Caroline Glick: Friday, February 12th, 2016
Last October, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon asked US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to provide Israel with a new squadron of F-15s that Israel would outfit with its own electronics systems. Carter reportedly rejected that request as well as one for bunker buster bombs.
Carter instead insisted that Israel use the supplemental aid to purchase more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, US-made missile defense systems, and the Osprey V-22 helicopter, which Ya’alon didn’t want.
The fact that the administration wants Israel to buy more F-35s instead of F-15s is alarming both for what it tells us about America’s commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative edge against Iran and for what it tells us about the F-35, which is set to become the IAF’s next generation combat fighter.
Before considering these issues, it is worth pointing out that the US is not the ally it once was.
This week Britain’s International Institute for Strategic Studies published a report warning that the West’s decades-long military technological superiority over Russia, China and other countries is eroding. The erosion of the West’s military technological advantage over the likes of China and Russia is deeply problematic for Israel. Given the IAF’s complete dependence on US defensive and offensive systems, absent other factors, Israel is imperiled simply by keeping its eggs in America’s basket.