Citing security concerns, the State of Israel has appealed to the United States for further support to augment its annual military budget. At present, Israel receives $3.1 billion in aid; their recent request solicits an expansion to slightly over $4 billion per annum. The appeal to Congress to elevate foreign military financing (FMF) coincides with the upsurge of conflict in the Middle East, Iranian belligerence and the growth of insurgency movements. In sum, the request for the substantial increases totals $45 billion through 2028.
In recent testimony in front of the House Committee on Appropriations, Howard Kohr, Executive Director of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), stated: “Israel has always fought its own battles and has never asked American troops to fight on its behalf. Instead, it has requested US assistance to supplement the tremendous resources Israel already invests in its defense budget.”
Israel is right to be deeply concerned about its security.
Viewed objectively and recognizing realities, this is an eminently sensible appeal: The Middle East is descending into lawlessness; Iran’s marauding arms are threatening the stability of both Israel and the region; and the incurable malady of terrorism is equally ominous for Israel, the region and the globe.
Although Israel’s fortunes do not lie at ebb, one need only look to an authentic parallel between North Korea and Iran: The net result of constructive engagement wrought a nuclear device for the hermit state and Iran is poised to cast a dark nuclear shadow over the Middle East.
The defense of Israel is an endeavor beyond Israel’s ability. In order to surpass Iran’s dramatic military objectives, safeguards to protect Israel are necessary and come in the form of additional military assistance only. Unlike Israel, American allies in the Middle East have hosted American combat troops to defend against threats to the region in addition to enthusiastically soliciting and accepting American military aid.
Careful analysis of Israel’s vulnerabilities should dismantle arguments against aiding the only democratic nation in a tumultuous region.