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Wednesday, April 03, 2024 

How Israel intel failed, and led to the October 7 tragedy at Nir Oz

A former intelligence chief, Amos Malka, explained how intel on Hamas attacks ended up failing tragically, because the IDF thought only tunnel attacks mattered, and not ground invasions:
He implied that the focus on the tunnel threat, however important, had blinded Israel to the possibility of a classic land invasion.

The IDF and the political echelon had become convinced that one of the reasons that Hamas invested so much in cross-border attack tunnels was because it gave up entirely on the idea of a classic above-ground invasion, Malka suggested.

This meant that once the IDF had neutralized several attack tunnels, it let its guard down, even more than it might have if the entire attack-tunnel phenomenon had not taken place, he further implied.

Much of the critical intelligence collected by lower-ranking lookouts and intelligence officers such as “V,” who issued warnings to her superior officer in IDF Southern Command Intelligence Lt.-Col. “A,” was never passed on to the top echelons of Military Intelligence or the top political decision-makers, Malka said.

If true, this would mean that IDF Brig.-Gen. Amit Sa’ar, head of Military Intelligence analysis; Maj.-Gen. Aharon Haliva, head of Military Intelligence; IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, Netanyahu, and the cabinet did not know about these critical warnings.
I get the disgusted feeling refusal by the top brass to notify the main government was no accident. Whoever the officers in charge were who failed, they belong in prison.
Former IDF Intelligence officer Col. Assaf Heller said there was a massive “cultural problem” in Israeli society, which has leaked its way into the IDF and the cabinet, of viewing complex issues in black and white and dismissing minority scenarios and viewpoints.

Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yitzhak Ben-Israel, director of Tel Aviv University’s Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center, said humanity throughout history, and certainly Israelis in 2024, is uncomfortable with uncertainty and jumps toward whatever is “the most likely” scenario to obtain certainty, even if that scenario turns out to be catastrophically wrong.

Malka said simply replacing some top-level IDF and political personnel would be insufficient to avoid future October 7 disasters. This was true because until the intelligence structure and processes make sure that unlikely scenarios and data collected by lower-ranking officials are taken seriously by the highest levels of the IDF and the cabinet, the same mistake could be made repeatedly, he said.
Well the IDF staffers who were making such a fuss over judicial reform instead of concentrating on the job of public safety didn't do any better, and they should be ashamed of themselves, as should the paper for trying to make it sound like the government's at fault for raising the reform issue to begin with.

In the meantime, they definitely better start replacing staffers regardless, especially if they're left-wing, because anybody who's going to care more about petty issues like legal systems than about public safety is not qualified for the job.

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  • I'm Avi Green
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