IDF prepares for Life without US Defense Assistance

Clarice Feldman
It could simply be prudent planning, a test of the new President's will, or a sign of genuine concern about the intent of the new Administration, but the Jerusalem Post is reporting the Israelis are in serious discussions to determine how they would operate without US defense funds:

Amid growing tension between Jerusalem and Washington, the IDF and Defense Ministry have held brainstorming sessions to discuss the possibility that the United States would cut military aid to Israel, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

On Tuesday night, senior Defense Ministry and IDF officers gathered in Tel Aviv for a discussion on US-Israeli relations, during which they discussed new Pentagon regulations regarding the way Israel can use the almost $3 billion in military aid it receives from the US.

According to defense officials, the Pentagon informed the Defense Ministry that the foreign military financing (FMF) needed to be used strictly for weaponry and defense-related projects. In past years the Pentagon had made exceptions and allowed the IDF to purchase nonessential items such as covers for trucks, uniforms and even food for soldiers.

During the discussion, the officials also discussed the possibility that the US would cut the FMF due to the political tension between the countries or because of the global financial crisis.

It could simply be prudent planning, a test of the new President's will, or a sign of genuine concern about the intent of the new Administration, but the Jerusalem Post is reporting the Israelis are in serious discussions to determine how they would operate without US defense funds:

Amid growing tension between Jerusalem and Washington, the IDF and Defense Ministry have held brainstorming sessions to discuss the possibility that the United States would cut military aid to Israel, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

On Tuesday night, senior Defense Ministry and IDF officers gathered in Tel Aviv for a discussion on US-Israeli relations, during which they discussed new Pentagon regulations regarding the way Israel can use the almost $3 billion in military aid it receives from the US.

According to defense officials, the Pentagon informed the Defense Ministry that the foreign military financing (FMF) needed to be used strictly for weaponry and defense-related projects. In past years the Pentagon had made exceptions and allowed the IDF to purchase nonessential items such as covers for trucks, uniforms and even food for soldiers.

During the discussion, the officials also discussed the possibility that the US would cut the FMF due to the political tension between the countries or because of the global financial crisis.