Mark my words, Gabi Ashkenazi is somebody we will be hearing a lot more of in the near future. He's tough, experienced and has a sensible head on his shoulders. Firmly rooted in the old school way of the early Zionists, he's not somebody to underestimate and well respected in Israel, he's probably one of the few members of the Israeli establishment that hasn't, to my knowledge, had a pulsa diNura (ancient Hebrew curse) done on him yet. Usually in Israeli popular culture that means he can't be a politician yet, but these are desparate times for the Jewish state and, jokes aside, his presence amongst the current batch of clowns running the show there has a soothing effect on the people and the soldiers. That's why he's been appointed to his current role as well as to prepare the IDF for the next war with Hezbullah and potentially Iran.
Ashkenazi is considered the right man for the job as he was also head of intelligence for South Lebanon during the time that Israel occupied it so he knows Hezbullah and knows what they are capable of. Of course Hezbullah know him well too...but they've already defeated the Israelis twice. Commemorating the tenth anniversary of liberating the south of Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah played down some concerns about Ashkenazi's appointment, putting him in perspective with what were actually quite sensible arguments rather than bombast (not that Nasrallah has ever resorted to bombast to my knowledge). Still, Hezbullah will have to be careful, this guy will be a tough nut to crack.