Top IDF source: Army will collapse if budget cut

The IDF budget for 2012, if cut, will be around NIS 24 billion out of the NIS 50.5 billion that constitutes the defense budget.

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September 26, 2011 03:17
2 minute read.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Bennie Gantz

Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Bennie Gantz 311. (photo credit: Ariel Harmoni / Defense Ministry)

 
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The IDF will collapse, a senior source in the General Staff warned on Sunday night, if the government follows through with plans to cut the planned defense budget for 2012.

According to the officer, the IDF will not be able to implement its strategic long-term procurement plans if the budget is cut by NIS 3 billion as the Treasury is seeking to offset some of the tax breaks and economic benefits it will need to finance in response to the social protests.

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“The IDF will collapse in five years and possibly earlier and will be a different IDF than we know now,” the senior officer said. “It will be a different military since we will not be able to provide missile defense systems, to buy more fighter jets, to buy more tanks and ammunition if the budget is cut.”

Despite the IDF warning, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Sunday that the defense establishment would need to make cuts to its budget.

“The social protests were real and provided us with an opportunity to solve some real social problems and the Defense Ministry needs to contribute its part,” Barak said at a meeting of the Independence faction.

The IDF budget for 2012, if cut, will be around NIS 24 billion out of the NIS 50.5 billion that constitutes the defense budget.

“We have looked at every way possible to open contracts and try to make cuts but the minimum we need is NIS 30 billion,” the officer said.



According to the officer, the cuts will prevent the IDF from implementing its new multi-year plan which was supposed to include the procurement of new fighter jets, drones, missile defense systems and new surface-to-surface rockets.

“Everything will be frozen and we will be extremely limited in what we will be able to buy since the entire budget will need to go towards existing contracts and maintaining the platforms we already have,” the officer said.

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