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October 24, 2014 / 30 Tishri, 5775
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Hagel Coming to Israel Bearing Lots of (Sort of) Gifts

When Chuck Hagel leaves the region, he will have explained how Israel can afford to spend even more billions of dollars.
An F-16C Fighting Falcon firing an AGM-88 high-speed antiradiation missile at a target. The HARM is an air-to-surface missile designed to seek and destroy enemy radar-equipped air defense systems. The F-16 is the only aircraft in the Air Force capable of using the HARM.

An F-16C Fighting Falcon firing an AGM-88 high-speed antiradiation missile at a target. The HARM is an air-to-surface missile designed to seek and destroy enemy radar-equipped air defense systems. The F-16 is the only aircraft in the Air Force capable of using the HARM.
Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Ammons

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is starting a weeklong visit to the Middle East, concluding a year of secret negotiations over a $10 billion arms deal involving Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The deal includes American made missiles, warplanes and troop transports, to help each country in facing threats from Iran.

The NY Times quoted a senior administration official who said the goal of the new deal is “not just to boost Israel’s capabilities, but also to boost the capabilities of our Persian Gulf partners so they, too, would be able to address the Iranian threat — and also provide a greater network of coordinated assets around the region to handle a range of contingencies.”

When Chuck Hagel leaves the region, he will also, supposedly, answer the puzzling riddle of how can Israel afford to spend even more billions of dollars, when her entire $3 billion in U.S. military aid is already spoken for. In everybody’s mind, there can be only one answer: Israel will ask the U.S. to pay the U.S. whatever it takes, so Israel can get the new, really shiny stuff.

Highest on Israel’s shopping list for things it couldn’t possibly pay for out of its own shrinking budget: new missiles designed to take out the enemy’s air-defense radar, and then, also, advanced radar for Israeli warplanes, and don’t forget new refueling tanker planes. In short, it’s all the stuff you need if you’re going out to bomb the nuclear facilities of an unnamed country a thousand miles away.

In addition Israel will also buy the V-22 Osprey troop transport aircraft, which combines the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.

If you ask me, Israel needs these units like it needs a hole in the head. Besides the fact that they’ve had a terrible reputation, rife with corruption (a Marine Lieutenant Colonel was kicked off the service after it was discovered he fixed reports to favor the new aircraft), Israel is not facing the troop transport issues the U.S. military does around the globe. It’s a whole lot cheaper to fly the troops across the border in any direction on good, old fashioned choppers, than to utilize and maintain these unwieldy behemoths. But since the entire U.S. military aid to Israel program is, essentially, intended to support jobs creation on Long Island and in Washington State, what do I care.

They accused former President GW Bush of being an irresponsible spendthrift when he invested trillions of dollars of money we didn’t have in invading and destroying the only enemy of Iranian expansionism in the region – Saddam Hussein. But, as it turns out, the president was smarter than we thought. By making Iran the undeniable bully of the Middle east, utilizing Shiite power in Iraq to bolster its own, now U.S. military industrial companies are able to cash in on the new market and sell everybody in the region those state-of-the-art American mega weapons. USA! USA!

“This year the United States provided $3.1 billion in foreign military financing to Israel, the highest the United States has ever provided,” a Pentagon official said. In addition, the United States provides about $300 million in missile defense to Israel, he noted.

Elsewhere in the region, in 2010 Saudi Arabia agreed to purchase 84 F-15 tactical fighters in a deal worth $29.4 billion, the official said, and the first F-15s have rolled off the line in St. Louis and are undergoing flight testing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

During Hagel’s trip, the UAE is expected to move forward with the purchase of 25 F-16 Block 60 Desert Falcon fighters manufactured by Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. The expected value of the sale is $425 billion, the official said.

The United Arab Emirates wants to buy 26 F-16 warplanes, at $5 billion, and they also need those precision missiles that can be launched from those same jets at distant ground targets. Saudi Arabia is also in for them advanced missile.

The deal with Israel was in discussion over the past year between former defense secretary Leon E. Panetta and former defense minister Ehud Barak. The Times reports the two had 18 additional telephone discussions on the arms deal. After being sworn in as the new defense secretary, Hagel’s first face-to-face discussion with any foreign counterpart was with Barak, to get the deal done. When Hagel starts will move to finalize the arms deal with Barak’s successor, Moshe Yaalon.

Here’s another gem from the DOD press release on the coming trip: the United States will jointly train with the Emirate and Saudi pilots, as has been the case for other sales of military aircraft.

“There will be enhanced end-use monitoring consistent with what we provide with sensitive technology to our other allies and partners around the region,” the Pentagon official said, “and there will be consultations prior to any of the weapons’ deployment.”

And here’s the punch line: “None of the military sales signals a change in U.S. policy toward Iran or any other country, the official said.”

Now, if you’re Iran, and all around you the folks are stocking up on upwards of $40 billion worth of American killing machines – is that last statement going to be a source of comfort to you? I’m just saying…

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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4 Responses to “Hagel Coming to Israel Bearing Lots of (Sort of) Gifts”

  1. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    He's bearing no gifts. Israel is paying for all the weapons. The reality is that even though he is there to "accept the order" for the systems, there is no doubt they will not be delivered as long as obama biden kerry or soros are in charge unless Israel succumbs to their demands to surrender.

  2. Tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in Gaza are once again on the rise. Month by month, and week by week the middle east spins more out of control. Iran continues unwavering on it’s march in the development of nuclear weapons and Assad the dictator of Syria is still in power. Current intelligence seems uncertain of when Iran will get the bomb and Israel cannot afford to gamble with this. Assad of Syria looks like he may be willing to use weapons of mass destruction against his own people and against near by nations as well. If this situation does not drastically change soon for the better, I believe the war in Isaiah Chapter 17 will likely take place. Damascus Syria would be destroyed. The worlds economy would likely collapse as a result and could usher in a one world government movement. I wrote a small 6 page book that outlines what I believe the Bible states will take place soon as well as the potential trends I see at this time. I don’t accept donations and it’s free. It’s a short read. I encourage you to have a look: http://www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next.

  3. Ben Wilburn says:

    Paying for them with American military aid.

  4. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Really Ben? You may want to check the two CBO reports over the past 15 yrs – one ordered by Bush and one by CLinton over the $9BILLION/yr Israel borrows annually from the US, the $70BILLION in economic aid it infuses to the US economy, 75000 DIRECT jobs, not to mention FMV interest on the loans.You may also want to note that Israel is one of only 3 countries that have NEVER defaulted on a loan – the others being Canada and Australia. Personally, I believe Israel should tell Jew haters like you to f* off, stop borrowing miney from the US, go to the world market, and develop her own industry including the Kfir fighters.

    But then, why respond to a nazi like you with facts? Go play with your mom/wife, fill the still with hootch, and get your head shaved. The skinhead is filling in

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