“Israel did not grow strong because it had an American alliance. It acquired an American alliance because it had grown strong” (Prof. Walter Russell Mead, a leading historian of US foreign policy).
In 1948, Israel was misconstrued by the State Department as a burden upon the US, too feeble to withstand an all-out Arab military offensive, jeopardizing US ties with the Arab World and potentially pro-Soviet.
However, since 1967, Israel has emerged as the most effective, reliable and democratic ally of the US, and a formidable force-multiplier for the US.
*The June 1967 Israeli military victory devastated the pro-Soviet Egyptian military, while Egypt was on its way to become the pan-Arab leader, aiming to topple the pro-US regimes of the Arab oil-producing countries, at a time when the US was heavily dependent upon the Persian Gulf oil. The resounding Israeli victory spared the US a huge economic and national security setback, and denied the USSR a dramatic geo-strategic gold mine.
*25 US military experts went to Israel to study the lessons of the 1967 Six Day War, and to examine the captured Soviet military systems. Their findings upgraded the performance of the US armed forces and defense industries.
*As a result of the benefits derived by the US, a team of 50 experts arrived in Israel following the 1973 War, collecting information, which benefited the US militarily and industrially, bolstering the US defense of Europe in the face of Soviet threats.
*The December 1969 “Operation Rooster 53” highlighted Israel’s unique intelligence and battle tactic capabilities, which were shared with the US. An Israeli commando unit snatched from Egypt an advanced Soviet P-12 radar system, which was stationed throughout the world. The Soviet radar was studied by Israel and transferred to the US, as were additional Soviet military systems, enhancing the capabilities of the US intelligence, special operations forces and the US defense industries.
According to the late Senator Daniel Inouye, who was the Chairman of the Appropriations and Intelligence Committees, the value of the Soviet radar to the US defense industries and armed forces was around $3bn. He added that the scope of intelligence shared with the US, by Israel, exceeded the intelligence shared with the US by all NATO countries combined.
*In 1966 and 1989 Israel acquired MIG-21 and MIG-23 Soviet combat planes through defecting Iraqi and Syrian pilots. The planes were shared with the US, impacting the global balance of power, and enhancing the performance of the US Air Force and the aerospace industries.
*In 1970, Israel manifested its pro-US posture of deterrence by forcing – through its military presence on the Golan Heights – a pull-back of the pro-Soviet Syrian invasion of pro-US Jordan. Israel spared the US either a loss of an Arab ally, or the need to get involved militarily in an intra-Arab war, while it was bogged down in Southeast Asia.
Moreover, the toppling of the pro-US Jordanian regime would have threatened the existence of the pro-US oil-producing regimes in the neighboring Persian Gulf, while the US was heavily dependent upon Persian Gulf oil. Thus, Israel spared the US a major economic and national security blow, and denied the USSR a geo-strategic bonanza.
*The lessons of the July 4, 1976 Entebbe Rescue Operation – which underscored Israel as a role model of pro-active, daring and innovative counter-terrorism – were shared with the US intelligence and special operations forces.
*The 1981 Israeli destruction of Iraq’s nuclear reactor – in defiance of fierce US opposition – spared the US the potential devastation of a nuclear confrontation during the 1991 Gulf War. It saved the pro-US oil-producing Arab regimes from the jaws of Saddam Hussein.
*In the October 1982 “Operation Mole Cricket 19,” Israel’s Air Force destroyed 29 Soviet surface-to-air missile batteries operated by Syria, perceived to be impregnable. It was the first time that a Western-equipped air force destroyed a Soviet-built surface-to-air missile network. In the process, during the biggest air battle since the Korean War, the Israeli Air Force downed 82 Soviet MIG combat planes without a single loss to Israel’s Air Force. The game-changing Israeli battle tactics, including jamming technologies, were shared with the US armed forces, bolstering the US military edge over the USSR.
*The 2007 Israeli destruction of the Syria-North Korea-Iran nuclear reactor, spared the region and the globe a potential nuclearized civil war in Syria.
*In 2022, against the backdrop of the highly-vulnerable pro-US Arab regimes, the growing vacillation of Europe, and the intensifying threat of the anti-US Sunni and Shiite terrorism, Israel stands out as “the largest US aircraft carrier,” which does not require a single American soldier on board, sparing the US the need to deploy to the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean additional aircraft carriers and ground divisions.
*In 2022, Israel’s posture of deterrence plays a key role in preventing the collapse of the pro-US Arab regimes and the dominance of the anti-US Iran’s Shiite Ayatollahs and the anti-US Sunni Islamic terrorism in the Middle East, which is crucial to global trade, the war on anti-US terrorism and the US-Russia-China balance of power.
*To paraphrase Prof. Walter Russell Mead’s observation: Israel’s posture of deterrence is not growing stronger due to the recent peace accords with Arab countries. Arab countries concluded peace accords with Israel due to the fact that Israel’s posture of deterrence is growing stronger.
This column was originally published at The Ettinger Report
The views expressed in guest columns are not necessarily the views or positions of the CCNS or its members.