Israel Requests A 50% Increase From U.S. In Defense Assistance Package To $4.5 Billion
With the obvious threat of a nuclear Iran as a near certainty, the Israeli Government has begun negotiations on a 10-year aid package with the United States.
The previous package, negotiated by the George W. Bush and Ehud Olmert governments in 2007, averaged $3 billion of assistance each year, for a total of $30 billion, from 2007-2017.
This new Defense Assistance Package while endorsed in principle by President Obama during a March 2013 visit to Tel Aviv, as yet to be ratified with a dollar amount. However Israel is seeking a $4.2 billion to $4.5 billion annual assistance package, an increase of 50%.
Defense News quotes “U.S. and Israeli experts” as saying that the amount would be separate from any package the United States offered Israel as compensation for the Iran nuclear deal now being negotiated between Iran and the major powers.
Like the defense assistance package currently in place, it is also separate from the $1.2 billion in material the United States stores in Israel and which under certain conditions is available for Israeli use, and from the approximately $500 million in U.S. funds provided to.
However given the multiplicity of increasingly sophisticated threats at its borders and beyond, Howard Kohr, chief executive officer of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), estimates that Israel may have to spend $160 billion on defense in the decade to come.
With Washington investing billions each year in troops and treasure to preserve its interests in the Middle East, Israelis and their US supporters on Capitol Hill argue that Israel is the bedrock of democratic, pro-American stability in a region roiling from unprecedented turmoil.
The intended Defense Assistance Package is obviously needed to provide security for the State of Israel, and yet the question that seems to be missing within this equation is while this package may provide security in the “short term”, what of the continued hostilities that exist between the two nations, and what of the long-term consequences? And can anything be resolved to secure a lasting peace?
h/t: Defense News