Locker Commission Calls for Massive IDF Budget Cuts

The Yohanan Locker Commission into the IDF has issued a raft of controversial and far-reaching recommendations, which include major budget cuts throughout the Israeli military.

The Commission's stated objective is to grow Israel's defense budget from 55 billion shekels to 59 billion over the course of the next five years. That budget covers all IDF expenditure, apart from the ongoing project to move its headquarters to the Negev in southern Israel, which is covered by a separate budget.

Despite that figure representing a net increase from the presence budget, IDF top brass has warned it actually amounts to a cut in the long-term, given the need to invest in adapting to emerging security threats, such as cyber-terrorism.

The Locker Commission's long-awaited report is 72 pages long and contains 53 recommendations in total.

A number of those recommendations in particular stand out as potentially radical shakeups of the military. 

Among them, it calls for both male and female mandatory service to be lowered to just two years by 2020 – a call that has been made in the past but met resistance from defense experts who warned it would seriously harm the IDF's capacity. It comes just a few days after the three-year mandatory service was already cut by four months to 32 months.

Another recommendation is to scrap IDF pensions for all non-combat army officers, and replace them with a retirement grant which would vary in amount depending upon personal circumstances.

The Commission is made up of several senior military experts, including senior reserves officers.


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