DEBKAfile Exclusive Report, April 14, 2013
The two top ministers in the new Netanyahu government both have big plans. While overlapping at some points, the two will certainly butt heads on others. Finance Minister Yair Lapid in particular has his eye on deep cuts in defense spending to reduce the budget deficit. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon plans to do away with such ambitious military programs as the Chariot Tank Mark 4 and the “Tiger” APC. But his blueprint for restructuring the Israeli Defense Forces will definitely cost big shekels.
Yaalon’s innovative blueprint is influenced by a pervasive new concept that the big Arab armies which attacked Israel in the past have been relegated to obsolescence by the Arab Revolt and the decline of the Egyptian and Syrian armies – the first crippled by economic calamity and the second, debilitated by more than two years of fighting a civil war. Ergo, according to this concept, Israel is now for the first time in its 65 years no longer menaced by a large professional army capable of waging a full-blown war.