Weekly Commentary: Ehud Barak was clueless on strategic matters and careless
in decision making
Dr. Aaron Lerner 27 June 2019
The last thing Israel needs is a return of Ehud Barak to a leadership
Here are just a few examples of his past failures:
#1. Barak clueless of need for subs or second strike capability:
Excerpts from "A strategic navy in a nuclear Middle East" By Reuven
Pedatzur - Ha'aretz 5 November 2000 (written when Israel took delivery of
the last of the first three German made submarines specially fitted with
launch tubes that could accommodate Jericho missiles)
But the story behind the submarine project is to a large extent cause for
concern. On the eve of the Gulf War, a decision to scuttle the project was
taken at the IDF General Staff: that is, to leave the navy without any
submarines at all. Only the stricken conscience of Helmut Kohl, the German
chancellor, after the extent of German aid to the Iraqis became known, led
to the decision to fund the submarines. Thus, it was German money that saved
the submarine project.
The General Staff's decision is cause for concern because all those who took
part in the discussion knew very well, based on intelligence estimates, that
within a small number of years Israel would be threatened by nuclear
weapons. It is difficult to fathom how those who are supposed to be familiar
with and to understand strategic thinking in the modern era decided to give
up the strategic potential inherent in submarines. There is no alternative
but to question the judgment of the top brass, and this question deserves an
answer. It is an interesting fact that the person who led the opposition to
building the submarines in that discussion, and the person whose position
prevailed in the end, was none other than the person who served at the time
as deputy chief of staff, Ehud Barak.
#2. Gaza Coast Drilling Right Debacle: The 1993 Oslo accords assigned the
Palestinians a 20-by-20-mile swath of sea for limited ''fishing, recreation,
and economic activity,'' but said nothing about resources beneath the
Mediterranean. As prime minister, Ehud Barak unilaterally and without the
receipt of any Palestinian concessions, effectively handed over exploitation
rights for the Gaza coastal area to the Palestinian Authority, with the
British BG Group signing an agreement with the PA on natural gas development
#3. Barak clueless of consequences of South Lebanon Retreat: It would be bad
enough that Ehud Barak's hasty 2000 retreat was a planning fiasco with no
provisions for the allied SLA forces and heavy weapons and other military
equipment abandoned in Lebanon. More critical is that Barak failed to back
up his warning that Israel would have zero tolerance for any cross border
violations from Lebanon in the wake of the retreat. Barak responded to the
daily rock throwing and periodic fire bomb throwing by quipping that "a
stone throne at a farmer in Metulah or a soldier does not justify a sharp
response by the IDF that might heat up the area again." (YNET - 11 August,
2000) which was followed by more serious attacks that also failed to get a
But that's not the biggest problem with the retreat.
The top problem is that after the retreat Ehud Barak continues to confuse
Hezbollah PATIENCE with Israeli DETERRENCE.
Hezbollah has patiently built up its first strike capability, now possessing
over a hundred thousand rockets.
And now Hezbollah is patiently upgrading its missiles by attaching guidance
kits flown into Beirut Airport.
Again: this is Hezbollah PATIENCE not to attack until it is ready - not
And this is critical to understand because this confusion can drive to
dangerously wrong policy decisions.
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