Monday, November 30, 2020

How Washington is Maintaining Israel's Qualitative Military Edge in the Middle East

As we all know, Washington loves nothing more than to interfere with the geopolitical stability in the Middle East.  In a recent example, Washington's moves have led to a potential escalation of future instability thanks to an arms sale to the United Arab Emirates.

Let's start with some background.  Here is a September 2020 news item from Defense News:

As far back as November 2017, the Trump Administration had agreed to consider a long-standing request by Abu Dhabi to enter talks regarding the future procurement of the F-35 joint strike fighter as shown here:

Benjamin Netanyahu had originally made it quite clear that he would oppose the sale of the F-35s to the United Arab Emirates despite the fact that Washington is attempting to negotiate normalized diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE.  Nonetheless, according to Haaretz (sourced from the New York Times), in private, Netanyahu was taking another position, choosing not to block the deal as shown here:

...and from the Times of Israel as shown here:

All of these geopolitical manoeuverings are related to Washington's long-term commitment/obsession of ensuring that Israel retains its unchallenged competitive military edge aka Qualitative Military Edge (or QME) in the Middle East as shown on this news release from the U.S. Department of Defense:

...and this news release:

According to recent reports, when U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper met with Israeli Minister of Defense Benny Gantz, the two leaders discussed the issue of the sale of F-35s to the United Arab Emirates on October 22, 2020, an agreement was finalized which removed Israel's objection to the transfer of weapons to the UAE after Israel secured promises that it would be able to upgrade its own capabilities to maintain its military edge (i.e. QME) in the region which was actually written into law back in 2008.  Here is the statement from the Israeli Prime Minister's Office:

As a result of these negotiations, a London-based, highly influential Arabic language newspaper announced the following on October 30, 2020: did the Times of Israel:

As you can see, levelling the playing field could, ultimately lead to even more geopolitical stresses in the region as there are now three players in the region that have been well armed by America's military-industrial complex.  At the very least, this move will appeal to the Republican's pro-Israel Evangelical base and make the corner office dwellers in America's defense industry very, very happy indeed.

1 comment:

  1. The F-22 assembly has been dismantled, although parts of it are in long-term storage. The USAF has priced a restart, and it concluded it would be too expensive.