For a nation roughly the size of New Jersey, the nation of Israel receives an inordinate amount of media attention. Its existence is a topic prone to debate. People on all sides of the political spectrum hold differing opinions on Israel’s right to existence. Nevertheless, throughout Israel’s existence, one nation has stood by its side. America has been the greatest ally of Israel, supplying Israel with financial aid and military supplies. However, this too has been subject to controversy. Many people approve of America’s involvement with Israel. Others believe it would be in the best interest of America to halt all foreign aid and cease any involvement with Israel. Is it, though, in the best interest of America to relinquish its strategic partnership with Israel? When discussing this topic, three points must be taken into consideration.
1) Israel is our first line of defense against shared enemies.
Make no mistake. The radical Islamist organizations which have declared Israel to be their enemy have also declared America to be their enemy. To these groups, such as Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, and Hamas, America is the “great Satan,” and Israel is the “little Satan.” To them, Israel is a bump in their path to eliminating the United States. These organizations have time and time again made their position clear on the United States, which is none other than complete annihilation of America. Among these militant organizations, Iran has also made their position clear. Former President Ahmadinejad repeatedly stated that Israel should be wiped off the map, and his wishes for America are the same. Hassan Rouhani, the current president of Iran, although less radical than Ahmadinejad, holds the same sentiments for Israel and America, as evidenced by the acceleration of Iran’s nuclear program and their enrichment of Uranium to 20%. The enemies that Israel faces are the same enemies that want the extermination of America. At this point, America has a few options. We could spend trillions of dollars by sending troops back into the Middle East to combat these threats, or we could let Israel fight for us, for when Israel fights its enemies, it fights our enemies. (Also, guess which option is more economical.)
2) It is in our best interests to ensure that Israel maintains its qualitative military edge over any combination of these shared enemies.
In terms of numbers, Israel is overwhelmed. Israel is only one country, but its enemies are many. The only way for Israel to have any strategic advantage is for it to have weaponry which is more advanced than its enemies. Ever since the reestablishment of Israel in 1948, the United States has been key in assisting Israel with the most advanced weaponry to date so that Israel may effectively defend itself. If Israel is to have any chance of survival, let alone defeating its enemies, then it is vital that its qualitative military edge be sustained. In the words of former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, “I cannot recall a time during my public life when our two countries have had a closer defense relationship. The U.S. and Israel are cooperating closely in areas such as missile defense technology, the Joint Strike Fighter, and in training exercises such as Juniper Stallion…our bilateral relationship and this dialogue is so critical because Israel lives at the focal point of some of the biggest security challenges facing the free world: violent extremism, the proliferation of nuclear technologies, and the dilemmas posed by adversarial and failed states. And I think it important, especially at a time of such dramatic change in the region, to reaffirm once more America’s unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.”
3) Strategic cooperation with Israel is a win-win situation.
As previously mentioned, it is in our best interests to support Israel in fighting our shared enemies. However, in order for them to do that successfully, they must have the strategic advantage in terms of military weaponry. Equipping them with the latest technology helps us as well. For we share many of the weapons that the IDF uses, and the weapons they are currently using are being battle tested and honed to perfection. Therefore in the event that America is attacked, we will have weapons already perfected in battle, eliminating the need of trial and error. Therefore it is important that we keep our strategic alliance with Israel intact.
Follow Caleb Casto on Twitter @Caleb_Casto.