Here’s how and why US military aid to Israel helps America

How Ramaswamy’s stance on American aid to Israel falls short.

By Hugh Fitzgerald, FrontPage Magazine

Vivek Ramaswamy, who has suggested that American military aid to Israel be ended by 2028, apparently does not realize just how important Israel’s successful use of American weapons on the battlefield has been as a selling point for those weapons in other countries.

Nor is he aware of the extent of Israeli improvements to those American weapons that Israel is able to buy with that $3 billion in annual military aid, improvements that Israel of course shares with its American ally.

Finally, Ramaswamy does not know just how important is the flow of Israeli-made weapons to the U.S. military.

After Ramaswamy made his remark about phasing out military aid to Israel by 2028, Matthew Brooks, the CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition, wrote a reply that is discussed here: “Republican Jewish Group Pushes Back on Ramaswamy’s Stance Against Israel Aid,” by Alana Goodman, Washington Free Beacon, August 22, 2023:

Brooks noted that Israel spends 85 percent of its aid on American-manufactured arms, is a partner with U.S. Central Command, cooperates closely with the U.S. defense industry, and has “battle-tested a number of important systems, testing that has benefited U.S. forces.”

In other words, 85% of the aid Israel receives to spend on its military must be spent on American weapons — Ramaswamy should know that this is money coming back to the U.S. Furthermore, Israel’s successful use of American weapons has greatly increased their attractiveness to other potential customers around the world.

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Having “battle-tested” American weapons, with spectacular results, Israel has become the best advertisement for the American defense industry.

How many tens of billions of dollars worth of American weapons have been sold because Israel used them first on the battlefield? Saudi Arabia, the UAE, India, Taiwan, and South Korea, among others, want what the Israelis have and so do many other countries.

Furthermore, the Israelis are constantly improving the American weapons they use, and those improvements made or suggested by Israeli weapons engineers, are often incorporated into the weapons used by the American military and sold by America’s defense industry.

Israel has in the past been especially helpful with its improvements to the American TOW anti-tank missile. its modifications of M16 and CAR-15 arms, its improvements to what has been renamed the Machbet Self-Propelled Antiaircraft Gun, and with the extensive changes Israeli aeronautical engineers have made to the American F-15 fighter jets that have been the mainstay of the Israeli Air Force for three decades.

Israel’s enormous population of engineers, which was greatly increased by the arrival of first-rate engineers and scientists from the Soviet Union, has also made the country the most important foreign supplier of advanced weaponry to the American military — that is, its own weapons and not merely improved versions of American weapons.

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Some of them are discussed here. A few of those Israeli weapons that are now in the American arsenal are discussed here.

The U.S. Army has purchased an emerging Israeli technology for Abrams tanks, Bradleys and Strykers, designed to give combat vehicles an opportunity identify, track and destroy approaching enemy rocket-propelled grenades in a matter of milliseconds.

Trophy is an Active Protection System (APS) that uses a 360-degree radar, processor and on-board computer to locate, track and destroy approaching fire coming from a range of weapons such as Anti-Tank-Guided-Missiles and Rocket Propelled Grenades.

The U.S. Army has also bought the IDF’s Iron Fist Light Configuration active protection system for its armored personnel carriers in June 2015, developed by Israel Military Industries. The system uses a complex network of radar and electro-optics to detect and neutralize a broad range of missiles and other objects.

The Iron Fist Light Configuration can jam the GPS systems of incoming projectiles causing them to malfunction and fall to the ground, and can also deploy interceptors that destroy incoming objects with a shock wave.

Israel’s Elbit Systems was awarded a $73.4 million, 15-year contract from the US Marine Corps in March 2015 to supply them with new laser systems. The new systems will assist Marines in concealed positions with imaging, range-finding, and and navigation through combat areas. This will allow the soldiers to acquire and dispatch targets from their concealed positions, significantly lessening the potential impact of a mistake and keeping the soldiers safe….

Of course, I could provide many, many more examples of Israeli weapons that have been taken up by the U.S. military. But these are sufficient to make the point for Vivek Ramaswamy.

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American military aid to Israel is not a gift but an investment that pays enormous dividends, for it provides Israel with American weapons it uses successfully, and thus wins more customers for the American defense industry.

That American military aid gives Israeli engineers weapons which they have in many cases improved upon, and Israel share those improvements with the Americans. That military aid frees up other funds in Israel that can be spent on Israel’s own defense industry, that has managed to come up with many advances in weaponry that, again, are promptly shared with the Americans.

Finally, any sign of a lessened commitment to Israel — which is how ending American aid by 2028 would be interpreted, will only weaken Israel’s ability to deter its enemies, and encourage them to once again try to destroy the Jewish state, “from the river to the sea.”