Saturday, August 21, 2010

the ally that only takes

The September/October issue of The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs has a powerful article from former U.S. Ambassador Charles W. Freeman, Jr. titled The Big Lie: That Israel is a Strategic Asset for the United States. It will be available in its entirety on-line next month.

Here is an excerpt from the article that speaks volumes about the one-way nature of the relationship between the United States and Israel...

...It's useful to recall what we generally expect allies and strategic partners to do for us. In Europe, Asia and elsewhere in the Middle East, they provide bases and support the projection of American power beyond their borders. They join us on the battlefield in places like Kuwait and Afghanistan or underwrite the costs of our military operations. They help recruit others to our coalitions. They coordinate their foreign aid with ours. Many defray the costs of our use of their facilities with "host nation support" that reduces the costs of our military operations from and through their territory. They store weapons for our troops, rather than their own troops, use. They pay cash for the weapons we transfer to them.

Israel does none of these things and shows no interest in doing them. Perhaps it can't. It is so estranged from everyone else in the Middle East that no neighboring country will accept flight plans that originate in or transit it. Israel is therefore useless in terms of support for American power projection. It has no allies other than us. It has developed no friends. Israeli participation in our military operations would preclude the cooperation of many others.

Meanwhile, Israel has become accustomed to living on the American military dole. The notion that Israeli taxpayers might help defray the expenses of U.S. military or foreign assistance operations, even those undertaken at Israel's behest, would be greeted with astonishment in Israel and incredulity on Capitol Hill.

Military aid to Israel is sometimes justified by the notion of Israel as a test bed for new weapons systems and operational concepts. But no one can identify a program of military R & D in Israel that was initially proposed by our men and women in uniform. All originated with Israel or members of Congress acting on its behalf. Moreover, what Israel makes it sells not just to the United States but to China, India and other major arms markets. It feels no obligation to take U.S. interests into account when it transfers weapons and technology to third countries and does so only under duress.

Meanwhile, it's been decades since Israel's air force faced another in the air. It has come to specialize in bombing civilian infrastructure and militias with no air defenses. There is not much for the U.S. Air Force to learn from that. Similarly, the Israeli navy confronts no real naval threat. It's experience in interdicting infiltrators, fishermen and humanitarian aid flotillas is not a model for the U.S. to study...

There's much more, but this gives a flavor of the whole. It's enough to make an American feel pretty foolish and it's been going on for decades.


  1. This hits the nail on the head, and it's about time. It is the IPAC and the Jews in the US Congress that are responsible for this situation + giving Israel $4 billion a year in "aid".. If you say a word opposing the "aid" to Israel (which happens to be an independent country, the same as France, et al), you are called a bigot or anti-Semitic and reminded all about the Holocaust they endured in Germany. They have created a Holocaust for the poor Palestinians in their own land, yet no one in the Obama Administration recognizes that. Enough is enough. Maybe it will take the Teabaggers to change this status-quo. If so, they've got our votes.

  2. Unfortunately, I think the Tea Party people are even more in the Israel-above-all camp than anyone.