The IDF has great combat leaders and brave soldiers. But Hezbollah’s boys proved tougher – and we can’t pretty it up. The terrorists were willing – even eager – to die for their cause. Israeli leaders dreaded friendly casualties. And IDF troops – except in elite units – lacked the will to close with the enemy and defeat him at close quarters.
The IDF needs pervasive reform. Still structured to defeat the conventional militaries of Syria and Egypt, it faced an enemy tailored specifically to take on the IDF. Historical reputation isn’t enough – the IDF must rebuild itself to take on post-modern threats. As one senior American general put it, “The IDF’s been living on fumes since 1967.”