The U.S.-Israel Military Partnership Should Remain Outside Presidential Politics

(RealClearDefense) Jacob Nagel - Linking U.S. military support for Israel to the decades-old Palestinian conflict would reverse the well-considered approach of President Barack Obama, who made a conscious decision to separate the strategic benefits of the U.S.-Israel alliance from the intractable peace process. More importantly, it would ignore the pressing realities that currently confront American national security - in particular, the U.S. need to devote greater resources to countering China and Russia at the same time threats to its interests in the Middle East remain extremely challenging. In that environment, Israel's value as one of America's closest allies and the region's preeminent military and intelligence power is only likely to grow. At no point during the three years of talks on the 10-year Memorandum of Understanding governing U.S. assistance to Israel signed in September 2016 did the U.S. team ever attempt to use military assistance as leverage to reduce Israel's objections to the nuclear deal with Iran or to change its approach to the Palestinian conflict. Both sides appreciated the significant benefits that they gained from deepening their strategic ties and didn't want to hold them hostage to their disagreements over any specific policy issue. Indeed, in private, the U.S. and Israeli lead negotiators actually agreed to "rules of the game" for their talks - with the main rule being that neither the Iran issue nor the Palestinian question would be part of their discussions. Israeli breakthroughs are rapidly finding their way into the U.S. national security arsenal and helping to protect American lives, including missile defense, cybersecurity, tunnel detection, drones, space and counter-terrorism technologies. No country has a greater capability (or will) to help protect U.S. interests than Israel. Professor Jacob Nagel, a former head of Israel's National Security Council and National Security Advisor (Acting), headed the Israeli team that negotiated the 2016 U.S.-Israel MOU.

2019-11-15 00:00:00

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