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Israel as a Security Asset

JINSA October 5, 2001

Let’s make coalition building simple. Saudi Arabia said no. Egypt said no. Syria said no. Iran said no. In fact, they not only said no, they said some terrorism is OK as long as the victim is Israel. The Gulf States said, "please don’t ask."

And then there is Israel.

In 1979, JINSA published a "quick reference guide" to the capabilities Israel brings to U.S.-Israel security cooperation. A slightly updated review is in order:

1. Secure location in a crucial part of the world

2. Well-developed military infrastructure

3. Ability to maintain, service and repair U.S.-origin equipment

4. Excellent deep water port in Haifa

5. Modern air facilities

6. Position close to sea-lanes and an ability to project power over long distances

7. A domestic air force larger than many in Western Europe and possessing more up-to-date hardware

8. Multilingual capabilities, including facility in English, Arabic and the languages of the (former) Soviet Union

9. Combat familiarity with Soviet (and Soviet style) tactics and equipment

10. Ability to assist U.S. naval fleets Fleet, including common equipment

11. Ability to support American operations and to provide emergency air cover

12. Democratic country with a strong orientation to support the United States and the NATO system.

In 1996, we added the following thought:

Since that list was composed in 1979, we would add that Israel’s R&D capabilities complement those of the U.S.; its intelligence services cooperate closely with ours – to our benefit; and large numbers of American troops train in Israel.

We are drawn together by common threats to our well being. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction across the Middle East and Southwest Asia, and the ballistic missile technology to deliver systems across wide areas have created a threat that will require cooperation in intelligence and technology and security policy. Terrorism and violent Islamic radicalism will also need to be addressed in a bilateral fashion, multi-lateral when possible… In a volatile region so vital to the U.S., where other states cannot be relied upon, it would be foolish to disengage an ally such as Israel.

We are strong supporters of President Bush’s war against terrorists and the states that support and harbor them. We believe America’s war will be long and hard, and that our success will depend in no small measure on the allies who stand with us and with whom we stand.


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