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President Trump’s security strategy: the impact on Israel

President Trump’s national security strategy – as enunciated on December 18, 2017 – reflects a realistic assessment of clear and present threats to the US, rejecting the politically-correct worldview of the foreign policy establishment, which has been crashed, repeatedly, against the rocks of reality. It provides a prescription for the enhancement of the flourishing, mutually-beneficial US-Israel relationship.

Contrary to the US and West European government, academic and media foreign policy establishment – which are highly critical of Israel and top heavy on wishful-thinking concerning the supposed Arab Spring, ostensible democratization and peaceful coexistence of the Arab World – Trump recognizes the complex and inherently brutal reality of the Middle East. Trump is aware of the lethal threats posed by Shiite (Ayatollahs) and Sunni terrorism and the threats posed by the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement.

Apparently, Trump does not embrace the myth of the Palestinian issue as – supposedly – a core cause of regional instability, a crown-jewel of Arab policy-makers, nor the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

According to Trump, apologies, appeasement and multilateralism have been replaced by America-first patriotism, the independence of unilateral US military action, the resurgence of the US posture of deterrence, an expanded defense budget and peace-through-strength.

Will Israel leverage these principles in its own battle against Islamic/Arab terrorism and its public relation posture in the US?

Trump underlined US national goals, which already benefit from Israel’s own experience and knowhow, harboring a much greater, mutually-beneficial potential:

1. Improving ballistic missile defense and cyber technologies feature Israel as a top partner with the US in the area of groundbreaking research, development and production;

2. Operational and technological homeland security and counter-terrorism highlight Israel’s unique experience as a game-changing contributor to the US’ intelligence, training and operations;

3. The stress on innovation underscores Israel as a platform of cutting-edge technologies for over 200 US hightech giants, as well as the leading battle-tested laboratory of the US defense industries, upgrading the latter’s research and development, global competitiveness, exports and employment-base.

Moreover, Israel has been “the largest US aircraft carrier” – as suggested by the late General Alexander Haig – which does not require US soldiers, deployed in a most critical region for US national security, sparing the necessity for the US to deploy a few more real aircraft carriers and additional divisions to the area between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean (at an annual cost of $15BN-$20BN).

The President announced that allies of the US, which benefit from US protection – in the form of US military bases and personnel – “should reimburse the United States for the cost of defending them.” However, unlike Germany (70,000 US troops), South Korea and Japan (40,000 troops each), etc., Israel does not require US military bases and/or personnel, on its soil, for its defense.

In fact, Israel constitutes a most effective, reliable, battle-tested and uniquely unconditional US beachhead, stretching the strategic arm of the US in a most critical region for the American homeland and national security.

Will President Trump’s realistic national security talk be matched by effective walk?


The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb

Secretary Pompeo 2019 vs. President Obama 2009

The January 10, 2019 Cairo, Egypt speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – which was cleared by the White House – was a course-setting presentation of the US role in the Middle East.

Pompeo’s ideological and operational speech was aimed at bolstering the US’ posture of deterrence and reassuring pro-US Arab regimes. It was diametrically opposed to President Obama’s vision of the Middle East, which was presented in Cairo, Egypt on June 4, 2009.

In 2009, in Cairo, President Obama introduced his own vision of rejuvenated US relations with Islam and Muslims, highlighting the following guidelines:

“Islam has always been a part of America’s story…. Since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, served in government, stood for civil rights….

“Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace….

“America and Islam are not exclusive… they overlap and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings…. The interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart…. Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality….

“More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a cold war in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.  Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam….

“Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance….”

In 2019, in Cairo, Secretary of State, Pompeo, introduced his own assessments of Middle East reality and bluntly recommended policy guidelines:

“When America retreats, chaos often follows. When we neglect our friends, resentment builds. When we partner with enemies, they advance….

“America has confronted the ugly reality of radical Islamism…. America will not retreat until the terror fight is over…. We remain committed to the complete dismantling of ISIS…. defeating Islamist extremism wherever we find it…. We grossly underestimated the tenacity and viciousness of radical Islamism, a debauched strain of the faith that seeks to upend every other form of worship or governance.…

“We must confront the Ayatollahs, not coddle them…. We withdrew from the failed [2015] nuclear deal…. re-imposing sanctions that should have never been lifted…. The nations of the Middle East will never enjoy security…if Iran’s revolutionary regime persists on its current course…. America’s economic sanctions against [Iran]… will keep getting tougher until Iran starts behaving like a normal country…. Iran may think it owns Lebanon; Iran is wrong….

“[The Middle East] witnessed convulsions [not an ‘Arab Spring’] from Tunis to Tehran as old systems crumbled and new ones struggled to emerge…. In falsely seeing ourselves as a force for what ails the Middle East, we were timid in asserting ourselves when the times – and our partners – demanded it….

“Our reluctance to wield our influence kept us silent as the people of Iran rose up [in 2009] against the mullahs in Tehran in the Green Revolution…. Emboldened, the regime spread its cancerous influence to Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon….

“American’s penchant for wishful thinking led us to look the other way as Hezbollah, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Iranian regime, accumulated a massive arsenal of approximately 130,000 rockets and missiles… aimed squarely at our ally, Israel…. The US fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself against the Iranian regimes’ aggressive adventurism.  We will continue to ensure that Israel has the military capacity to do so decisively…. We strongly support Israel’s efforts to stop Tehran from turning Syria into the next Lebanon…. President Trump campaigned on the promise to recognize Jerusalem – the seat of Israel’s government – as the national capital.  In May, we moved our embassy there….”

Reviewing both Cairo speeches, one may pose the following questions:

*Is the US war on the 14 century-old relentless Islamic terrorism advanced/undermined by the assumption that Middle East and Western regimes and peoples share similar goals and values?

*Is the long term US counter-terrorism effort well-served by soothing – or militarily combatting – terrorists?

*Is the US better off combatting Islamic terrorists in Middle East trenches or trenches in the US?

*While the US military deterrence in the Middle East would be enhanced by a coalition of pro-US Arab regimes, could it be replaced by such a coalition of regimes, which are inherently tenuous as are their policies and alliances?

*Is the US better off reacting to – or preempting – Islamic terrorism?

*Is the long-term US national security, in general, and counter-terrorism, in particular, well-served by Israel’s operational, intelligence and technological experience and capabilities, in addition to Israel’s reliability as an ally of the US?


The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb