Defense Budget Cuts Shrink IDF Operational Capacity

YERUSHALAYIM -

Against the backdrop of civil war in Syria and near-chaos in Egypt, a looming budget cut of 3 billion shekels is forcing the IDF to make significant reductions, particularly in the Air Force.

IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz announced on Wednesday that budgetary projections for the next five years will necessitate shutting down several air squadrons, several armored units and a trimming back of battleships and tanks. The standing army will be reduced by 3,000-5,000 soldiers, and plans to improve intelligence-gathering operations will also be curtailed.

The IDF said the cut will also prevent it from improving its air defense capabilities, including Iron Dome and Magic Wand.

The plan, which will soon be submitted for the government’s approval, is expected to save the army some NIS 7 billion over the next five years.

Hamodia’s military correspondent A. Pe’er described the decision as the military’s way of saying to the politicians who are insisting on sweeping cutbacks that they cannot expect the IDF to undertake a coercive recruitment of chareidim costing hundreds of millions of shekels when there isn’t even money for fuel for the air force.