Senior officer denies claims IDF not ready for war

Despite IDF ombudsman's warning's over IDF's depleted state, high ranking officer tells Arutz Sheva that such charges are baseless.

Tzvi Lev ,

IDF Spokespersons Unit

A high-ranking IDF officer serving in the Ground Forces pushed back at claims that the military is unable to fight a full-fledged war with Israel's enemies.

Over the previous few months, IDF Ombudsman Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brik has been releasing increasingly dire warnings about what he says is the military's depleted state. Brik, who will soon resign after 10 years in office, has called on cabinet ministers, the subcommittee of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the IDF leadership to appoint a committee to investigate the readiness of the ground forces for war.

In his most recent report, Brick says that the army's streamlining and efficiency restructuring have devastated the ground forces, detailing the lack of manpower and ammunition rife among the standing military.

The charges were refuted by the officer, who told Arutz Sheva that stepped-up training and increased budget for both the standing army and the reserves renders the IDF more ready for conflict that it has been in years.

"I see the momentum in training and on land, and there is no parallel in this scale compared to other countries and compared to the reality that existed here until a few years ago," says the officer, who is well-versed in the IDF's training schedule.

The officer added that he cannot understand how Brick reached his conclusions. "The soldiers, who are training for seventeen months and are then in seventeen months of operational employment, are as prepared as can possibly be," he said.

"Until recently, training exercises comprised only a third of a conscript's [three years] IDF service. Today, when the duration of the training period makes up half of the military service, we bring soldiers to qualitative results in the reserves. "

While the officer acknowledged that "there is no readiness of 100 percent," he said that "the readiness of the ground forces is 80 percent, and that is definitely what is required. There will always be exceptions, there will always be those who are not satisfied, but to say that the army is not ready for war does not match reality."

Upon being asked what has changed in IDF to improve its readiness for war, the officer said that a NIS 1 billion that was added to the Ground Forces' budget allows the army to invest more in training reservists.

"Today when a reservist arrives for a five-day training, he participates in a shoulder-to-shoulder exercise with the units parallel to him and those who will be with him during combat such as engineering, artillery, armor and more."

"This is definitely a revolution in the army, and I can clearly state that the level of training and their quality are at the best level," the officer said. "Go down to the training facilities and see how wrong you are."