America Should Strengthen Its Military Alliance with Israel

James Stavridis, a retired general who worked extensively with the IDF while serving as head of the U.S. European Command, argues for a broadening of the already extensive strategic ties between the two countries:

[America’s] best military partner in the region, by far, is Israel. . . . The U.S. would be well served to develop more fully its partnership with the Israel Defense Forces in several crucial areas as we stand together facing the challenges of the Middle East. . . . Perhaps the most important area of potential cooperation is in the world of cybersecurity. Israeli intelligence gathering is superb, and the integration of the Israeli military with the nation’s robust private-sector security firms is nearly seamless. Israel is also ahead of the U.S. in bringing advancements from the private sector into public hands; the brightest people constantly flow between the military and civilian spheres. . . .

[In addition], we should up our game in terms of intelligence cooperation. The Israeli military and the associated Israeli intelligence services Mossad, Aman, and Shin Bet are the best in the Middle East. Working together, they have been ahead of our more segregated sectors on a wide range of trends, including the disintegration of Syria, the events in Egypt, and the military and nuclear capability of Iran. Here we need a more open exchange of information between our two countries (especially human intelligence from Israel and overhead-sensor data from the U.S.). More liaison officers between military and intelligence commands would help, as would more frequent conferences and dialogue on principles. . . .

For the U.S. in the complex Middle East, we would be well served to follow the Israeli military’s advice on a range of key issues.

Read more at Time

More about: Cyberwarfare, IDF, Israel & Zionism, U.S. Foreign policy, U.S. military, US-Israel relations

 

To Defeat the Legacy of Islamic State, Start Rebuilding the Communities It Destroyed

Now that the borders of Islamic State (IS) are slowly contracting, argues Alberto Fernandez, there is a moral and strategic imperative to reconstruct some of the non-Muslim communities that it has destroyed—and the U.S. should encourage local government to help:

Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate is crumbling, if all too slowly. Sadly, though, its ultimate collapse will not be the end of the story. It will leave behind a still-lethal insurgency that will almost certainly attempt to stage terrorist attacks around the world as well as a wide swath of physical destruction and devastated lives stretching from Aleppo to Ramadi.

And yet, even while the Islamic State is “losing,” there is no denying that it has also “won” some things. It has created grim facts on the ground. It has wiped out communities that will never rise again. Many Yazidi villages and towns within its orbit are destined to remain permanently empty because of slaughter and the flight of despairing survivors. IS jihadists also succeeded in destroying the ancient Christian community of Mosul, whose surviving members were robbed of everything they had when they were expelled from the city in July 2014. Many of the survivors of these same minority groups remain scattered around the region, and some still haven’t decided whether they should stay, with all the risks that it would entail, or leave forever. Islamic State has torn a hole in the fabric of the region’s millennia-old diversity that can never be fully repaired. . . .

But we should consider fresh ways for Muslim leaders to show concrete support for restoring what IS sought to exterminate. Even the resurrection of a single community would be a powerful message of solidarity and diversity in a Middle East that is becoming increasingly monochrome. . . .

In . . . Israel, one kibbutz incorporated and commemorated survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and other Jewish partisans. Imagine the resurrection of a non-Muslim community that the Islamic State sought to exterminate. What a powerful message that would send. And the message would resonate even more strongly if the work were to be done with the support of Muslim states.

Read more at Washington Post

More about: ISIS, Middle East Christianity, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy, Yazidis