Former U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta: Obama Questioned Necessity of Israel's Qualitative Military Edge

(Jerusalem Post) Michael Wilner - According to U.S. law, the Defense Department must ensure that weapons sales to Mideast nations must comport with an American guarantee of Israel's qualitative military edge in the region. On Monday, former U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that at a time when the U.S. was seeking to complete a significant sale of fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, "We were going through a lot of order to make sure that you protect Israel's qualitative edge." "The president kept asking, 'why can't we get this damn sale done?'" The president, Panetta said, then "reflected some anger about why the hell do we have to do this [protect Israel's qualitative military edge] in the first place. And I said, 'because we made that obligation, and because it is important, particularly with our relationship with Israel, that we protect that.' And look, I think he understood that."

2016-06-21 00:00:00

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