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Monday, May 06, 2013

Surprise: IDF doesn't need so many soldiers after all

With the Knesset hard at a work on a populist measure to pull Haredim out of yeshivas and send them to the army, the IDF has now admitted in the clearest way possible that they don't need or want so many soldiers. The IDF has announced that it is shortening service by four months for all non-combat soldiers effective July 2015. Combat soldiers will receive higher pay for the last four months of service. And the economy will save - get this - NIS 1.5 billion. Sounds like a win-win all around. And with the number of non-combat soldiers being 5-6 times the number of combat soldiers, maybe the IDF is trying to stop being a social welfare agency (you'd be amazed how many head cases they try to resolve) and start being exclusively an army (and a darned good one) at much lower cost to the economy.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon approved on Monday IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz’s plan to shorten the term of compulsory army service. In a morning meeting of the Perry Committee - whose task is to equalize the burden of military service - IDF officials presented the army’s position on shortening IDF service by four months starting July 2015, slightly more than two years from now. Though the committee felt that the term of service should be shortened as early as next year, Ya’alon opposed the idea.

According to the plan, the shortened service will not apply to soldiers in combat or special units, who will continue to serve for three years. However, these soldiers will receive higher compensation for the remainder of their service.

A statement issued by the defense minister’s bureau said that the reason for shortening the term of service (and postponing the plan by a year) stemmed from “operational need and the understanding of the trend and the national need for equality in service.” According to calculations, shortening the term of service will add NIS 1.5 billion to the economy. For that reason, the Finance Ministry has expressed sweeping support for the plan.
The plan to shorten army service, under certain conditions set by the Defense Ministry, will be brought before the political echelon for approval. According to these conditions, the army must retain the model of a people’s army; combat troops and other vital personnel will serve for a longer period under employment conditions similar to those of career soldiers; the transition will be introduced gradually, with the length of service determined by soldiers’ roles rather than by gender; change in special shortened service tracks; and supplemental budgets for the plan over and above the defense budget, which has been described as “a necessary condition for applying the model.” In addition, shortening the term of compulsory service must not result in more days of reserve duty for active reservists.
So the first thing the committee on 'equalizing service' does is to make service unequal for those already enlisted. Not that I'm opposed, but that's pretty rich.

Read the whole thing to see how slowly it's moving. Maybe in another 65 years we'll stop pretending that everyone needs to be socialized and go to a volunteer army. If our economy holds up that long.

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At 2:01 AM, Blogger HaDaR said...

Quite the contrary is true...
The IDF needs an EQUAL SHARING OF THE BURDEN, not some doing three years and some zero.
Let the combat units serve three or even more years, and the rest 1 1/2 with EVERYONE who is not an Arab serving.


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