I received this email from NORPAC, a pro-Israel lobby group:
President Trump signed into law [Monday] the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, the U.S. defense budget bill for the coming Fiscal Year.
Included in this bill are provisions to authorize $500 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation and up to $50 million for U.S.-Israel counter-tunnel cooperation. It authorizes funding for both R&D and procurement for the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 missile defense systems. These programs enable Israel to defend its citizens while advancing America’s own missile defense capabilities.
These funds are in addition to the $3.3 billion in security assistance as part of the U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 (S. 2497) which passed in the full U.S. Senate two weeks ago.
I admit to mixed feelings about much of the US security assistance to Israel, as we have seen the Obama administration use that as a set of “golden handcuffs” to stop Israel from acting in its own best interests. Israel should set a strategic goal of weaning itself off of much of that aid.
However, cooperation with the US on defense systems that can also help the US in defending itself is a very worthy cause and this story is a reason to celebrate how close the US is to Israel.
The Act itself is some 2,000 pages long but it also includes joint US-Israel projects to find ways to defend against aerial drones and to determine what weapons Israel might need in a future war with Hezbollah.
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