Decline of Israeli Military Strength!

Decline of the Israeli Military Strength

June 7, 2006

Joe Bennett sends me a lot of good stuff on the Middle East. He sent me the one which follows as a Special to World Tribune.Com. I have been very concerned about Israeli cuts in their Military ever since we began this web site five years

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ago, as well as their shift from weapons normally used in conventional war to weapons for nuclear war. Please also read Special Prophecy Update Number 135B which follows and complements the World Tribune.Com article.

Begin World Article

Israel’s Military Strength Declines ‘30 Percent’


Friday, June 2, 2006

TEL AVIV — Israel’s military, hampered by a budget

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shortfall, has suspended major programs in the army and navy.

“With the [current] defense budget, we are scratching the bottom,” former Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh, a Labor Party Knesset member, said.

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“Our [military] strength over the last three to four years has declined by 30 percent as a result of cuts in the budget.

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If we don’t preserve our military superiority, we won’t be here.”

Officials and industry sources said the Israel Defense Forces has blocked approval of major procurement projects required for the war against the Palestinian Authority and Hizbullah, Middle East Newsline reported. They said that virtually every project not financed by U.S. military aid has been affected.

On May 30, the Israeli Cabinet approved a 510 million shekel, or $113 million, cut in the Defense Ministry’s budget of 33.5 billion shekels [$7.78 billion] for fiscal 2006.

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The Cabinet also rejected the Defense Ministry’s request for a multi-year budget.

“The 2006 budget and the multi-year vision had already been agreed to and signed,” Defense Minister Amir Peretz said. “As part of coalition agreements, it was also determined that all budget deliberations would begin in 2007 and not 2006.”

Officials said the Cabinet decision would cancel or delay key projects not financed by the $2.2 billion of annual U.S. military aid. They said some of these projects had been planned for launch over

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the next year.

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“When you cut the budget in July, it’s clear that you can’t cut in an optimal way,” said David Ivry, a former air force commander and director-general of the Defense Ministry. “To cut projects is the least optimal.”

Officials said virtually every new procurement project in the navy has been slashed or delayed.

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They said this has included plans to purchase everything from the enhanced Dolphin-class diesel submarine from Germany, corvettes from the United States as well as indigenous unmanned surface vessels.

“The navy has told us send us your USVs and we’ll try them,” an industry source said. “But there’s no way they will buy them. There’s no money.”

The army has suspended or reduced numerous programs as well. They include the procurement of a long-range guided rocket as well as miniature unmanned aerial vehicle systems.

The Ground Forces Command had planned to procure a mini-UAV system for each combat battalion.

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But officials said GFC doesn’t have the budget to procure a significant amount of UAVs over the next year.

“This is a vital asset for ground forces in both conventional and low-intensity warfare,” a Defense Ministry official said. “But there’s such uncertainty over budget stability that decisions can not be taken.”

The army has also delayed decisions regarding the future of the Merkava main battle tank program.

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Officials said the decisions include whether to continue production of the current Mk-4 in 2007 or develop the Mk-5 model, designed to contain full network centric capability.

“We don’t know if there will even be a Mark-5,” a ministry official said.

Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz said the latest budget cut would threaten

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the Merkava tank program as well as reservist and standing army troop levels. Halutz said he has been insulted by the government’s failure to honor the military budget.

In contrast, the air force would be largely spared from the budget cuts, officials said. The air force spends 60 percent of the military budget and benefits the most from U.S. military aid, which finances the procurement of everything from fighter-jets and helicopters to fuel.

For his part, Ivry said the suspension or elimination of programs in the middle of a fiscal year would not be cost effective.

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He cited contractual obligations and worker severance pay.

“The cost of severance pay is higher than the savings,” Ivry said.

End World Article


September 1, 2003


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Bye! Conventional Merkava 4’s and 5’s!

I was rather surprised by some armor decisions made recently by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is now the Treasury Minister in Ariel Sharon’s Cabinet. He believes Israel faces two threats – The Palestinian terrorist groups, and the weapons of mass destruction that are being developed by Arab states in the Middle East, notably headed by Iran. Of course, both of these are real threats, but I do not agree with his statement that followed. He does not believe the threat of an invasion by Arab states against Israel on the ground is a feasible reality and, because of this, favors the decommissioning of old war systems, like the Merkava tanks, at an accelerated rate. Netanyahu attributes great importance to the strategic view, which would provide answers to the Iranian nuclear threat and to other state’s weapons of mass destruction. He favors the continuation of the security fence to its completion, but desires to see the discontinuation of Merkava tank production. If Israel does follow this program, believing they are secure from an outside ground attack at the present, then once they finally get the Palestinians fenced in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, it will give them a sense of “peace and safety” as regards their being overrun from the north. Scripture indicates it will happen. Without the conventional old war systems, such as the Merkava 3 and the new Merkava 4 tanks, Israel would be much more vulnerable to a conventional attack like the one launched against them from Syria in the 1973 Yom Kipper War. The deterrent to non-conventional weapons, now being developed by the Arab states, lies in the Negev wilderness in the form of nuclear, chemical, and biological warheads on the hundreds of Jericho missiles found there. The mass destruction weapons possessed by Israel in the Negev are more than a sufficient deterrent to cause the Arab states not to launch theirs against Israel. When Israel truly believes it has attained peace and safety, then a conventional war attack will be launched against it from the north.

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I Thessalonians 5:3,4 – For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. [4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

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