Us-israeli strategic cooperation is high now

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US-Israeli strategic cooperation is high now

Berman 7/14/15, Ilan, Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC. An expert on regional security in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Russian Federation, he has consulted for both the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense, and provided assistance on foreign policy and national security issues to a range of governmental agencies and congressional offices. He has been called one of America's "leading experts on the Middle East and Iran" by CNN, National Review, July 14, 2015,, CC

Amid all the negative press regarding the current, frayed state of bilateral ties, it’s easy to miss what’s going right in the U.S.–Israel relationship. Yet today’s strategic cooperation has plenty of bright spots. The most prominent of these is missile defense. Last summer’s two-month-long Gaza War showcased the spectacular success of the jointly developed Iron Dome system, which intercepted nearly 90 percent of the thousands of rockets shot at Israeli cities by the Hamas terrorist group. In the wake of that conflict, cooperative missile defense has surged forward; in recent budgetary deliberations, Congress more than doubled the funding requested by the administration for cooperative anti-missile programs undertaken by Washington and Jerusalem, to nearly $350 million. Nor is missile defense the only area of fruitful cooperation. For example, consultations between counterterrorism specialists from the two countries continue, animated by the threat of the Islamic State and by a pressing need to move ahead on things like anti-tunneling technology, to help deal with the threat of terrorist infiltration. Technical discussions regarding the ongoing need to maintain Israel’s “qualitative military edge” (QME) — its qualitative military superiority over its more numerous potential adversaries — have likewise been robust (and productive) on the Obama administration’s watch. The bilateral strategic relationship, in other words, is still going strong — even if the political one is not. Which brings us back to Oren’s opus. As policymakers in Washington look ahead, it’s certainly useful to understand how and why the two countries grew apart over the last several years. But it’s even more helpful to grasp the principles, ideas, and values that brought Washington and Jerusalem together in the first place — and then to refocus on them.

Recent commitment to enhanced intelligence cooperation is key to the relationship

Jones 15 (Keith Jones, 7-17-2015, "US seeks to placate Mideast allies angered by Iran nuclear deal," No Publication,, MJW)

US President Barack Obama is dispatching Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to the Middle East to placate Israel and Saudi Arabia, key US allies that are angered by Washington’s recent nuclear accord with Iran.

Under the accord, Tehran has agreed to dismantle key parts of its civil nuclear program, roll back and freeze others for 10-15 years, and submit to the most intrusive inspections regime ever devised. In return, and only after Iran completes the dismantling and rollback, the US and its European Union allies are to lift the punishing economic sanctions that have halved Iran’s oil exports and denied it access to some $150 billion of its own money—a sum equivalent to almost 30 percent of Iran’s annual GDP. For years to come, the sanctions will only be suspended, however. They can be re-imposed should the US and its European Union allies deem Iran to have violated its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program reached Tuesday between Iran, the US, the four other permanent UN Security Council members, and Germany. While no specifics have been provided, Obama and his top aides have indicated that Defense Secretary Carter will offer Israel and the Saudi monarchy new weapons systems and enhanced intelligence cooperation and security guarantees. In Israel’s case some or all of the new weaponry may be gifted.

Ending surveillance programs hurts US-Israeli terror cooperation

Bob, Columbia honors JD, 6-1-15 (Yonah Jeremy, Yonah Jeremy Bob is legal affairs correspondent and an international affairs commentator for the Jerusalem Post. He writes about war and international law, the International Criminal Court, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, major terror trials in the US and Israel, landmark Israeli and US Supreme Court decisions, significant criminal trials and constitutional law. He also writes about Iran, North Korea and a range of other geopolitics and international affairs issues. He has worked for the IDF International Law Division, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice International Law Division. Yonah has been interviewed and provided international affairs and also legal commentary for BBC, Skynews, Voice of America, ABC Los Angeles Radio, Russia Today and a range of other tv and radio programs. Yonah also delivers foreign affairs lectures throughout the US, Canada and Israel. He is admitted as a lawyer in both the US and Israel and has practiced law for over seven years. Hailing from Baltimore in the US, Yonah graduated with honors from both Columbia University, receiving a BA, and Boston University, receiving a JD, where he focused his studies on international relations and international law. He is married with three children, The Jerusalem Post, "US NSA spy program ends, could impact Israeli anti-terror efforts,", A.ZHU)

Obama administration and top US intelligence officials have warned that allowing such a lapse could endanger their ability to protect the country’s national security. The lapse may signal a shift in Americans’ attitudes toward fighting terrorism that could indirectly hurt Israeli efforts to combat the scourge. Critics of the now defunct NSA spy program had said it had gone much too far in violating privacy rights and civil liberties, that the checks on abuse of the spying powers were ineffective and that the program had not racked up sufficient successes to justify its wide reach. Despite the drama of the program ending, virtually all American officials expect a new, more moderate, version to pass within days since it has passed initial votes in both houses of Congress and has firm support from the US president. The Freedom Act would end spy agencies’ bulk collection of domestic telephone “metadata” and replace it with a more targeted system. This week’s historic clashes over the issue are the culmination of two years of public debate that started with revelation of the program’s existence by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. Although the Senate’s 77-17 vote in favor of the compromise USA Freedom Act did not come in time to keep the program from expiring, the vote was at least a partial victory for President Barack Obama, who had pushed for the reform measure as a way to address privacy concerns while preserving a tool to protect the country from attack. The bill passed the US House on a 338-88 vote on May 13. But final Senate passage was delayed until at least Tuesday by objections from US Senator and Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). The termination of aspects of the post-September 11, 2001, law known as the USA Patriot Act meant that law enforcement and security agencies lost authority for various programs. Those allowed for “roving wiretaps” aimed at terrorism suspects who use multiple disposable cellphones; permitted authorities to target “lone wolf” suspects with no connection to specific terrorist groups, and made it easier to seize personal and business records of suspects and their associates. The new bill could directly impact Israeli national security by reducing the speed at which the NSA shares data with Israel’s NSA-equivalent, IDF Military Intelligence’s Unit 8200, responsible for signal intelligence. The indirect affect may even be greater, with many officials noting that Israel often follows the US on anti-terrorism policies, and a weaker stomach for aggressive policies in the US could portend the same for Israel. Finally, Israeli officials often cite examples of post-September 11, 2001, US anti-terrorism policies in international forums to defend their policies.

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