Former NATO Commander: US Should Enhance Military Alliance with Israel

January 10, 2017
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Former NATO commander, James G. Stavridis <BR>

Tuesday, 01 January 2017 | A former Supreme Commander of NATO advocated for even closer military cooperation between the United States and Israel in an essay for Time on Thursday.

Former Admiral James Stavridis, now the Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, wrote that in order for the United States to confront the challenges it faces in the Middle East, it should “more fully develop its partnership with the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] in several crucial areas.”

There is already considerable military-to-military cooperation between the two nations, Stavridis wrote, noting that he “saw firsthand the quality of Israeli forces” when he served as commander of US European Command. But such cooperation could be enhanced in many areas, most notably cybersecurity. “Israeli intelligence gathering is superb, and the integration of the Israeli military with the nation’s robust private-sector security firms is nearly seamless,” Stavridis noted.

He also highlighted other areas where closer technological cooperation with Israel could benefit the United States, included missile defense (where Israel and the United States have previously cooperated on the Arrow missile), avionics, miniaturization and both airborne and land-based unmanned vehicles.

Stavridis recommended closer intelligence cooperation between the two countries. He called Israel’s intelligence services “the best in the Middle East,” and acknowledged that when it came to the Syrian civil war, political uncertainty in Egypt and Iran’s military and nuclear program, the Israelis “have been ahead” of American intelligence services. (In July 2015, Stavridis compared the inspections component of the then-recently agreed nuclear deal with Iran to “Swiss cheese.”)

Finally, Stavridis wrote, “US Special Operations Command constantly operating with Israeli commandos would be of enormous benefit to both forces. Both are expert in battlefield intelligence collection, use of unmanned vehicles, sniper technology and a host of other specialized skills. Setting up a joint special-forces training and innovation center for special operations in Israel would be powerful.”

Stavridis concluded by noting that given the complexity of the Middle East, the United States could benefit from Israeli insights, while Israel, in turn, could benefit from “further intelligence, technology and partnership with the US” Closer military ties would be “a case of two nations that are unarguably stronger together—let’s build on what we have to get to the next level.”

Stavridis was discussed as a possible Secretary of State for President-elect Donald Trump and a potential running mate for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Posted on January 10, 2017

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 06 January 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: public domain

Photo License: Wikipedia

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