself and correct its mistakes.

Was listening to Yoram Hazony discuss his book on the virtues of nationalism on the Law & Liberty podcast yesterday and considering why the regimes that advocate for tribal rule are so corrupt, as witness Bibi & Donald. The basic reason seems obvious: they appeal to voters almost entirely on the basis of membership in a racial group, with their only real policy prescriptions consisting of benefitting that group to the exclusion of others.  Essentially, they have offered a corrupt and corrupting bargain and justified it on the basis that the "other" represents some sort of existential threat.  It is then pretty hard for those who buy into the bargain and believe in the threat to hold the leadership accountable and it is easy for said leaders to sell the notion that the destabilizing effects of such accountability would weaken "us" and help "them." Having forsaken republican liberty for the "enemy," good luck applying it to the regime.

Posted by at September 24, 2018 4:11 AM