The US does not extend foreign aid to Israel. Rather, the US makes an annual investment in Israel, which yields to the American taxpayer an annual R-O-I (Return-On-Investment) of several hundred percent.
Is that a valid statement?
*While Israel is a most grateful recipient of a few hundred US military systems, it serves as the battle-tested, cost-effective laboratory of the US defense and aerospace industries, which employ – directly and indirectly – 3.5 million Americans.
Moreover, Israel’s Defense Forces serve as the battle-tested laboratory of the US armed forces, enhancing the performance of the US military.
*As documented in the following segments, the Israeli battle-tested laboratory enhances the economy, national security and homeland security of the US.
*For instance, Israel’s Air Force flies the Lockheed-Martin-manufactured F-16 and F-35 combat aircraft, providing the US manufacturer and Air Force – on a daily basis – with lessons involving operations, maintenance and repairs. These lessons are integrated into a multitude of upgrades for the next generation of the aircraft, bolstering the performance of the US manufacturer and Air Force.
In fact, the F-16 has been improved by several hundred Israeli-driven upgrades (cockpit, fire control, wings, fuel tanks, etc.). It has spared Lockheed-Martin 10-20 years of research & development – which costs billions of dollars – improving the global competitiveness of Lockheed-Martin, thus increasing its multi-billion-dollar exports, while expanding Lockheed-Martin’s employment base – a mega-billion-dollar bonanza.
Realistically, a similar mega-billion-dollar bonanza is enjoyed by Boeing, the manufacturer of the F-15 combat aircraft, which is also flown and upgraded by the Israeli Air Force, and a larger bonanza is the share of Lockheed-Martin, the manufacturer of the more sophisticated and more expensive F-35, which is also flown by Israel’s Air Force.
*Moreover, Israel is the Triple-A-Store of Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Raytheon Technologies, G.D., Northrop Grumman, L3Harris Technologies, G.E., Oshkosh, Honeywell and many other US defense and aerospace industries, serving as a multiplier of export to countries, which assume that Israel’s use of these military systems – with its unique national security challenges – constitutes a most reliable stamp of approval.
*Furthermore, Israel shares with the US its battle-tactics against conventional military forces and terrorists, which are mutual-threats to the US and Israel, equipped with Russian, Chinese and Iranian military systems. In fact, much of the formulation of US battle tactics is based on the Israeli experience.
*For example, US Special Operations units and urban warfare specialists are trained by Israeli experts in neutralizing car bombs, improvised-explosive-devices and suicide bombers. In addition, US combat pilots benefit greatly from joint maneuvers with the highly-experienced Israeli combat pilots, who always fly under a do-or-die state of mind, and therefore are forced to maneuver more creatively and audaciously, stretching the capabilities of the US-made combat aircraft to new dimensions.
*According to a former Head of US Air Force Intelligence, General George Keegan, the US would have to establish five CIAs in order to procure the intelligence provided by Israel. The annual budget of one CIA is around $15 billion.
*According to the late Senator Daniel Inouye, who was the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and Intelligence Committee, the scope of Israeli intelligence shared with the US exceeded the intelligence provided by all NATO countries combined, including the foiling of anti-US terrorism, kidnapping and bombing, securing airliners and airports, and providing the US vital data on advanced Soviet/Russian military systems.
*Israel is a unique force-multiplier for the US, extending the strategic hand of the US, securing vulnerable pro-US Arab oil-producing regimes, and deterring conventional wars and terrorism, with no US troops on its soil (unlike NATO countries, Japan and South Korea).
*According to the late General Alexander Haig, who was NATO’s Supreme Commander and US Secretary of State and Admiral Elmo Zumwalt: “Israel is the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require American soldiers on board, cannot be sunk, and is deployed in a most critical region (between Europe-Asia-Africa and between the Mediterranean-Red Sea-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf), sparing the US the need to manufacture, deploy and maintain a few more real aircraft carriers and additional ground divisions, which would cost the US taxpayer some $15 billion annually.”
*Over 200 top US high tech companies, which employ several million Americans – such as Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Google and Facebook – have established research and development centers in Israel, leveraging Israel’s brainpower, in order to increase US production and expand US exports and employment. As it is with the defense industries, the US commercial industries have realized that Israel is a critical partner in sustaining their edge over China, Russia, Europe and Japan in the development and manufacturing of game-changing commercial and military technologies.
*In conclusion, the US-Israel strategic relationship constitutes a classic case of a mutually-beneficial two-way-street, which enhances the economy and defense of both countries, benefiting Israeli and American taxpayers alike.
Israel is neither foreign to the US, nor does it receive aid. Israel is not a beneficiary of US foreign aid, but a beneficiary of an annual US investment, which yields to the US taxpayer a few hundred percent annual Return-On-Investment.
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.