U.S. Support for Israel's Qualitative Military Edge

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Andrew J. Shapiro - Andrew J. Shapiro, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, told the Washington Institute on Friday: "Israel [is] a country with security challenges that few countries in the world can contemplate.... As Israel looks to the future, it should know that America will be there by its side." "The cornerstone of America's security commitment to Israel has been an assurance that the United States would help Israel uphold its qualitative military edge. This is Israel's ability to counter and defeat credible military threats from any individual state, coalition of states, or non-state actor, while sustaining minimal damages or casualties." "Today, in these budget-constrained times, some are now asking the question why should we keep providing aid to Israel?...We support Israel because it is in our national interests to do so....If Israel were weaker, its enemies would be bolder. This would make broader conflict more likely, which would be catastrophic to American interests in the region. It is the very strength of Israel's military which deters potential aggressors and helps foster peace and stability." "The United States also experiences a number of tangible benefits from our close partnership with Israel. For instance, joint exercises allow us to learn from Israel's experience in urban warfare and counterterrorism. Israeli technology is proving critical to improving our homeland security and protecting our troops. One only has to look at Afghanistan and Iraq, where Israeli armor plating technology is being used on U.S. military vehicles and innovative equipment, such as the specially designed "Israeli bandage," is being used to treat our troops." "The links between our two governments and U.S. and Israeli defense companies have yielded important, groundbreaking innovations that ultimately make us all safer. This involves sensors, unmanned aerial vehicle technology, surveillance equipment, and detection devices to seek out IED's that support our forces. Additionally...our security assistance to Israel also helps support American jobs, since the vast majority of security assistance to Israel is spent on American-made goods and services."

2011-11-08 00:00:00

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