As military officials discuss a proposal to reduce the length of Israeli men's service from a full three years to just 32 months, disagreements emerged Wednesday when a senior IDF officer told Ynet he is opposed to the proposal and said that it would harm the level of combat soldiers' training and therefore their preparedness for combat as well.
The plan would shorten service for Israeli males partly by cutting into basic and advanced training. The source told Ynet that such a move would only be possible if yearly exercises were intensified and lengthened, which would require multiple battalions of reservists at a high financial cost.
The proposed changes to training in the IDF are expected to be announced in the coming days, reducing combat soldiers' training period from eight months to five or six. Shortening the training would allow soldiers to enter operational roles sooner, reducing the effects of a major man-power shortage of 6,000 soldiers - 2,500 combat troops - as a result of the shortened service.
Another way the proposal suggests that officials deal with the shortage of soldiers is to create an additional two combat battalions that will accept both men and women like the Karakal battalion, to be assigned a specific area of duty. These battalions wouldn't be called into action during war.
The IDF's Manpower Directorate said that the amount of combat simulations could be increased to help make up for the training deficiency created by the plan. Such simulations however, were only incorporated into the IDF in the last few years and focus mainly on the level of individual soldiers or squads.
The opposing IDF officer shot down this idea however, saying, "The trainers (simulations) save resources but don't save training time. We have to understand that at the moment we are reviewing propriety all the time. Sometimes physical training is cancelled in the morning in order to add an hour to an exercise in the night."