This article is reprinted from Ynetnews.com.
The significance of Israel’s strategic added-value is underlined by uncertain and shifty Arab ideologies, policies, alliances and allegiances, by the increasing vulnerability of pro-US Arab regimes, the intensifying unruly nature of Arab societies, the exacerbation of Islamic terrorism, the Iranian nuclear threat, the deepening penetration of the Arab Middle East by Russia and China, the recent erosion of the US posture of deterrence and the expected US evacuation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Israel’s reliability, capability, credibility, stability, democracy and non-conditional alliance with the US are anomalous in the Middle East.
Egypt – a beneficiary of billions of dollars and state-of-the-art US military systems – enhances strategic ties with North Korea, Russia and China, agitates the Horn of Africa and Sudan, consistently votes against the US at the UN and institutionalizes hate-education. A post-Mubarak regime could overtly join an anti-US axis.
Iran’s Shah had access to the most advanced US military systems. However, the Shah was toppled; from a staunch US ally, Iran was transformed into the most effective anti-US regime in the world.Libya’s King Idris granted the US, in 1954, the use of Wheelus Air Base, which became the largest US Air Force base outside the USA. In 1969, Colonel Qaddafi overthrew King Idris and Wheelus serviced the Soviet Air Force.
Turkey shifted, in 2002, from a cornerstone of the US and NATO posture of deterrence to a major pro-Russia supporter of the anti-US Iran-Syria axis. Jordan –a recipient of US foreign aid – was one of only two Arab regimes that supported Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Jordan’s port of Aqaba became Saddam’s most critical route of supplies during the preparations for the 1991US-Iraq War.
Iraq was pro-Western until the1958 anti-Western coup. However, Saddam Hussein – who ruled Iraq since 1979 – gained the confidence of the US. Therefore, he benefitted from a shared-intelligence agreement, the transfer of sensitive dual-use American technologies and $5BN loan guarantees, until his invasion of Kuwait.
Yemen was assisted by the US in its war against Aden and has benefited from US foreign aid. Still, Sana’a supported Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait and hosts anti-US Islamic terrorists, while occasionally fighting them. Saudi Arabia depends on the US for its survival in the face of lethal regional threats. The 1991 and 2003 US Gulf Wars were largely induced by the concern of a Saddam takeover of Saudi Arabia. However, Riyadh bankrolls the operations of anti-US Islamic organizations in the US and anti-US Islamic terrorists.
‘Israel equal to 5 CIAs’
Israel, on the other hand, was described by the late General Alexander Haig, who was a Supreme Commander of NATO and a US Secretary of State, as “the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require even one US soldier, cannot be sunk, is the most cost-effective and battle-tested, located in a region which is critical to vital US interests. If there would not be an Israel, the US would have to deploy real aircraft carriers, along with tens of thousands of US soldiers, which would cost tens of billions of dollars annually, dragging the US unnecessarily into local, regional and global conflicts. All of which is spared by the Jewish State.”
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