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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is the IDF ready to fight?

Two of the biggest problems the IDF had in the Second Lebanon War were a shortage of supplies and a lack of training. The latter was due to the amount of effort that the IDF put into expelling Jews from their homes in Gaza the year before, and due to training to do the same thing to Jews in Judea and Samaria. Now, we are hearing complaints from IDF reservists about a lack of training due to budgetary constraints. Will history repeat itself?
"It's fine for the IDF to make cuts, but the implications are that we don't train, and we're not ready for war," Nitzan Peles, an IDF reservist, said in his address of the committee.

"My unit has gear because it is prestigious, but other units don't have enough equipment. Soldiers won't be able to fight in the next war."

MK Eitan Cabel cited several regiment commanders as saying that no progress has been made since last year's session, during which they relayed issues that are faced by the corps.

"Unfortunately, the state of the Reserves Forces is even more difficult than that of the regular forces," he said. "When you look at the reserves system, you see the real crisis."

A survey presented during the session found that the troops' satisfaction with their reserve service dropped from 65% to 57% since the year 2000. The soldier's trust in their commanders has also experienced a drop over the past decade – from 79% to 74%.

The troops' sense of preparedness for emergencies dropped by 9%, and only 39% of soldiers said that their equipment is suitable for operations.
Read the whole thing.

In the meantime, it was reported on Tuesday that the IDF is practicing bridge crossings to prepare for warfare 'deep in enemy territory.' Where could that be? Across the Suez Canal? Maybe. Across the Jordan River? We already are on the east side of the Jordan River unless we anticipate the Syrians displacing us. Across the Litani River? That can be crossed by foot in many places.

So why is the army spending money on this fancy and expensive exercise? Do we anticipate war with Egypt? What could go wrong?

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