View Poll Results: Israel: Strategic Asset or Strategic Liability?

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  • Strategic Asset

    41 52.56%
  • Strategic Liability

    37 47.44%
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Thread: Israel: Strategic Asset or Strategic Liability?

  1. #16
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Same for the US. the Americans confronted the Soviet Union in the ME through Israel. Each war won by the American supplied Israeli Army was a US victory against the Arab states backed by the Soviet Union. Which led the Arabs to desert the Sovietic camp and sign at Camp David.
    I agree. '67 and '73 were definitely victories for the US in terms of turning Arab states away from the influence of the Soviet Union. At this time Israel was a strategic asset, in my opinion.

  2. #17
    Regular Cosmic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Extremely misleading. Most Israeli defence purchases are funded by the Americans. Hence, the Americans are buying weapons to give to Israel. Israel is not spending her own money.

    As for the aircraft carrier bit, that aircraft carrier was chickening out when the big bad bear came roaring in.
    do you have a counter proof?

  3. #18
    Herodotus
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    Well there are some facets of Middle Eastern terrorism that I don't think can be directly attributed to US support for Israel. The Iranian Revolution, the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets, and the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam all contributed at least somewhat to terrorism in the region, and those events had little to do with Israel.

  4. #19
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic View Post
    do you have a counter proof?
    Joint technological development of weapons platforms isn't relevant to the discussion, which is vastly funded by the United States anyways. At any rate, the Colonel's correct in that Israel's military procurement from the United States are funded by the United States.

    The question is, in the post-Cold War era, has Israel proven to be a strategic asset or strategic liability to the United States? Since the end of the Cold War, have our policies regarding Israel helped the US to build influence and pursue our national interests in the Middle East

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic View Post
    US and Israel have a stronger relationship since the WWII, but the terrorist problem is much recent.
    When did WWII end? Late 1960s?

    Or why didn't US support Israels attack on Egypt in 1956? US wasn't even aware that Israel and UK and France was planing that war or they had stopped it long before it started.

    Also, if US was such a big supporter of Israel, why did they delibertly sink USS Liberty during the June war (according to USS Liberty's crew who are dead sure the close passing aircrafts recognized the Warship as a US flagged ship since they flyed by her less then 100 meter or so before the attack a few moments later).

    What is also an overlooked fact is that US government before the 1960s considered most of the terrible Holocaust stories communist propaganda fabricated by the USSR. Hence the american public wasn't aware of the Holocaust until two decades after the wars end.

    So from an american point of view was Israel at that point just another socialistic project in the Middle East until Richard Nixon came to power.

    The Eisenhower Military Doctrine had nothing to do with Israel if anyone thought as much. The linchpin for this Doctrine was Iran and Saudi Arabia. Israel was not even on the table when this central doctrine for the Cold War was sketched up.

    What is true is that US is Israels best allied. Especially when we consider that a well developed Israel with a strong high-tech industry is receving 1/8 of US total foreign aid each year.

    But Israel is not US allied. When did Israel support US last time? Time after time has Israel snubbed USA in a great variaty of ways.

    Israel sure didn't support US when US together with the EU attacked Jugoslavia in 1999. To the contrary, Israel was shocked and protested very strongly against the attack on Jugoslavia.

    Israel has time after time promised every POTUS since Jimmy Carter to stop the illegal expansion of the settlers on occupied territory. And each time has the president in question been standing there with flushing red cheeks. If Israel had been such a great friend of US wouldn't that never had happen, not even once. You don't publicly humiliate an friendly nation, ever! Normally would it mean severely detoriated relations. But not in this case. USA just bites the bullet each time and slouch away with her tail between the legs. That shows how big friend US is of Israel, but it don't show Israel to be a big friend of US.

    Add to this the numerous times Israeli spies has been exposed. Does such a close friend really need to spy on USA? Does USA spy on Israel? Wouldn't it be a death sentece to send out US agents to spy on Israel? But it's no problem for Israel to use their spies against USA.

  6. #21
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herodotus View Post
    Well there are some facets of Middle Eastern terrorism that I don't think can be directly attributed to US support for Israel. The Iranian Revolution, the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets, and the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam all contributed at least somewhat to terrorism in the region, and those events had little to do with Israel.
    Agreed. I think the assertion that it is US policies with regards to the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflict alone have caused the rise of terrorism committed by Islamic fundamentalists is a mistaken one. If Israel had never existed, we'd still have our share of problems emanating from that region. I do think, however, that our lack of even-handedness and carte blanche support is a contributing factor among many.

    I believe that the defeats inflicted on secular Arab nationalism, though beneficial in the respect that the influence of the Soviet Union in the region was curtailed, helped discredit that political ideology and served to hasten the rise of Islamic fundamentalism to fill the political vacuum as an alternative ideology.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    At this time Israel was a strategic asset, in my opinion.
    And it looks like the "mercenary of the ME" has found itself another utility for its employer by muddling its problems with the Palestinians and the WoT. You can't reasonably abandon an ally that fights the same enemy as yours?

    The Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, described the assassination of Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin as an attack on "the first and foremost leader of the Palestinian terrorist murderers," and said Israel would continue such attacks in its fight on the "war on terrorism".

    Speaking to MPs from his Likud party, Sharon said Yassin was an "archterrorist" who plotted attacks that killed hundreds of Israelis. "The war against terror has not ended and will continue day after day, everywhere."
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/S...ID=0&listSrc=Y

  8. #23
    Herodotus
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    Agreed. I think the assertion that it is US policies with regards to the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflict alone have caused the rise of terrorism committed by Islamic fundamentalists is a mistaken one. If Israel had never existed, we'd still have our share of problems emanating from that region. I do think, however, that our lack of even-handedness and carte blanche support is a contributing factor among many.

    I believe that the defeats inflicted on secular Arab nationalism, though beneficial in the respect that the influence of the Soviet Union in the region was curtailed, helped discredit that political ideology and served to hasten the rise of Islamic fundamentalism to fill the political vacuum as an alternative ideology.
    I can't find any disagreement in that, and I have yet to see any compelling evidence, from anywhere, that Israel contributes anything of strategic value to the relationship/alliance. So this is basically a one-way road where the US acquires all of the harm and none of the benefits of the alliance. One could reach an easy conclusion that Israel is a liability.

  9. #24
    Regular Cosmic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battenberg View Post
    When did WWII end? Late 1960s?

    Add to this the numerous times Israeli spies has been exposed. Does such a close friend really need to spy on USA? Does USA spy on Israel? Wouldn't it be a death sentece to send out US agents to spy on Israel? But it's no problem for Israel to use their spies against USA.
    do you think US does not have its spy in Israel? I don't think so. i dont have solid proof for it, but convinced there are many.

  10. #25
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    I agree with Granite, Israeli actions cause a lot of problems. Iraeli policy in its part of the world towards Palastinians in my view is one of aparthied. Their expansionist policy on the West Bank, the blockade of Gaza, the complete overreaction in 2006 to Lebanon the evident corruption in its government tells me that Israel is certainly a liability.

    There are many more, some stated above. I would also like to bring to light the Israeli extremists, the radical settlers. I think that Israels inability to control them is a big liability and a source of many problems. IMO they are terrorists and should be treated as such.

  11. #26
    Regular Cosmic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battenberg View Post
    When did WWII end? Late 1960s?
    Israel sure didn't support US when US together with the EU attacked Jugoslavia in 1999. To the contrary, Israel was shocked and protested very strongly against the attack on Jugoslavia.
    Allies, does not mean their interest cannot diverge? Like any two countries, such differences can be expected, but the best allied team, is to resolve such differences and disregard it. I think US-Israel relationship is a perfect example for it.
    Sticking to the intent of the thread, US-Israel relationship during the cold war era, i think there are good reasons, why Israel did not support some US's decision at that time.

  12. #27
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    Much of the Relationship Is Classified


    Much of the Relationship Is Classified

    There are other issues affecting the public discourse on U.S.-Israel defense ties. Much of the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship is classified, particularly in the area of intelligence sharing. There are two direct consequences from this situation. First, most aspects of U.S.-Israel defense ties are decided on the basis of the professional security considerations of those involved. Lobbying efforts in Congress cannot force a U.S. security agency to work with Israel.

    Second, because many elements of the relationship are kept secret, it is difficult for academics, commentators, and pundits to provide a thorough net assessment of the true value of U.S.-Israel ties. Thus, Israel is left working shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S., and finds itself presented by outside commentators as a worthless ally whose status is only sustained by a domestic lobby. Nonetheless, what has come out about the U.S.-Israel security relationship certainly makes the recent analysis of Professors Walt and Mearsheimer extremely suspect.


    http://www.jcpa.org/brief/brief005-20.htm

  13. #28
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Cosmic, you're merely quoting lobby groups. Lobby groups are hardly a source of objective material. Whether it's the NRA, AFL-CIO, Christian groups, or AIPAC, they are pushing an agenda with highly skewed views.

  14. #29
    Officer of Engineers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic View Post
    do you have a counter proof?
    You mean when Israel chickened out? Yeah, big time.

    From Transcript 806: Six Days of War

    Michael Oren: The Syrians who played such a prominent role in precipitating this war cleverly stay out of it. The rumor in the Arab world--the conventional wisdom in the Arab world is that the Syrians were willing to fight to the last Egyptian. And it's true. They stayed out of this war but they were shelling thousands of shells onto Israeli settlements. The Israeli government voted not to attack Syria. This is an interesting episode.

    Peter Robinson: The Cabinet votes not to attack?

    Michael Oren: They're afraid of Soviet intervention. The Soviets were so closely allied with the Syrians, they were afraid if Israel struck at Syria then the Soviets would intervene and destroy Israel. Many of the Israeli leaders in 1967 had grown up in Russia. They remembered the Cossacks and they were afraid of their--there's the nerd part. Okay.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic View Post
    I am not familiar with the US-Israel cold war relationship, but I strong disagree with Graniteforge on support to Israel is the cause of terrorist attack on US. That is absurd. US and Israel have a stronger relationship since the WWII, but the terrorist problem is much recent. why did it take the terrorist to almost 50 years to plan that attack?
    Well, no. Terrorism, generally, has been a problem in the US for more than a hundred years. New York City, for example, was hit by a series of terrorist bombings right before WW2. Despite what it seems from the vastly increased news coverage, terrorist incidents in the US are down substantially today, compared with the pre-war period.

    Speaking only about Islamic-based terrorism, it is only the US relationship with Israel that creates the atmosphere in which such terrorism flourishes. If you could go back in time and remove the relationship, it is unlikely that such radical Islamic fundamentalists ever come into existence, never mind putting Americans at the top of their hit list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan187 View Post
    The Islamic fundamentalist problem is because of Israel? I suppose if not for Israel there would be no 9/11 either? Where is your causal link here?
    Probably not, but not because of the existence of Israel, but rather due to things the US has done in support of, and furtherance of Israel's agenda, at the expense of both Israel's neighbors, and self-appointed enemies.

    Remove Israel from the equation, the US has no major conflict with either Arabs or Muslims, today or in history. Remove the thereat of Israel, and I don't think the Soviets ever get so much as a toehold in the Middle East.

    Even Arab socialists like Nasser distrusted Soviet Communists, because they were devout, evangelical Athiests. The Soviets were openly contemptuous of Egypt's military, even while building them up. I first learned of Egypt's fiasco in Yemen while I was in the Soviet Union, from Russians who used it as a point of ridicule.

    Americans and Muslims, and Americans and Arabs, generally, tend to get along quite well on a personal basis. We just have no basis for conflict, again, outside of the things that the US has done to support Israel.

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