While the America-Israel relationship began as one of a great power extending a hand to a vulnerable fledgling state, it has grown, in the words of Yoram Ettinger, into “an exceptionally productive, mutually beneficial alliance.” He explains:
Israel has been the most cost-effective, battle-tested laboratory of U.S. defense industries [and] the most reliable and practical beachhead and outpost of the U.S. defense forces, sharing with the U.S. unique intelligence, battle experience, and battle tactics. . . .
The plant manager of Fort Worth-based General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the F-16, asserted that Israeli lessons have spared the manufacturer ten to twenty years of research and development, leading to over 700 modifications in the current generation of the F-16, “valued at a mega-billion-dollar bonanza to the manufacturer.” . . .
According to George Keegan, a former U.S. Air Force intelligence chief, the value of intelligence shared by Israel with the U.S.—exposing the air capabilities of adversaries, their new military systems, electronics, and jamming devices—“could not be procured with five CIAs.” . . .
Israel [is] a special strategic partner to America—and not a member of the “foreign-aid” club of supplicants—increasingly contributing to mutually beneficial . . . joint ventures.