Wednesday, March 22nd | 29 Adar 5783

March 1, 2023 3:05 pm

Bipartisan Group of US Lawmakers Call for Enhancing US-Israel Defense Partnership


avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Streaks of light are seen as Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system intercept rockets launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel August 5, 2022. Photo: Reuters/Amir Cohen

Forty-seven members of the United States House of Representatives on Monday called on US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to assist in enhancing Israel’s missile defense systems and create new partnerships between the two countries for developing critical new technology.

“Tehran has substantially expanded its regional terrorist proxy network in recent years and can threaten Israel not only from its own territory but also from a vast crescent of territory stretching from Yemen, through Iraq and Syria, to Lebanon,” said a letter organized by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and Jason Crow (D-CO). “At the same time, Tehran’s intensified military partnership with Russia portends the delivery of additional advances systems that can threaten Israel.”

The letter added that the “increasing sophistication of threats to Israel” has caused concern “that we may be underestimating the quantity of weapons Israel will require to defend itself.”

On Wednesday, Crow explained in a statement to The Algemeiner that as a former Army Ranger, he knows firsthand how “the support we give our partners abroad directly impacts safety and security at home.”

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Collaborating with Israel to gain an edge over mutual adversaries in “emerging technology sectors” such as “artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, directed energy, automation, and space would protect each state’s interests in the region and preserve its stability,” the letter continued, asking DOD to assess the potential for such cooperation, as well as threats to Israel’s national security, its ability to defend itself, and the capabilities of its enemies and other “hostile” neighbors. The representatives also cited joint efforts that have already been successful, including Iron Dome and David’s Sling and Arrow.

“Defense collaboration between the United States and Israel has resulted in groundbreaking technological achievements,” Rep. Lamborn said. “Defense technology developed jointly by the United States and Israel has saved countless lives. Continued collaboration has immense potential for achievements in emerging technology sectors.”

Israel is a “much more important state and valuable ally than ever before,” foreign policy expert and writer Walter Russell Mead told The Algemeiner last August, noting that strategic considerations sustain the relationship. He said both countries “will continue to see significant value in their alliance.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre on Twitter @DionJPierre.

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