Further Cooperation with Israel Can Help America Address Its Strategic Challenges in the Middle East

According to the Pentagon’s most recent National Defense Strategy, the U.S. must shift from focusing on counterterrorism to responding to the threats of hostile states; at the same time, the document acknowledges that the threat of jihadist terror has not abated. For assistance in dealing with the latter, write Bradley Bowman and Andrew Gabel, Washington should look to Jerusalem:

America’s adversaries in the Middle East are virtually indistinguishable from those of Israel. From an American perspective, Israel’s capability and willingness to target assertively Iran’s [forces abroad] and Hizballah are welcome, serving to undermine Tehran’s reach in Syria and Iraq. . . . Such strikes keep strategic pressure on these organizations, leaving them with less time, space, and security in which to plot attacks and build infrastructure.

If Israel is effectively and persistently targeting these American foes, it is functionally advancing U.S. security interests without putting American lives at risk. This frees up U.S. resources that Washington may employ elsewhere in the great-power competition, such as in Eastern Europe or the Indo-Pacific [region].

More specifically, despite the already extensive collaboration between the U.S. and Israel in the realm of military technology, Bowman and Gabel argue that far more can be done to benefit both countries:

With some important exceptions, the United States and Israel develop military doctrine and new weapons independently. In some cases, that makes sense. In others, it does not. Washington’s failure to team up earlier with Israel on research and development has resulted in dangerous gaps in U.S. military capabilities.

Consider the case of the Israeli-made Trophy active-protection system, which was recently delivered to the U.S. Army to protect its M1 Abrams main battle tanks from rockets and missiles. Despite the fact that the system has been operational in the Israeli military since 2011, it is only now making its way into the U.S. Army’s arsenal.

While Israel is by no means ahead of the United States in most types of military technology, there are nevertheless select areas in which the U.S. military could benefit from Israeli experience and technological innovation. [It] would be strategically negligent not to do so.

Read more at RealClear Defense

More about: Israeli Security, U.S. Security, US-Israel relations, War on Terror

Iran Brings Its War on Israel and the U.S. to the High Seas

On Sunday, the Tehran-backed Houthi guerrillas, who have managed to control much of Yemen, attacked an American warship and three British commercial vessels in the Red Sea. This comes on the heels of a series of maritime attacks on targets loosely connected to Israel and the U.S., documented in the article below by Mark Dubowitz and Richard Goldberg. They explain that Washington must respond far more forcefully than it has been:

President Biden refuses to add the Houthis back to the official U.S. terror list—a status he revoked shortly after taking office. And [Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei keeps driving toward a weapon of mass destruction with the UN’s nuclear watchdog warning that Iran is increasing its production of high-enriched uranium while stonewalling inspectors.

Refreezing all cash made available to Iran over the last few months and cracking down on Iranian oil shipments to China are the easy first steps. Senators can force Biden’s hand on both counts by voting on two bills that passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support.

Next comes the reestablishment of U.S. military deterrence. America must defend itself and regional allies against any attempt by Iran to retaliate—a reassurance Riyadh and Abu Dhabi [also] need, given the potential for Tehran to break its de-escalation pact with the Gulf Arab states. By striking Iranian and Houthi targets, Biden would advance the cause of Middle East peace.  . . . Tehran will keep attacking Americans and U.S. allies unless and until he flashes American steel.

Read more at New York Post

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, Naval strategy, U.S. Foreign policy, Yemen