Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

A landlubbing aircraft carrier?

6 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Thailand


Last update - 04:17 07/04/2010

Israel cannot decide how much of an asset it is to U.S.

By Amir Oren

Last week, 50 retired U.S. generals and admirals signed a statement of support for Israel. As defense professionals, and after many visits with officials from the Israel Defense Forces, they say they "came away with the unswerving belief that the security of the State of Israel is a matter of great importance to the United States and its policy in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean. A strong, secure Israel is an asset upon which American military planners and political leaders can rely. Israel is a democracy - a rare and precious commodity in the region and Israel shares our commitment to freedom, personal liberty and rule of law."

The retired senior officers mention "shared values and shared threats" such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but stay away from the essence of the dispute between Washington and Jerusalem. The organization that initiated and published the statement, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, is well aware of the precedent: its letter of October 2000, also signed by 50 retired generals and admirals. The gist a decade ago was defending the IDF's efforts to suppress Palestinian terror attacks.

The signatories this time are not supporters of the policies of the Netanyahu government, they're only reporting that they were impressed by their Israeli interlocutors' "determination to protect their country and to pursue a fair and workable peace with their neighbors." Their main issue is to prevent the impression that Israel is a burden and not an asset; this is also the case after the recent statements attributed to Gen. David Petraeus (which have been denied).

It's good that an organization like JINSA exists to decrease the alienation between retired and current officers on the one hand, and the American Jewish community on the other. JINSA would also help improve relations between the Pentagon and Israel. It's also good that the retired officers, who visit Israel on JINSA tours with their wives and are taken on informative trips and given briefings, express a positive opinion to their friends and sometimes also the press, as military commentators. It's even better to understand what they don't say in the letter, which leaves out each of the following words: Palestinians, territories, Jerusalem, construction.

In the mid-1970s, Israel was shocked to find out that the admiration of some American officers for the IDF did not balance out the hostility of other officers because of Israel's urgent need for military equipment during and after the Yom Kippur War. The lack of materiel led to a political decision, contrary to the opinion of U.S. commanders, to thin out U.S. military stores in Europe and send equipment to Israel.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, Gen. George Brown, said that from a military standpoint, Israel was a burden and not an asset. That was a narrow and simplistic way to view the main task: protecting Europe from a Soviet invasion. Military people tend to focus on their responsibility and clearly defined area and leave broader considerations to their leaders.

Since the end of the Cold War, Israel's position has become even more delicate. The Middle East has become a major arena with complex interrelationships between regions and issues. Various and conflicting strata can exist simultaneously: Israel can both contribute on the operational level and be a strategic hindrance.

It is best to stop presenting Israel as a landlubbing aircraft carrier: When an aircraft carrier becomes obsolete and worn out, and maintaining it becomes too expensive, it's junked or turned into a floating museum. The IDF also does this; for example, with its Phantom jets, the pride of the Israel Air Force in their day. When they got old, they were no longer suitable for combat and training pilots and navigators. Another example is the South Lebanese Army. What was useful under certain circumstances is unnecessary and even harmful under others. The weight of the armor that protects the foot soldier could drown a swimmer.

Nostalgia and heritage are not enough. Israel cannot act like Uncle Sam's reckless niece and expect to be indulged; her uncle would have to send her to rehab, limit her allowance and eventually appoint her a guardian.

Israel is in charge of its own security, but it cannot determine how much of an asset it is to the United States. The hint in the JINSA letter is clear: Israel must prove it is a partner in values, not only in threats and military responses, because the discussion about peace, liberty and human rights is on a different level than security. The policy of the Netanyahu government, which insists on sabotaging the chance for an agreement and to ease the conflict, is eroding Israel's strength.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Thailand

Israel likes us so much they attacked one of our ships once.

The USS Liberty incident of 1967.

Regrettable, an unintended attack which occurred during a time of war (the Six Day War, to be precise), and for which full reparations were made to the families of those lost and to the injured.

Do you have anything more recent and topical than an isolated event from 43 years ago to add to a discussion of current US/Israeli relations?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites




"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -

Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
  • Create New...