Israel appoints coordinator of possible war with Iran:

By Deutsche Presse-Agentur

08/25/06 "
DP" -- -- Tel Aviv - Israeli Army Chief of Staff Dan Halutz has appointed a top Israeli officer to be in charge of preparing a possible war with Iran, the Ha'aretz daily reported Friday, quoting a security official.

Air Force Commander Eliezer Shkedy is to manage Israel's armed forces if war breaks out and is responsible for preparing battle plans, the daily said.

The paper pointed out that the appointment was made before this summer's crisis with Lebanon, which has led many Israelis to accuse their political and military leadership of having failed to prepare adequately for the possibility of another war in Lebanon.

The security official told Ha'aretz that the appointment was an implementation of lessons from the 1991 Gulf War, during which the Israeli army did not have a 'campaign manager' for Iraq.

Instead, the Israel Air Force, the ground forces and the intelligence agencies each operated within their own areas of responsibility without having a single coordinator linking them.

According to Ha'aretz, Major General Shkedy is to be in charge of all conflicts with 'countries not bordering Israel,' which effectively means both Iraq and Iran.

An army spokeswoman would not confirm or deny the report, saying the army does not disclose information on its operational tactics.

2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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