IT'S AMERICAN INTERESTS, STUPID!

Yoram Ettinger http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/31597, May 07, 2008

Recent congressional hearings about the destruction, by Israel's air force, of a Syrian-North Korean nuclear facility, has shed light on the mutually-beneficial nature of US-Israel relations. The September 2007 Israeli military operation in Syria has dealt a setback to the Syria-North Korea-Iran-Hizballah axis, while advancing US and Israeli interests. It has bolstered US posture of deterrence, has extended US' strategic arm and has provided the US with vital information to penetrate Russian air defense systems, which are also employed by Iran. It has refuted the claim that US-Israel relations have been shaped by political expediency.

Former Secretary of State and NATO Supreme Commander, General (ret.) Al Haig refers to
Israel as the largest, cost-effective, combat-experienced US aircraft carrier that does not require US personnel, cannot be sunk and is located in a most critical region for US national security interests.

In 1967, Israel defeated the pro-Soviet Egypt-Syria axis, which intended to topple pro-US conservative oil-producing Arab regimes. In 1970, Israel forced the rollback of a pro-Soviet Syrian invasion of pro-US Jordan, preventing a pro-Soviet "Domino Effect" into the Persian Gulf. The 1976,"Jonathan (Entebbe) Operation" inspired the US war on global terrorism. In 1982, Israel destroyed Syrian-operated Soviet surface-to-air missile batteries, which were considered impregnable. Israel's battle tactics and technologies were shared with the US, thus tilting the global balance of military and technological power in favor of the US. In 1981, Israel destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor, providing the US with a conventional option in 1991 and 2003, preventing a mega-billion dollar mega-casualties nuclear war. In 2007, Israel shares with the US its unique experience of combating Palestinian and Hizballah terrorism, which are the role model of anti-US Islamic terrorism. An Israel-like ally in the Persian Gulf would have spared the need to dispatch US troops to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

While the Win-Win US-Israel relationship has provided Israel with
indispensable critical support, it has enhanced US national and homeland security, improving US intelligence-gathering, extending US deployment and deterrence capabilities, providing the US with breakthrough commercial and defense technologies, expanding US employment, research & development and export and upgrading US healthcare and standard of living. Israel is a net producer - not a net consumer - of national security.

During a March 15, 2007 Congressional testimony, General Bantz Craddock, Commander of US European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander, stated: "Israel is a critical military partner in this difficult seam of the Middle East... Israel is the US' closest ally. It supports our interests through security cooperation and understanding of US policy in the region."

During a May 10, 2006 Senate hearing, Lieutenant General Henry Trey Obering, Director of the US Missile Defense Agency, testified that "The US has learned much from working collaboratively with the Israelis. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Israel's Arrow and the US Patriot missile defense systems were deployed together to provide integrated coverage."

Israel's battle-tested experience in countering-terrorism, car bombs,
improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and homicide bombing has been shared with US troops on their way to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as with US homeland security agencies, thus reducing US losses and minimizing terrorism on US soil. Israeli-developed unmanned aerial vehicles have been employed by US Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq, providing intelligence otherwise unattainable, preempting terrorist strikes. The Israeli-developed navigation guidance system Lightning Pod eliminated Al-Zarkawi, the arch Al-Qaeda terrorist.

Israel's battle-proven experience has been integrated - through battle
tactics and hardware modifications - into the US military, and defense
industries. For example, the F-16 includes over 600 Israeli modifications, sparing the US a mega-billion dollar and a multi-year research & development budget. A litany of state-of-the-art US military systems have been upgraded in a similar manner, enhancing US national security and defense industrial base. In fact, Israel's employment of US military systems has enticed many countries to buy American. Israel has been for the US what Michael Jordan has been for Nike!

Israel constitutes a most productive battle-tested laboratory, providing
the US with vital data otherwise unobtainable, enhancing US security,
saving American lives, upgrading US battle doctrines, creating jobs and increasing US exports.

Commercially, Israel's high tech industry has developed the world's most advanced microprocessors, chips, window operating systems, voice mail, instant messaging and cellular technologies, coding and decoding devices, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Most of these technologies/products have been integrated into the US industry, augmenting the well-being of Americans, boosting US competitive edge in the global market and increasing US employment.

Unlike all other Mideast countries, Israel has subordinated its
international relations to its ties with the US, as evidenced by Israel's
perfect pro-US UN voting record. In the absence of Israel, the US would have to deploy, to the eastern flank of the Mediterranean, aircraft carriers and tens of thousands of US servicemen, costing scores of billions of dollars annually, in order to replace Israel's national security contribution. US support of Israel has been a high-return US investment.

US-Israel win-win relations have been empowered by long-term
joint-interests and mutual-threats, rather than by short-term political
expediency, unmatched by any other set of bilateral relationships.