Cutting U.S. Aid to Israel Would Embolden Its Enemies and Make Conflict More Likely

(Tablet) Dennis Ross - Columnists who recently proposed ending U.S. military assistance to Israel act as if cutting off assistance would have little or no effect on the way the Iranians and Hizbullah would read the situation and American support for Israel. However, it is more likely that the Iranians and Hizbullah will up the ante and make a conflict far more likely. Would that serve America's interests? Every Israeli leader wants to preserve Israel's qualitative military edge and it is American equipment that provides it. Moreover, Israel's development of Iron Beam - a laser-based defensive system that can be a cost-effective game-changer in countering tens of thousands of Hizbullah rockets and drones - requires more security assistance from the U.S. to make it operational sooner rather than later. At a time when the Saudis, Emiratis, and others in the region doubt our staying power in the region, the announcement that we are cutting military assistance to Israel will reinforce their view that we are leaving the Middle East. That will surely feed their instinct to further hedge bets - hardly something likely to serve our interests. The writer, a Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, held senior national security positions under four U.S. presidents.

2023-07-31 00:00:00

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