Bolstering U.S.-Israel Defense of Shared Interests: An Agenda for the Biden Administration
This is the first of three JINSA policy papers on the major Middle East issues confronting the Biden Administration and 117th Congress. It details the benefits to the United States of, and specific ways to build upon, strong security cooperation with Israel and the breakthroughs of the Abraham Accords and Israel’s reassignment to U.S. Central Command. Succeeding reports will lay out the twin threats from Iran and Turkey and provide additional recommendations for American policymakers.
These papers emphasize how the United States must shape events in a region that still matters greatly to national security. Yet as challenges from Tehran, Ankara and Beijing in the greater Middle East grow, President Biden has signaled his intent to retrench from the region and refocus at home. As this first paper lays out, Washington can continue to defend its interests, and square this circle of rising regional threats and retreating American presence, by strengthening the security partnership with Israel across a wide range of issues.
Specifically, the United States should work with Israel to:
· Upgrade the prepositioned weapons stockpile in Israel,
· Accelerate Israeli procurement of U.S. weapons,
· Bolster intelligence and technology-sharing ties,
· Address the problematic Israel-China nexus,
· Enhance bilateral defense research and development, and
· Develop a common diplomatic front against Iran and Turkey.
Echoing their already robust arguments in favor of U.S. defense assistance to Israel, the Biden Administration and Congressional leaders also must reestablish bipartisan consensus on the importance of this military aid, given a growing chorus of calls from progressives to condition it on Israeli policy toward the Palestinians.
Taken together, these steps can defend U.S. interests in a vital strategic region and strengthen Israel while still enabling Washington to address other pressing priorities.
JINSA Staff and Contributors
Michael Makovsky, PhD
President & CEO
Vice President for Policy
Charles B. Perkins
Director for U.S.-Israel Security Policy
Director of Foreign Policy
Senior Policy Analyst
Senior Policy Analyst