How much do we really love our military - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • zionist forever
    • 11.08.11 | 14:32 (IDT)

    Whenever the government wants to finance some new popular civilian project they always think they can take it from the military budget, then they can have their vote winning civilian project without having to try and balance the budget. The army never come out and protest against budget cuts, they know all the politicians use the same trick so voting for another party doesn't help they are just an easy target. Before Lebanon in 2006 for over a decade every year the government was finding a creative new way to cut the defense budget without having to compromise on security, then came Lebanon and soldiers paid for these creative ctbacks with their lives. The Trophy system now being fitted as standard to Merkava tanks to protect it from anti tank rockets it existed in 2006 but the IDF didn't buy it because they wanted to save money, palestinians didn't have any anti tank rockets why spend money on something like that? Then came Lebanon and Hizbollah did have anti tank rockets ( as do all the conventional armies in the region ) and the tanks were not protected and soldiers were killed. The reservists had to either buy their own body armour or do without because the IDF hadn't bought enough to equip reservists to save money. Some reservists hadn't been called up for training in years ( save money ) and the result was people forgot valuable skills. The tanks corps were also saying how they couldn't remember the last time they held a live fire exercise, cutting those down was another creative way of cutting cost. This government is the first one in a very long time to actually spend any real money on the IDF. The past 2 years the IDF have got more equipment ( they need ) than they have had in well over about a decade. I doesn't matter how many peace treaties you sign you always need an army if you don't plan on surrendering because wars can start over anything and they can happen at any time, peace treaties do not guarantee peace. If your going to ask somebody to go and risk their lives to defend the countrty you OWE them the best equipment which will give them maximum chance of victory and minimum casualties. Whats more important a reduction in VAT or a soldiers life? Thousands of people march to get Gilad Shalit back, yes when a soldier is kidnapped he is a national hero but and we all want him back but when it comes to spending money to protect our boys or do we want something like a VAT cut then we become a much more selfish bunch because whilst we of course all care about solders but do we really care about them so much as we are willing to pay more VAT? When it comes to the financing of an army there are 2 ways to do it. The first is give them a decent budget to operate on and don't take their money to pay for popular civilian projects. Do that and they have the money to buy the equipment they need slowly. The other ways is not invest in the army for years and force them to make do with inferior & outdated equipment and then when things get to breaking point spend alot of money all in one go to buy them all the things they have been forced to do without. We need to stop making creative budget cuts everytime the government wants abit of extra spending money. The IDF are entitled to their share of the national budget just same as everybody else and they need the money they ask for considering all the things we EXPECT them to do for us.

    from the article: Israel can cut its defense budget without risking security
    First published 02:14 11.08.11 | Last updated 02:14 11.08.11
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