The ombudsman of the Israel Defense Forces, Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brick, is a hero of the Yom Kippur War launched by Egypt and Syria against Israel in 1973. Israel came close to losing that war due to a complacent military resting on its laurels after the stunning victory in the Six Day War six years earlier, and the resulting smugness of the political echelon that almost ended in disaster.
Brick, who is winding up a decade-long term, is tasked with handling soldiers’ complaints, not dealing with operational readiness and capability or military buildup. Nonetheless, in recent months he has turned from being a troubling nuisance into a real strategic problem. It began with a report he submitted in June presenting a gloomy assessment of the IDF’s readiness and fitness for war, followed by a long and detailed document on the same issue that he sent to senior defense officials. This month, he issued an additional document, no less detailed, that includes a demand for an external commission of inquiry headed by a retired Supreme Court justice to examine his claims.