Election of Trump Could Change Israeli Army’s Plans, Top Officer Says

New U.S. administration could 'derail' the military, top Israeli general says.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center in West Allis, Wisconsin, December 13, 2016.
SHANNON STAPLETON/REUTERS

The election of Donald Trump and the change in the American administration could “derail” the Israeli army and force it to alter some of its plans, an Israel Defense Forces general staff officer said on Wednesday.

“The change in administration could derail us – and cause us to alter our work,” the general told reporters.

Another defense source told Haaretz recently that the new American secretary of defense and other senior Washington officials will have an impact on Israel’s defense plans.

An IDF soldier directing a tank near the Quneitra crossing with Syria, June 5, 2013.
AP

The IDF is in the process of completing the first year of its multi-year “Gideon” plan. The top brass decided not to address the Air Force and its purchase plans in the efficiency plan, because an agreement on U.S. defense assistance was still pending.

Now the IDF is working on a plan to implement the American defense agreement, which grants Israel $38 billion over the course of 10 years. Part of the sum will go toward buying the second F-35 squadron and perhaps additional aircraft like advanced F-15 planes or another F-35 squadron, possibly the type that can take off and land vertically.

The officer said the IDF has no plan to acquire weapons that make use of American money for 2020-2028 at this stage, but is in the process of drafting such a plan.

The American money will be used to produce more advanced armored personnel carriers.

The IDF is considering buying, as part of the defense aid agreement, new refueling planes to replace the old ones in use today. The IDF also wants to use the American aid money to renovate and rebuild certain training bases, with the help of the American engineering corps and American contractors.