“Regional peace must begin with the recognition by every party that the United States will always stand behind Israel’s security… no lasting peace will be possible unless that fact is accepted.”
-Secretary Of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
April 29, 2010
Under the Obama Administration, the United States has significantly expanded its longstanding commitment to Israel’s security, ensuring that Israel has the means not only to defend itself against the full spectrum of complex security challenges it faces, but to ensure that Israel’s legitimate security needs are met in ways that enable it to take the historic steps necessary to achieve a comprehensive regional peace.
- Israel is the leading beneficiary of U.S. security assistance funds for military training and equipment. This year, Congress fully funded the Obama Administration’s $2.775 billion security assistance request for Israel − the largest security assistance request for Israel in U.S. history.
- Over the past year, the United States and Israel have expanded bilateral security consultations and cooperation on a wide range of shared security challenges, from counterterrorism and preventing illicit arms smuggling into Gaza to counter-proliferation.
- Israeli forces also benefit from joint exercises and training opportunities, access to advanced U.S. military hardware, emergency stockpiles, and free or discounted equipment.
- The United States has committed for more than 30 years to helping Israel maintain its qualitative military edge – defined in terms of Israel’s ability to counter and defeat credible military threats from any individual state, coalition of states or non-state actors, while sustaining minimal damage or casualties. In 2008, this longstanding policy was written into law, and has since become the cornerstone of the U.S.-Israeli security relationship.
- The United States and Israel have long cooperated in research and development of defense systems. The Obama Administration is building on this partnership by asking Congress to approve $205 million to support production of Israeli-developed short range rocket defense system called Iron Dome.
- As U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell has said, “American commitment and determination are essential to the preservation of a sovereign and secure Israel and to the peaceful and just resolution of the conflict in the Middle East. There is as elsewhere a universal human desire to lead lives that are full, free and meaningful.”
A transcript is available at http://www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/rm/144753.htm, or you can watch at http://video.state.gov/en/video/129222649001.