Israel advanced American national security interests, according to a report by former aides to presidents Clinton and Bush that contradicts Obama advisors who claim that Israel endangers U.S. soldiers.
Robert D. Blackwill, who was deputy national security advisor for strategic planning in the administration of George W. Bush, and Walter B. Slocombe, undersecretary of defense for policy in the Clinton administration, wrote a brief summary of their research in the Los Angeles Times Monday morning.
The full report is entitled "Israel: A Strategic Asset for the United States" and was written for The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
President Barack Obama has harped away at the theme that the United States and Israel share values of democracy and freedom, implying that the American government has a moral obligation to defend Israel. The theory has been the basis for the president and his advisors’ declarations that Israel must agree to demands of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in order not to endanger American security.
Blackwill and Slocombe pointed out what they said is an overlooked aspect of the American-Israeli alliance: The many ways in which Israel advances U.S. national interests.
“The United States has benefited in the areas of counterterrorism, intelligence and experience in urban warfare," they wrote. "Increasingly, U.S. homeland security and military agencies are turning to Israeli technology to solve some of their most vexing technical and strategic problems."
Israel's support includes airport security techniques, unmanned aerial systems (UAVs), defense against short-range rockets and armored vehicle protection.
“Israel's national missile defenses – which include the U.S. deployment in Israel of an advanced X-band radar system and the more than 100 American military personnel who man it – will be an integral part of a larger missile defense spanning Europe, the eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf to help protect U.S. forces and allies,” they stated.
Without providing details, the authors said that Israeli cooperation with the U.S. military has worked "to advance their common interest in defeating the terrorism of Hamas, Hizbullah and Al Qaeda and its affiliate groups, and preventing nuclear proliferation in the region.”
They did specify one instance – Israel’s passing on to the United States "conclusive photographic evidence in 2007 that Syria, with North Korean assistance, had made enormous strides toward ‘going hot’ with a plutonium-producing reactor."
Israel, without officially saying so, bombed the site in northern Syria three years ago.
The former presidential advisers pointed out that despite disagreements over the "peace process," Iran and Israel’s defense exports to China, collaboration is more frequent.
However, Blackwill and Slocombe did not dismiss the peace process, which has fallen apart and is widely considered to be dead and buried.
“Arab-Israel peace treaties are the anchor of American national interests in the Middle East,” they stated.
Nevertheless, they dismissed claims that the alliance with Israel has prevented the United States from establishing closer ties with Arab countries.
“Would Saudi Arabia's policies toward the United States, for example, be markedly different if Washington entered into a sustained crisis with Israel over the Palestine issue?” they asked. “Would Riyadh lower the price of oil?... Would it view American democracy promotion in the Middle East more favorably?... No."