Former chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi said, Thursday, not to cut the defense budget, given current realities. Regarding the Iranian nuclear threat and the accompanying sabre rattling, the reserves lieutenant-general said, in a speech at the Institute for National Security Studies, "In contrast to a decade ago, the possibility there will be a confrontation with Iran is not something to just talk about, but also to prepare for."
Recalling the Cast Lead counterterror operation of 2008-2009, Ashkenazi said, "The possibility of conducting another extensive operation in Gaza has become more complex following the events of the past year in Egypt and the change of government in that country". He added, "I think that this environment will not act like Mubarak. I do not think he was a Zionist, but you cannot ignore the fact that he was an anchor of stability in the region, as well as against the background of the not-so simple tests he passed - the wars in Lebanon or the intifada."