Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger and Fred Zeidman, Co-Chair, CSA
Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA), https://bit.ly/2q4UeUw
The growing sophistication of domestic oil and natural gas production has enhanced the US national security. It has transformed the leader of the free world from a major importer of crude oil to the world’s top producer of both crude oil (surpassing Saudi Arabia) and natural gas (ahead of Russia), and expected to be the globe’s largest exporter in five years.
The dramatic reduction of US dependency on the importation of oil takes place at a time when the supply of oil from the Persian Gulf is increasingly precarious. It is threatened by Iran’s Ayatollahs, as well as by additional rogue elements in the inherently violent, intolerant, fragmented, unpredictable, shifty, non-democratic and unstable Middle East. An area which is strategically located between Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
The Middle East – and especially Iran’s Ayatollahs – has become a most proliferating epicenter of global Islamic terrorism, drug trafficking and the development of ballistic and nuclear capabilities, producing ripple effects throughout the globe. For instance, the expanding presence of the Ayatollahs and Hezbollah terrorists in the South American platforms of anti-US Islamic terrorism and drug trafficking: the trilateral border of Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay and the trilateral border of Chile-Peru-Bolivia. The aim of the Ayatollahs is to employ these platforms – and their intensified presence in Venezuela and Mexico – as a venue to surge toward the US.
Iran’s Ayatollahs are not driven by the eagerness to improve trade balance, employment, standard of living and education. They are driven by the conviction that they are divinely ordained to dominate the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the entire globe. They indoctrinate their youth that the world is divided into the abode of Islam and the abode of the infidel, which will eventually submit itself or be vanquished through Jihad (holy war).
The Ayatollahs – as reflected by their K-12 curriculum – consider the US to be the “Great Satan,” the mega obstacle on their way to achieve the mega goal of global domination. Hence, their determination to develop mega capabilities (ballistic and nuclear), in order to remove the mega obstacle (the USA).
The Ayatollahs are energized by Western policy-makers, who are unaware that gestures and retreats – such as the 1978/79 US betrayal of the Shah and support for the Ayatollahs – are perceived by the Ayatollahs as weakness, which intensifies their anti-Western zeal. Moreover, they consider any agreement with the West – such as the 2015 nuclear accord – a Hudna or Sulh (a tenuous truce, ceasefire, armistice), which must be abrogated once the “believers” gain the necessary strength to overpower the “infidel” West.
The 2015 agreement suggests that Western policy makers may not be aware that leopards don’t change their spots, only their tactics.
The expansion of the Ayatollahs to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and all the way to South and Central America has occurred while the Arab Tsunami – erroneously defined as “Arab Spring” – is haunting the Middle East from northwest Africa to the Arabian Peninsula. The Arab Tsunami, represented by the raging civil wars in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen and the domestic upheaval in most Arab countries, reflects the 1,400 year old reality of the Middle East: there is no intra-Arab, intra-Muslim peaceful-coexistence.
In face of the conventional and non-conventional threats posed by the tectonic Middle East, Europe is losing its will to flex an effective military muscle, reverting to Chamberlain’s and Daladier’s pre-WW2 policy of appeasement.
On the other hand, Israel is increasingly considered by all pro-US Arab regimes to be the most effective “life insurance agent” in the region. Hence, their unprecedented security and commercial ties with Israel.
At the same time, Israel is the most effective ally of the US, extending the strategic hand of the US, and benefitting the US militarily, technologically and commercially.
For example, Israel has emerged as the most cost-effective, battle-tested laboratory of the US defense industries, employing over hundred US military systems, and sharing with the manufacturers lessons related to operation, maintenance and repair. These lessons have yielded thousands of upgrades, saving the US many years of research and development, enhancing the competitiveness of the US products in the global market, increasing US exports and expanding the US employment base. A Lockheed-Martin executive told me that the lessons shared by Israel’s air force, flying the F-16, “have yielded a mega-billion dollar bonanza to the manufacturer.” Similar benefits have been enjoyed by McDonnell-Douglas, the manufacturer of the F-15, which is employed by Israel’s air force.
Israel’s battle experience has been shared with the US armed forces, contributing to the formulation of battle tactics and transferring to the US critical information about the performance of Soviet/Russian military systems. US special operation units on their way to Iraq and Afghanistan stop in Israel for 2-3 week training by Israeli experts in countering suicide bombers, car bombs and deadly improvised explosive devices.
According to General George Keegan, former Chief of Air Force Intelligence, five CIAs would be required, in order to procure the intelligence provided by Israel.
In the aftermath of the January 1991 First Gulf War, then Defense Secretary Dick Cheney stated: “Thank you Israel for destroying Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981, which spared the US a nuclear confrontation in 1991.”
The late General Alexander Haig, former Supreme Commander of NATO and Secretary of State, referred to Israel as “the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require a single US soldier on board and deployed in a most critical region. If there were not Israel, then the US would have to deploy a few more real aircraft carriers to the region, along with many more ground forces, which would have cost the US taxpayer some $15BN-$20BN annually, all of which is spared by Israel.”
Just like the US independent oil and natural gas producers, Israel has defied the odds, ascending to new heights, enhancing US national security and the economy through mutually-beneficial cooperation.
US-Israel relations resemble a two-way street, whereby the US makes an annual investment in – not foreign aid to – Israel, which yields an annual rate of return of a few hundred percent, benefitting the US taxpayer.
The US-Israel cooperation proves that two guns shoot longer than one.