The U.S.-Israel Relationship: What's Love Got to Do with It?

(Council on Foreign Relations) Steven A. Cook - For a variety of political, strategic, and moral reasons, Washington and Jerusalem have what is known as a "special relationship." This is essentially a fact of U.S. Middle East policy. Presidents Eisenhower, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Clinton all, at one time or another, had trouble with their Israeli counterparts. None of this was a function of animus, but rather the different way the world looks from Washington and Jerusalem. U.S.-Israel relations still work extremely well. According to Colin Kahl, who was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East from 2009 until late 2011, the Obama administration did more than any of its predecessors to ensure Israel's qualitative military edge, has forged unprecedented intelligence cooperation with the Israelis, and put together a broad international coalition to sanction Iran over its nuclear program. All of this is intended to help ensure Israel's security. The point is that the U.S.-Israel relationship is robustly institutionalized. The writer is a Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

2012-11-09 00:00:00

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