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Chief of Staff Benny Gantz
Photo: Avihu Shapira
IDF: No budget – no defense
Ahead of publication of Trachtenberg Report tasked with reallocating State budget, security apparatus officials warn against budget cuts, say setback could hinder deployment of Iron Dome; leave reservists without uniforms, equipment

The plan to cut back Defense Ministry's budget by NIS 3 billion as part of the Trachtenberg Committee recommendations, appointed to deal with the social protest, stirred a storm in the security establishment – and now officials at the General Staff are going for the offensive, and claiming: No budget – no protection.

 

The budget cuts, officials in the defense establishment warned, will gravely undermine the development of military technology and the deployment of Iron Dome missile defense system batteries.

 

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The officials also claimed that such a setback could also bring to a halt the development of the Magic Wand project, which is designed to thwart medium-range missiles, as well as the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 missiles, which are spearheading the long-range missile defense systems.

 

"We don’t know how to begin 2012 with this budget," said one of the officials, "The army will not have money for basic stuff such as uniform and equipment for reserve soldiers, transportation home, ammunition for training, and some of the squadron's will have to be grounded.

 

"Israel will not be able to protect itself from missiles fired from Lebanon and Syria. The enemy will grow stronger while the scope of threats is becoming wider with the current changes in the Middle East," warned the official.

 

Asked whether a compromise between the military and the State is in sight, the official said that "this is not open for negotiations, because the State is the sovereign and the army will adapt itself to what the state determines.

 

"The Treasury is completely ignoring to the implications of the budget cuts. Fighting spirit and motivation are important – but keeping an army strong and advanced costs money," the official said.

 

 

 

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