At last week’s Republican presidential debate, Vivek Ramaswamy argued for reducing U.S. miliary aid for the Jewish state, eliciting sharp criticism from Nikki Haley. Ramaswamy appears to see American support for the IDF as a sort of favor, when in fact it is a partnership that yields direct benefits to Washington. Yoram Ettinger explains:
In June 2016, Israel became the first country to use the highly computerized F-35, [an American-made combat aircraft], operationally. Israel soon became successful in solving initial glitches, which had caused concern among prospective buyers.
The scores of Israeli solutions to the F-35 glitches—in the area of data gathering and processing, electronic warfare, and firing-control accuracy—have been shared with the U.S. manufacturer and the U.S. air force, sustaining the F-35’s superiority over its global competition; sparing [its manufacturer] Lockheed-Martin mega-billions of dollars in research and development; enhancing the manufacturer’s competitive edge; increasing exports by a few additional billions; and expanding the employment base of Lockheed-Martin and its multitude of subcontractors.
Israel is [also] the most reliable, battle-tested, and cost-effective ally in the region, and a potential beachhead of the U.S. in the face of mutual threats. As stated by some U.S. officials and analysts, Israel is the largest U.S. aircraft carrier, and does not require a single member of the U.S. military on board.
Israel shares with the U.S. more intelligence than many countries, and Israel’s battle experience has been shared with the U.S., saving American lives by serving as a basis for the formulation of U.S. air-force and ground-force battle tactics, enhancing military medicine, and training U.S. soldiers in urban warfare. . . . The mutually beneficial relationship between the U.S. and Israel is a two-way-street.