IDF Overhaul Expected After Iran Deal

'Gidon Plan' presented to IDF General Staff Monday could see thousands of soldiers dismissed or cut in the name of security.

Tova Dvorin ,

IDF soldiers
IDF soldiers
Tomer Weinberg

The Iranian nuclear deal has not only prompted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other officials to declare that Israel will defend itself - it has also prompted the IDF to take drastic measures to act on that plan. 

On Monday morning, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot presented to the General Staff the Gidon Plan, a multi-year overhaul of the IDF designed to deal with every possible scenario which would force Israel to defend its borders. 

The plan assesses Iran as the biggest threat, according to Maariv, and it takes into account the possibility of an Iranian-Israeli war breaking out. Six top generals from around the world and leading IDF generals formulated the plan. 

Highlights of the Gidon plan, according to an anonymous GS officer, include: 

  • the closure of six IDF divisions;
  • the addition of unmanned aircraft to the cyber intelligence unit, the general intelligence unit, and the Israeli Air Force;
  • cuts to the Home Front Command reserves;
  • changes in the IDF's weapons arsenals - likely, more upgrades, and phasing out antique equipment;
  • layoffs of more than 4,500 career soldiers, a move designed to bring up the average salaries of careerists as well as the quality of service; 
  • several small programs designed to lower the average age of IDF officers - including programs designed to begin officer training earlier and bring down the average age of commanders at various ranks by up to 5-10 years; and
  • a substantial reduction in the reservist program, with up to 100,000 current reserve soldiers released over the next several years. Reserve duty is typically mandatory for most combat and non-combat soldiers serving in the IDF, with the average soldier called up for days or weeks at a time at several points during the year. The Gidon plan would reduce this program on the one hand, but also provide further training and demand more time from reservists who will stay within the system. 

High-ranking General staff officers told Maariv that the program is a unique opportunity to meet the military challenges most expected for the future, by streamlining the IDF to where defense needs to be strongest. 

The full Gidon plan is expected to be released to the press on Tuesday.