Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett approves five-year military readiness plan

Jan. 27 (UPI) — A five-year readiness overhaul of the Israel Defense Force, known as the Momentum Plan, was approved by Defense Minister Naftali Bennett.

The plan, known in Hebrew as Tenufa, was designed by Defense Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochlavi to make the Israeli military “more flexible, smarter and deadlier.”

It calls for quick deployment of troops and equipment, and wars won as rapidly as possible. The plan was deliberately composed to counter perceived potential threats to Israel in the next decade, and calls for the military to have a constantly updated list of targets and the means to strike them.

“The multi-year Momentum Plan will make an IDF that is more flexible, intelligent and lethal,” Bennett said in a statement on Sunday. “The plan takes advantage of the strengths of the State of Israel and its powers, while looking realistically at the challenges and dangers, chief among them the Iranian threat.”

“At the heart of the plan is the principle of defeating the enemy quickly and powerfully, in the face of many complex arenas,” he added

Bennett signed the order on Sunday. It will go to Israel’s Security Cabinet, and later to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, for approval, which is expected. He also approved a series of decisions on Sunday to increase IDF readiness, including weapons purchases, development of new capabilities and changes in military structure.

Israel already spent $3.2 billion on the plan in 2019, which technically began its rollout at the start of 2020. Significant portions of the defense budget have been diverted to Israeli defense companies to pay for upgrades to ground forces, communication and intelligence, logistics and the Israeli navy and air force.

It was announced last week that another $580 million will be spent immediately to accelerate the program.

The Momentum Plan will require a significant increase in Israel’s defense budget, but Bennett’s order offers no budgetary approvals. The IDF relies on last year’s budget, cost-saving structural realignments and a grant of $3.8 billion per year, until 2028, from the United States. Midsized drones, precision-guided missiles and air defense batteries are on the shopping list.

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