America Must Continue its Investment in Israel’s Defense

America Must Continue its Investment in Israel’s Defense

© David Burton 2021

The Iron Dome in Action

     From every direction and from many sources, the threats to Israel's security and well-being continue to mount. Just this May (2021), Hamas terrorists fired 4,300 rockets at Israel, with the goal to injure and kill as many Israelis as possible. The attacks were only the latest Israelis have endured over the 30 plus year terror campaign waged by Hamas, whose charter openly calls for Israel's destruction.
     And while most rocket attacks thus far have come from Gaza, Israel's most pressing future threat comes from the north, where Hezbollah now has an arsenal of 150,000 rockets and missiles, many precision-guided. Militarv planners estimate Hezbollah will launch thousands of rockets per day at Israel in a future conflict.
     Iran, meanwhile, has begun enriching uranium to 60% -its latest nuclear escalation and the highest-ever purity reached by the regime (for which it has no civilian use). Recently, Iranian commander Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami said Iran "can destroy Israel with one operation."
     Here in the U.S., Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign supporters continue discriminatory efforts to drive a wedge between Israel and the rest of the world, with the goal of destroying Israel through political and economic means.
     In these troubling times, the friendship between the United States and Israel is more important than ever.
     But America's support for Israel is not automatic or guaranteed.
     America needs to continue making a wise investment in the security of the State of Israel. Without added conditions or restrictions, the full amount of the security assistance agreed to in the 2016 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding, which was initiated by the Obama-Biden administration and codified in last year's National Defense Authorization Act, needs to be continued!
     It is critical that the United States maintains and expands its commitment to Israel's security. This assistance helps ensure the Jewish state has the resources it needs to defend itself, by itself, and maintain its qualitative military edge.
     The iron Dome is vital to Israel’s defense. It intercepted more than 4,000 terrorist rockets fired at the Jewish state. During the recent attacks from Gaza, Iron Dome successfully intercepted 90% of Hamas rockets before they could strike Israeli communities-saving countless Israeli and Palestinian lives by preventing a further escalation of the conflict.
     But after thousands of Iron Dome interceptors had to be used during these attacks, the system must now be replenished. The U.S. is being asked to provide emergency funding to replenish Israel's supply of Iron Dome interceptors. Beyond Iron Dome, continued U.S. security assistance remains crucial in helping Israel develop and deploy the next phase of its defense systems.
     David's Sling, for example, has already been used to intercept medium-range ballistic missiles launched from Syria, while the Arrow-S system is being tested to defend against long-range ballistic missiles, such as those already in Iran's arsenal.
     Israel must also invest in defense modernization tools to protect its citizens from a host of additional threats, including the continuing expansion of terror attack tunnels, the growing acquisition of anti-aircraft weaponry by groups like Hezbollah, as well as the rising danger from cyberwarfare and attacks on critical infrastructure.[1]

     “The Iron Dome is the most effective, battle-proven short-range missile defense system in the world. Developed by Israel, the system has intercepted more than 4,000 rockets fired by terrorists with a success rate of over 90 percent. Countless Israeli and Palestinian lives have been saved by the system, and countless wars avoided.
     “Since 2011, the United States has invested over $1.7 billion in Iron Dome and parts of the system are built in facilities across the United States, helping create American jobs while ensuring the safety and security of our closest ally in the Middle East.
     “The United States must continue to support Iron Dome and ensure Israel has the means to defend itself.

How Does Iron Dome Work?

  • ”Iron Dome's radar and tracking system detects an incoming threat, determines if it's headed toward a population center or critical infrastructure, and fires an interceptor missile to destroy the target - rockets, mortars, drones or cruise missiles - in midair.
  • ”By only deploying interceptors if the threat is likely to pose a risk to population centers or critical infrastructure, Iron Dome is as cost-effective as possible.
  • ”An Iron Dome battery consists of three or four launchers (with 20 interceptors per launcher), a radar and a battle management center. A battery can defend an area up to 60 square miles and Israel is believed to have 10-14 batteries.
Proven Success in Battle
  • ”Operational for 10 years, the Iron Dome has intercepted more than 4,000 rockets. and saved countless lives. The system has an interception success rate of over 90%.
  • ”Without the system, many more Israelis and Palestinians would have been killed. Rockets would kill more Israelis, leading Israel to take stronger action to end the rocket fire, which would lead to more Palestinian deaths as well.
  • ”In May 2021, Iron Dome intercepted nearly 2,000 rockets over an 11-day period. The system successfully managed interceptions during barrages of over 100 rockets in minutes. For the first time in combat, Iron Dome also intercepted a weaponized drone launched from Gaza.
The Growing Threat from Rockets and Drones
  • ”While most rocket attacks thus far have come from terrorists in Gaza, Israel's most pressing future threat comes from the north. Hezbollah's extensive arsenal includes an estimated 150,000 rockets and missiles capable of reaching every part of Israel. Military planners believe Hezbollah will be able to launch thousands of rockets per day in a future conflict.
  • ”Israel also faces rocket and drone threats from Iranian-backed forces in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. Iran currently operates from more than a dozen military bases in Syria, and regularly transfers advanced weapons to Iranian-backed militias throughout the region.
  • ”During the May conflict in Gaza, Hamas fired more than a hundred rockets at once in an effort to overwhelm Iron Dome, kill Israelis and cause significant destruction. Iron Dome successfully handled the salvos, but a simultaneous attack in the future from Gaza and Lebanon could pose a challenge.
U.S. Support for Iron Dome
  • ”Since 2011, the United States has invested over $1.7 billion in the Iron Dome system, helping to ensure the safety and security of its closest ally in the Middle East. But this relationship is mutually beneficial.
  • ”In 2016, the United States and Israel signed a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding supporting $500 million per year for cooperative missile defense programs, including the Iron Dome.
  • ”The U.S. Army has also purchased two Iron Dome batteries to protect American troops positioned around the globe.
  • ”In 2012, American defense contractor Raytheon and Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems signed a co-production agreement for Iron Dome.
  • ”Today, more than half of Iron Dome's Tamir interceptors are manufactured in the United States. Components for the missile are made in over two-dozen states, and the final product is integrated with the system in Israel.


“The United States must continue to support the Iron Dome and ensure Israel has the means to defend itself.

     “President Biden has pledged his full support to replenish Israel's Iron Dome system after thousands of Tamir interceptors had to be used in the May 2021 Conflict in Gaza.
     “Congress should fully support efforts to replenish Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system and continue to support full funding for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation under the 2016 MOU.” (Ref. 2)

     Apparently stating the Biden administration’s commitment to Israel's defense, including against Iran, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the Pentagon in a late summer 2021 meeting that U.S. support is “unwavering” and “steadfast,” and is expressed in over $3 billion a year in military aid, as well as the replenishment of the Iron Dome missile defense system.
     “The administration is committed to ensuring that Iron Dome can defend Israeli civilian population centers targeted by terrorist attacks,” Austin stated. “We’re working closely with Congress to provide all the necessary information and respond positively to your request for $1b of emergency funding. It’s going to save more innocent lives.”
     Austin added that the Department of Defense was also committed to maintaining Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge.
     At the start of Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett's meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in September 2021, the latter said the partnership between their countries was "founded on the proposition of our two countries working together, with a common agenda."
     "Our commitment to our partnership with Israel and its security is and always will be unshakeable," he added.
     Blinken cited "deep concerns...about Iran's behavior in the region, including its nuclear program."
     He also said he hoped to help Israel build on its new diplomatic relations with Arab states.
     In response, Bennett said that "Israel has no stronger more reliable ally than the USA . . . You have our back and that matters a lot, and I can ensure you you'll find no friend more reliable or appreciative than us."[3] Hopefully, congressional support will be as positive and as strong as that of the top Biden administration officials.

     Let me remind everyone that America’s support of Israel is a two-way street. America gets as much as it “gives” to Israel – maybe more, much more. Let me remind you of the following:

     There are those who complain of America’s military aid to the State of Israel. Those who criticize, whine and carp about the amount of this aid almost always bend the truth, don’t tell the whole story and never mention the significant fact that nearly all this military aid money ends up being spent right here in America, bolstering the American economy, creating or maintaining jobs for American workers, and supporting the industrial base that is critical to producing the weapons and defensive systems needed to keep our military out in front of any potential adversary.
     The security interaction between Israel and the united States is far from one sided. Israel is a prime supplier of advanced technology to America’s military. The advanced technology that Israel provides, along with the critical intelligence it makes available to America, is far from insignificant.
     One example of the military support that Israel is supplying to the United States is the Trophy system that can shoot down threats to tanks and other armored vehicles. The Israel company, Rafael, has provided protective systems to the Army with its reactive and passive armor being installed on fighting vehicles such as Bradleys, Strykers and AAV-7 assault amphibious vehicles.
     The UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) has been one of the most important factors enabling the United States to fight effectively with minimum casualties. As of 2018, The U.S. had one of the largest fleets of Israeli-made UAVs which were used to identify targets and assess bomb damage without putting American pilots at risk.
     There are many, many more Israel-developed war-fighting systems that the United States military utilizes to defend this country from its many enemies around the world.[4]
     Israel and the United States have a shared interested in missile defense, both tactical and strategic. The Arrow 3 or Hetz 3 is an anti-ballistic missile, jointly funded, developed and produced by Israel and the United States. The David’s Sling Weapon System forms a crucial element of Israel’s multi-tier layered missile defense architecture to provide mid-tier regional missile defense. David’s Sling was co-developed by Raytheon and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Raytheon Company has also teamed with Israel’s Rafael company to develop the Iron Dome anti-missile system.
     Rarely mentioned for obvious reasons, Israel has been a major contributor to helping the United States deal with traditional security threats. The two countries share intelligence on terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and Middle Eastern politics. Israel's military experiences have shaped the United States' approach to counterterrorism and homeland security.
     One of the most significant contributions Israel has made to U.S. security has been shared intelligence. The truth is the United States has little alternative but to depend on Israel for much of its Middle Eastern human intelligence because the CIA's capability has diminished. In post-revolutionary Iran, the CIA no longer had a presence and the CIA's Lebanon station was virtually wiped out in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut. The United States relies on the Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies for information about terrorism, radical Islamic movements, weapons proliferation and other Middle East-related events.[4]

     FACT: Most of America’s 3.8 billion a year in military aid to Israel is funneled back to the American defense sector![5]

     “The most recent US-Israel bilateral defense aid agreement was a 10-year package signed by President Barack Obama that provides military assistance until 2028. Obama had noted that the military aid stemmed not just in the need to maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge over its foes, but from ties between the two nations that are steeped in common basic tenets.”
      - - -
     “While it appears overtly generous, the $3.8 billion in annual military aid budget always had significant strings attached. In reality most of the money stays in America. Previously some 75% of the budget had to be spent in the US where it supports defense industries and helps generate economic growth and jobs in America.
     “Under the new 10-year agreement finalized with the Obama administration, the ability of Israel to use 25% of the budget to buy from local defense contractors will be gradually phased out. By 2028, 100% of the annual budget will [be] used only in American. {Emphasis mine} As a result, some Israeli defense companies may seek mergers with American defense contractors or open subsidiaries inside the U.S.
     “Most of Israel’s major weapons systems – especially those that power Israel’s air force including the new F-35 stealth fighters – are made in America. Israel benefits from leading edge American technology, but the jobs producing those weapons are American.
     “As well, the American military gains a huge benefit from the IDF using, testing and improving the weapons systems. Prime examples are the U.S. military’s purchase of the successful Iron Dome anti-missile system and the Trophy defense system . . .” (Ref. 6)

  1. Letter, Brian ShankmanAIPAC, Received 8 June 2021.
  2. Iron Dome Saves Israeli and Palestinian Lives, AIPAC MEMO, 3 June 2021.
  3. Austin: We will ensure Israel's defense against Iran, Lahav Harkov, The Jerusalem Post, 26 August 2021.
  4. Israel Supports American Security, David Burton, Son of Eiyahu: Article 336, 27 September 2018.
  5. Quit Harping on U.S. Aid to Israel, James Kirchick, The Atlantic, 29 March 2019.
  6. Understanding US Foreign Aid to Israel, Paul Shindman, HonesrReporting, 29 August 2019.

  16 September 2021 {Article_493; Israel_57}    
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