Devalued Dollar Could Cost IDF $500 Million

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) could come up $500 million short of its 2008 budget due to the devalued dollar.

Speaking with The Jerusalem Post's Yaacov Katz, a senior defense officer said the IDF has postponed converting the 26 percent of the U.S. military aid package permitted to be converted to shekels.

The remainder of the aid package has to be spent in the US.

In an effort to maximize available funds, the Defense Ministry's Budget Department has recommended several options.

One cost-effective plan that the IDF has already implemented is allowing non-combat soldiers to go through basic training with the unit they're assigned to rather than being sent to another base for one month of basic training.

"Some of the classes in the courses repeated themselves, and it was a waste of money," the officer said.

"To save money, the soldiers will no undergo basic training with the unit they are going to serve in, and this way they will not undergo unnecessary training they do not require," he said.

Another innovation is the use of a Build Operate Transfer (BOT) financing system, which allowed the IDF to hire a private company to build a new training base in the Negev.

"Up till now, we would issue a tender and then have to pay for everything up front," the officer said. "Under the BOT, we pay monthly rental fees over a 30-year period so the core of the money stays with us," he said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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